Participatory Action Research – Farmhouse

Participatory Action Research – Farmhouse project  – Common Good Awareness Project
The Fairfield Farmhouse is the building that sits within the community garden in Elder park. A trust was set up to renovate the building and bring it into community use. The project is being developed within and as part of the common good of the city. The vision for the use of the building is being created through developing an education policy that will encourage community members participation in every aspect of the process. In 2014, we, The Common Good Awareness Project, will facilitate a Participatory Action Research study to involve the community in the procedure of putting the building back into community use.
Here you can learn what that could entail and how to get involved.
Timeline

1. History2. Research Planning3. Rebuilding Farmhouse4. Wish ListContact
IMG_0111 north-elevation-s farm-impression-c

Some project history
• Idea project to build a £2.5 M. Community complex 2008
• Local folk  complained money should be spent elsewhere
• Garden established Early 2010
• Emphasis on Common Good status of park Commonweal
• Farmhouse Trust was set up January 2011
• Work carried out on building  2011/12
• Fire Damage to building 2012
• Work on Farmhouse vision 2013  PDF
• Common Good Awareness Project Name change from Legup 2013
• PAR project start march 2014

From the end of March we will start to build the PAR project.
• We will be talking to local people, different groups, schools further education institutes, youth clubs and such like.
• Finding organisations interested in collaborating this kind of work.
• Build ideas for sending out information and getting folk involved.
• Organising public meetings, workshops events
• There are a selection of different PDF  topics documentation that can be used to get into the swing of things.
• We wish to encourage  educators and trainers of all descriptions.
•  This will be a learning process for all involved and an emphasis will be on thinking afresh and developing new and interesting ways of doing this kind of work.

Ideas for proceeding
Genera sweep of community to measure interest and possibilities
Structure project around some variables to get started. Techniques can vary and change as we proceed
Connect to various groups and organisations. Set up connections and build on work that is already done
Introduce research to wider community to discuss how to proceed, issues interests, what folk care about most. Making sure that our young folk are in on the ground floor.
Make film an audio recordings of process to encourage participation and ways of being involved.
Events, meetings, workshops around different aspects of involvement.
There is no one procedure for gathering information or doing research. It is a case of getting started, trying things, reflection, then rethinking ideas. This is the essence of participation and inclusion. The participants can shape their own tools to work with.
The work around the PAR will inform how we go about organising the renovation of the building.
The development of skills from the research project will be the same kind of learning we will need for the redevelopment of the Farmhouse.

• On the building project we will start a process of training, planning and organising and finding out which skills folk wish to develop and learn is also a way to think differently about work.

• Skilling up local folk to to take on tasks on a variety of disciplines to build something for the community builds solidarity and encourages a sense of purpose.

• Getting young folk engaged in constructive work with responsibility, needs to be a high priority.

• Build a strategy for meaningful work for young folk by engaging them in doing things in the community that is real, tangible and relevant to their experience.

• Creating useful un–employment by using skills made redundant by unemployment and encouraging mentoring of our youngsters by the experience go oldsters and local tradespeople.

• Doing things for the common good is putting a different value on work, it is not just about money. It is about satisfaction of being part of something, passing skills and legacy for the next generation in creative work. Work that tends to sustain the human spirit rather than the mono value of money.

List of skills and interests needed. (And many more not on list) Tell us what you do or want to do and we will find a slot.
• IT skillslearning-signs
• Mentoring
• Events organisers
• History groups
• Fund raisers
• Administrators
• Facilitators
• Parent child groups
• Media skills
• Film
• Photography
• Sound
• Artists
• Writers
• Performers
• Geographers
• Meeting spaces:
•Halls, clubs, rooms, houses, places to hold small meetings and workshops.
City Strolls is a temporary setup for the project a dedicated user website will eventually put on line.
(if you have skills in this direction you are welcome to help)

If your group want to know more about the project or how to participate drop a line and we will be happy to do a presentation.

We appreciate time is always a factor, but we believe time spent on this project will be rewarding to participating groups and organisations own work.

Please use contact form, if you need any particular information. Let us know if  ideas could be presented better, differently and understandable. We would also like to contact folk who have been involved in PAR or things like it for advice, ideas, tips and such like.

If you would like to join a mailing list use form below. Meetings and events will hopefully be posted soon. (But bare with us, we are not paid workers but volunteers.)

In the common good
Project coordinator: Bob Hamilton

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