Cornerstone House Centre is making available a number of free online community training resources to support citizens and organisations across Greater Cumbernauld during the recovery phase of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Six home learning capacity building presentations are being released as part of Cumbernauld CAN (Community Anchor Network), each with a different focus to assist individuals and neighbourhoods in developing skills, knowledge and understanding to help society progress from lockdown back to normal life over the coming period.
The first two of these are courses entitled Unprecedented: Adapting Voluntary Action During COVID Conditions and Zooming in on Meetings: Managing Groups Remotely. These can be emailed to local people and groups as of today upon request, with sample content available by clicking on the highlighted links.
The learning objectives of Unprecedented: Adapting Voluntary Action During COVID Conditions include to understand the main issues arising from the ongoing pandemic, to focus on what can still be achieved in and by communities during this time and to consider how to improve and adapt delivery methods to meet the challenges of a public health threat.
Meanwhile, Zooming in on Meetings: Managing Groups Remotely intends to equip leaders to support those experiencing isolation using social media platforms. Outcomes consist of understanding how video conferencing can assist community and voluntary groups, being aware of common ICT issues and how to overcome them and being able to use video conferencing technology to communicate effectively when working with others.
Other digital tools being provided later this year include Respecting Diverse Responses to COVID, which seeks to help people respect mainstream, sceptical and opposing views to COVID-19, and Virtual Support: Responding to COVID Social and Self Isolation, which centres on using new technologies to deliver support and combat loneliness.
The final presentations in the series, also to be published this year, are headed Who’s Who in Cumbernauld: COVID and Beyond and Cumbernauld and COVID: What Have We Learned? Respectively, these will communicate information on key service providers and decision makers and capture what worked, what didn’t and what might be kept in relation to community responses to the pandemic.
COVID-19 has already revealed so much about communities in Greater Cumbernauld. For one thing, it has shown that as people we are all far more vulnerable than many of us thought, but as communities we can be more resilient.
We have seen how those who are most vulnerable to the impacts of major global health crises are often those in the most deprived areas, including neighbourhoods with high levels of unemployment, poor underlying health and austerity cuts exacerbating their vulnerability.
But coronavirus has also shown us the power and potential of grassroots and community-led action, which is what Cumbernauld CAN chooses to focus on. In this respect, we have seen inspiring examples of how local community and voluntary organisations have stepped up to the plate by working collaboratively and creatively to meet the huge challenges that the pandemic has posed and continues to pose. Mary McNeil, Development Manager at Cornerstone House Centre, said:
“What happened to Cumbernauld citizens, families, communities, workplaces and schools during the pandemic was devastating, thought-provoking, frightening, humbling, unifying and isolating on so many levels.
“Homes became entire worlds, working parents juggled daytime teaching, college students studied from childhood bedrooms and thousands started conversing via Zoom and other online apps and methods for the first time.
“Thankfully, with the vaccine programme well underway and many restrictions lifted in recent weeks by Scottish Government, some light is now emerging at the end of a long, dark tunnel. However, what is clear is that it will take time, endeavour and a lot of support to help the Greater Cumbernauld area recover.
“From how we continue to fight the pandemic, to what the new normal for our economy, environment and communities should look like, significant decisions need to be taken in the coming weeks and months with consequences that will be felt for years and decades.
“That’s why Cumbernauld CAN has today begun publishing a portfolio of new training materials specifically designed to benefit local people, organisations and communities as they start to go about the process of putting the constraints of the pandemic behind them.
“These user-friendly resources are free of charge and cover a range of topical subjects, including social isolation, mental health, digital inclusion, voluntary sector capacity, differing views about coronavirus and learning for the future. Each presentation contains around one to two hours of targeted learning, which can be undertaken in one sitting or split into smaller segments.
“The content seeks to be of value to many types of organisations and partnerships across the public, voluntary and private sectors. It is also suitable for a diverse range of individuals, including family members, older adults, those facing physical, learning or mental health challenges, carers, people in minority groups and people experiencing anxiety about reintegrating into face-to-face settings.
“Ultimately, Cumbernauld CAN hopes to achieve increased community resilience and bolstered intelligence across the local area in relation to moving forward with and from COVID-19 through the learning made available.”
Cumbernauld CAN is a project of Cornerstone House Centre which aims to develop the connected capacity of the Greater Cumbernauld community. Supported by Scottish Government, it strives to enable local residents and organisations to work together to become better at responding to local needs.
Over the past 18 months, Cumbernauld CAN has been facilitating ways to help communities improve the place where they live. To this end, the initiative centres on the principles and objectives identified within Scottish Government’s Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015.
One of the project’s key successes during this time has been adopting Participatory Budgeting (PB) to distribute and make an impact through public funds. Saliently, a total of £43,912 has been dispersed across 55 community organisations in Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and the Northern Corridor since March 2020.
Moreover, through a range of interventions and training, Cumbernauld CAN has contributed to improving the organisation, professionalism and business acumen of several small to medium sized charities, social enterprises and community groups operating in Greater Cumbernauld. In particular, it has been prominent in helping a number of small, volunteer-led groups transform services from face-to-face to digital during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This training released today also intends to support North Lanarkshire Council, NHS Lanarkshire and other statutory bodies to consider how they can build back in Cumbernauld and surrounding villages, recognising their critical role in the COVID-19 recovery phase.
To receive access to Unprecedented: Adapting Voluntary Action During COVID Conditions, Zooming in on Meetings: Managing Groups Remotely and four other presentations once they are released, please contact Cornerstone House Centre on 01236 739220 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.