Community events held on cold winter evenings are not often known for large turnouts. This was not the case for the Inspiring Communities Digby Community Consultation on February 20th.
The NSCC Digby Learning Centre was filled with 90 attendees representing the many diverse communities and heritage of the Digby area. Participants showed up, interested in data to be revealed from the Digby survey. Throughout the month of November, 27 locally hired Research Assistants collected 809 responses from local participants – an impressive 10% of the overall population.
“All of these themes affect and concern the communities represented here and the only way we can solve them is together – the amount of people here tonight just proves it.” – Participant
Once the data and major themes were presented, attendees had the choice to participate in a breakout group discussion, on one of the major themes, to discuss the data and better understand the concerns addressed from the survey as well as to identify next steps in further understanding how to address key issues. Local experts, volunteers and professionals in the community helped to link each theme, facilitated the group discussions and presented three highlights from their conversations to the larger group.
There was a sense of understanding of the need for unity throughout the evening and the energy felt there demonstrated the community’s desire for change. Many participants expressed curiosity about what the next steps for Inspiring Communities Digby will be. Jill Balser, Project Leader of Inspiring Communities Digby explained,”Events like this will help us fill the gaps with what information we’re missing. Our goal is to bring equal representation – we want to include people with lived experience of the issues in every conversation – agreeing on priority areas and deciding together which theme(s) to tackle. Once the individuals and focus groups involved narrow down the details and analyzing these complex themes, they will be better prepared to implement clear and concise projects that will create sustainable change.”
If you would like to keep up to date or participate at any level with the work of Inspiring Communities Digby, you can contact Michael Carty at email@example.com for more information.