“Self-reflection can lead to significant personal transformations” (Mezirow, 1997)
As an integral part of a 10 year Vision to regenerate Fleetwood, residents making things happen for themselves through a variety of new groups that are working together to find creative solutions to long standing issues.
This is all part of a long-term plan to tackle health inequalities through social prescribing and is especially effective for people with multiple conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart problems, mental health issues, learning disabilities, substance misuse recovery and other barriers to employment and fulfilling lives.
Regenda are supporting Westview Community Association to deliver a Community Catalyst Programme which provides the right environment for residents to find their own solutions to employment and health issues through mutual support and setting up co-operatives, social enterprises and becoming self-employed.
One of these enterprises is being formed by local artists to provide an Arts and Creative Learning Social Prescribing Pathway through the local Healthier Fleetwood Steering Group. This was established to bring services and residents together to provide a wide range of non-clinical support alongside the existing primary and secondary care. The philosophy is “try something new” rather than “stop that, it’s bad for you”.
Through the Arts Co-operative, residents will be able to attend a variety of workshops and programmes including: crafts; printing; pottery; needlework; photography; painting; drawing; poetry; storytelling; music and anything else that inspires them. For some people this will provide a lifeline out of social isolation, for others it will help them explore their health issues and some will gain new skills and employment opportunities.
Long term people and place-based regeneration must start with the people at the heart of communities and enabling them to be part of the decisions that affect them. Most people do not want a ‘medical model’ where there is a list of options to choose from that will make things better; they want to be able to inform services of their needs and find proactive and sustainable solutions that give them ownership of both the problems they face and how to move forward.
Regenda’s approach to place-based regeneration is focused on the resilience model which incorporates asset-based community development; employment, enterprise and skills and health and wellbeing. This is an excellent example of how this approach is applied on a local level to achieve long term transformation.
Supporting people to become critical thinkers is the key to both transformation and regeneration.