During February and March 2017 we carried out a community engagement study, with help from Community Enterprise, it focussed on two strands:
- developing our engagement and relationship with the wide range of community groups across the Town, and
- identifying emerging local social enterprises.
Linlithgow has an active and diverse range of community groups with dedicated volunteers, which provides Linlithgow with a rich community life, with over 150 organisations in the Town covering a range of interests, sports and leisure pursuits, catering for all age groups. However it is clear that although some benefit from being connected to wider Town networks, there are opportunities for better communication and collaboration between groups to realise the potential of this great community asset.
Supporting Social Enterprises
Our Strategic Overview highlights our aim to help form and support new social enterprises which generate income and profits which can be retained within the community. The study was an opportunity:
- To identify existing local social enterprises,
- To explore future possibilities for creating new social enterprises,
- To examine what role LCDT could play in supporting these social enterprises.
The Trust as a Community Anchor Organisation
This study was funded as part of our Strengthening Communities funding from the Scottish Government. The overall aim for our Strengthening Community Funding is to help us become a more resilient and sustainable community anchor organisation.
Community anchor organisations “…are independent community led organisations with multi-purpose functions, which provide a focal point for local communities and community organisations, and for community services. They often own and manage community assets, and support small community organisations to reach out across the community.”
We recognise that strong and independent communities possess the ability to unite – and `hold together` offering a fragmented array of small voluntary groups a vehicle to champion collective interests. Experience has shown that, without reference to some independent local organisation, community representatives are too isolated to be effective.
The aim of this study was to identify the needs of the plethora of Linlithgow community groups, as well as emerging social enterprises, and help them communicate and work better together. The study was to identify required support for community activities to have the greatest impact for improving the Town, and the roles LCDT could play as a community anchor organisation.
To download the LCDT Board’s response to the Community Engagement Survey please click on the link below.