Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellowship to Nova Scotia Sue Shaw 1. Background • Applied Sept 08 under environment, food and rural affairs category. • Awarded March 09 – two stages; NS 2009; Sweden and Finland 2010. • WCMT awards are for personal and professional development • Money pays for travel and accommodation to facilitate a travel experience that would not otherwise be possible. • A report is required within 6 months of returning, plus dissemination of results as widely as possible. • My report at first draft stage at the moment. 2. Itinerary 21.8.09 to 13.9.09 • Halifax first week • Wolfville second week • River John third week 3. Objective • To explore rural asset based community development and attitudes to ageing [“seniors”] and to find any practice transferable to the UK. 4. Key personal learning points • NS character: distances, wilderness, hurricanes! • Culture of respect – of nature, for each other • Influence of First Nations – nature will provide for our need not our greed. Is this linked to Good Population Index? • That they have retained much of what we have lost in the past 50 years. • Differences to UK – influence of frontier/settler mentality and religion. • Importance and development of university outreach work. • Long term involvement in asset based community development eg Coady Institute/St Andrews. • International recognition of asset based community development approach at the moment. • Is asset based community development having a Zeitgeist moment? • Government understanding and support of community development methods eg Economic Development Department. • Commonalities with rural communities in the UK. • An enormous amount of material and information was gathered, which creates pressure to focus learning points and to facilitate dissemination. 5. Some thoughts on the factors supporting the retention of successful and resilient communities • Enabling authorities that understand the cd approach. • Freedom at community level to make decisions. • Frontier/settler mentality – self reliance, cooperation, can do attitude. • University Outreach as a facilitating mechanism. • Pervasive culture of respect for the individual, nature and difference. • Influence of religion and churches: “I am my brother’s keeper”. • Small, scattered, self reliant communities in large, peripheral, less wealthy rural area. • Leadership, hope and pride within communities. • Closeness to nature, wilderness, rurality and space “to be”. • Flat social hierarchy. • Less centralised government and bureaucracy. • Flexibility and understanding of issues – youth retention, volunteerism, supporting independence of seniors and considering the potential managed retreat from communities that may no longer be viable. 6. Dissemination to date • Presentation at Beacon Conference on community engagement 21 Oct. • Posited “Durham Model” of unleashing untapped rural potential at Rural Café discussions and CSJ&PR. • ACRE AGM 11/12 Nov. • Carnegie Rural Convention 23/24 Nov. 7. Next Steps? • Develop the idea of asset based community development and the Developmental cycle? • New Orleans IACD conference June 2010 instead of Sweden and Finland: present ideas on community resilience, sustainability and asset based community development. • Pilot Durham “Model” of using asset based community development to release untapped potential? • Finalise report. • Further dissemination and discussion of ideas.
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