MAGPIE’s ‘Community Engagement Manager’ Michelle invites you to…
…Dip your toe into the world of Community Engagement…!
Here at Magpie, Community Engagement is a constant source of wealth, knowledge, inspiration and learning, it’s paramount to our success and part of our USP when it comes to championing client campaigns.
To be true to our ethos of creating ‘Happier & Healthier communities’, we need to consider the broad spectrum of what ‘community’ can mean to people, consider who we are connecting with, what we want to achieve, and how we can plan and embed it successfully and why?
What’s our ultimate goal?
To create impact & positive behaviour change – to empower communities and individuals; for themselves, for their loved ones, for their own community and beyond.
We all belong…
…to communities, whether it’s by geography, by groups of people, our work, hobbies, life choices, the language we speak, a cause or belief. We all identify with many different communities at one time – we are never just one thing. We are more than just a postcode, an age bracket, or a group of interest.
People and communities are multi-faceted, with layer upon layer of identity woven in through historical, political, and social connections, it’s our lived and learned experience, from deep down within our core. So when it comes to Community Engagement – there is often no simple answer or solution – ‘we need to value our onions!’ – and by that, I mean peeling back the layers; discovering from, learning from, collaborating and co-creating with the people we want to engage – only then will we speak our truth and those of the community.
As Community Engagement Manager, it’s my job to build on, cultivate and nurture our community connections, develop our grassroots approach to engagement, and champion opportunities for co-creation and collaboration at a community level to maximise the impact we can achieve.
I really like how this diagram from The Scottish Standards of Community Engagement demonstrates how each strand in turn leads to impact – and in Magpie’s case, empowerment & positive behaviour change.
The VALUES of Community Development are continuously threaded through our Community Engagement work too, calling for people to lead, inspire and move forward together.
All Hand In brings into focus Collective Action to address the issue of Climate Change, collecting ‘Pledges’ from those who have a shared concern about the environment – together channelling more power and gravitas!
Social Justice respects and upholds the rights of everyone, to open doors and allow access to equal opportunities – Winter Friends signposts supporters to find key services for those at risk of loneliness and isolation through winter. Championing organisations that can help with malnutrition, heating/energy bills, reputable money-advice services, staying active for the over 60s, family services for young children, digital inclusion, Free school meals and many more. All under the umbrella of looking out for others, to help reduce isolation and give people access to those opportunities they deserve as a human right to keep them from suffering during wintertime.
For Covid Explained we addressed and valued the diverse nature of society and connected with communities that can sometimes be difficult to reach, promoting Equality and Anti-discrimination, to hear those voices often unheard in society.
Community Empowerment is always a goal, to enable communities to increase control over their own lives, harnessing and valuing their lived experience, and passing on knowledge through inspiration and motivation. Our JUMP campaign implements School and Community ‘green-space’ Fun Days in Bradford, which have now developed in to self-sustained events with a dedicated team making connections with the local schools and giving families opportunities to understand what part ‘movement & play’ can take on in their own lives, passing knowledge on to the next generation and more.
Alongside all this is ‘Working and Learning together’ which builds on existing knowledge & skills and values reflective practice. Walk it. Ride it. developed from key insights taken from members of the community keeping travel diaries, learning from their travel experiences, personal perspectives and reasoning to inform the initial creation and launch of the campaign.
When it comes to the ‘beating heart’ of community engagement, we shall continue nurturing, building upon and strengthening our connections with trust and integrity, keeping true to our ethos of delivering social good, leaving a lasting positive impact on the world – one person, one campaign at a time – it’s an exciting time to develop Community Engagement!