Ahead South Ayrshire – Background Information
The Ahead South Ayrshire (ASA), is a CEIS Project that has operated in Ayr North since 2014. ASA project takes an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to improving outcomes for communities; exploring how peoples’ assets and skills can be supported to develop solutions to community issues. ASA was original funded through the Ayrshire and Arran NHS Endowment Fund. When this funding came to an funding was secured from Big Lottery and then match funding was received from the Scottish Governments Aspiring Communities fund,
The goal of the programme overall was to ‘improve mental health and wellbeing by building the communities’ social capital and connectedness’. A key principle was the belief that hidden talent and ability can be brought out in all communities. There are 4 Community Builders are allocated to individual area of Ayr North. They undertake early stage grass roots engagement to identify and encourage individuals to participate in new structures and activities to develop positive and constructive relationships.
The Community Builders have continued to build up good working relationships within the communities they are deployed in. They have regularly attended community groups, met with individuals on a one to one basis, created connections with other projects and professionals and supported residents to use their skills for the benefit of their community as well as creating opportunities for people to come together. Through conversations in the community the Community Builders have supported the start-up of various community groups.
The Community Builders also worked in partnership with other organisations to deliver local projects and encourage community participation through a Making Places Project and Tenants and Resident Associations. All the activities undertaken by Ahead (South Ayrshire) were through the conversations and connections that took place throughout the year and all have created space, time and opportunities for people to come together in their local community and use the assets and skills available to achieve what they want for their local area.
The Community Builders are supported by a the Tandem Development Worker (TDW), who focus on empowering local people through developing new skills and building networks to develop capacity, resilience and independence, so that they can take the lead in developing the services, assets and enterprises Ayr North needs.