Our Learning Communities
What Matters to You (WM2U) is a community-based systems change initiative working alongside families, practitioners, and senior leaders in two communities in Dundee and East Ayrshire. It aims to provide early support so that children and young people can flourish within their own communities.
This purpose has been a compelling driver for those who have been part of the Columba 1400 leadership experiences as community leaders, Changemakers or Senior Leaders.
We are in no doubt as to the passion for change and the expertise that exists to make it happen. As an approach to change that uses the voice of parents as a constant touchstone, WM2U can be adopted and adapted by a whole range of existing and new services and community activities, with the goal of making systems work better for the people they are there to serve. We also want to reach out to people who feel they already have this passion for change.
We also want to reach out to people who feel
they already have this passion for change.
Our “Grow as We Go” (GAWG) community is a way to join up those of you interested in implementing your values-in-action, alongside the WM2U Delivery Team and Learning Partners.
We have a mutual interest in WM2U and in learning about how best to make the impact we seek over the next three years. We want to ‘Grow as We Go’ – literally to try things out, review how they are working and adapt to suit the changing situation.
As we work together in this way, we expect to develop a good understanding of local conditions, organisational and community priorities and values, what enables the changes we seek and what gets in the way. We are confident that sharing our learning in this way, together we will be more likely to achieve real and enduring change.
WM2U focuses on shifting public resources to offer support earlier,
thereby enabling children to flourish within their own families.
Ultimately, we want to have practice-based evidence to show how to shift the conditions that keep such problems in place, based on the ups and downs of our own experience.
As a network, GAWG will be a good source of peer support and practical insights. We know it is important to get started, see what energy it sparks and build from there, so the WM2U delivery team and learning partners will co-host the initial meetings and work with the participants to co-create the right conditions for people to take part in the way that they wish to.
We hope it will be a lively and supportive space for people to come together ‘side-by-side’. We are inspired by the analogy of a ‘festival’ where the responsibility of the hosts is to open the ‘field’, set up some ‘tents’ and invite people to come and to choose their own level of engagement, with occasional events or ‘campfires’ to draw a larger crowd.
The first learning community events are scheduled to take place in Dundee and East Ayrshire in late August 2021.
I’ve been given the opportunity through WM2U to have that voice and say ‘I think maybe something is needed in the community. This might help a lot of people.’ And they’re actually listening. They’re not dismissing it, they’re actually saying ‘aye, we kind of agree…’ That, in itself, is such a proud feeling for me. Not just to be heard, but to be appreciated.
Change in the community is not going to happen overnight. It’s all about gaining trust. You have to build that bond up with someone, get them to come in, have tea and chat, feel welcome, non-judgemental, informal, friendly, confidential, ‘just normal’. It takes time. We have to keep the chat going.
I want to be involved in the mental health, to give adults support with their children. There’s not enough out there, not enough services, I had to phone the CPN because things during lockdown got very tough….I felt as if I was just brushed under the carpet. I felt there just wasn’t enough support. That’s what I really want to be a part of. It’s extremely important for children and adults.