We have developed good working relationships/partnerships with many other local organisations and groups (such as Dunbar Arts Trust, Dunbar Community Woodland Group, Dunbar Harbour Trust, John Muir Birthplace Trust, Dunbar Trades Association, local schools and community councils etc.) as well as with East Lothian Council and the East Lothian Community Planning Partnership. A significant outcome of this has been the development and adoption of the East Lothian Environment Strategy which is now starting to inform enabling policies within East Lothian Council and other community planning partners.
Our engagement with schools shows that our relocalisation agenda offers fertile ground for enhancing school and community links while delivering the ‘Curriculum for Excellence’ and we will be building on this in the future.
Overall, we believe that project has helped to enhance community capacity in Dunbar & District in a number of ways, which we consider to be crucially important:
- We are better able to assess needs and plan for change, using e.g. action-based research
- The skills and confidence of local volunteer-run organisations and projects have been enhanced
- There is a much broader based participation in community matters than ever before
- The community has enhanced confidence and capacity to manage & create new initiatives and we are in a better position to support this
- There is improved local networking and exchange, particularly through use of the internet
A large number of people have become involved in a wide range of practical projects that we have initiated or supported and it is clear that there is plenty of enthusiasm for practical action to build a strong and resilient community. There is undoubtedly a raised awareness of the inevitability of change and also of the fact that this could be a positive opportunity to create a more vibrant and satisfying community in which to live.