True to our desire to work relationally, Belong in Plymouth began as a conversation between Matt Bell (CEO of POP About Us – Plymouth Octopus and Rachel Silcock (Community Empowerment Operational Lead in Public Health).
From this conversation, coached by Mark Doughty of the Kings FundMark Doughty | The King’s Fund (kingsfund.org.uk) , the concept of having open transparent conversations and building relationships emerged.
Matt (always looking for the next best technical support) found Groups.io and our online network has grown from 2 to 224 and counting - a living, breathing network of organisations and citizens who aspire to work together, combatting social isolation, loneliness and exclusion from the top down and the bottom up..
Network growth has been strictly relational. There has been a gradual development of a network with aspirations to create a movement in Plymouth. A strap line was formed out of a participatory visioning workshop with members of the core team and other representatives of the VCSE - Belong in Plymouth - towards a city where no one feels forgotten.
Based on pilots from previous projects on Ageing Well and Phase 1 of the Health Communities Together programme, an emergent process of how to capture community conversations has been rigorously tested. Through open invitations, mainly through POP’s communication channels, participants were invited to attend 2 half day workshops on how to capture community conversations. These workshops were developed by Sky Space Community Researcher Training for Belong in Plymouth (sky-space.co.uk) and paid particular attention to holding a conversation, rather than conducting an interview.