At the end of March tsiMoray held their annual conference for community organisations and the public to come together for sharing thoughts around community-led development in Moray. The theme for this year’s conference was around communities leading the change to help shape an economy that works for people, places as well as the planet. Here is what I took from the day.
The day offered a diverse programme of speakers, workshops and networking to build on a shared vision for a community-led wellbeing economy. In my capacity as the community development leader for Dufftown & District Community Association as well as being the deputy chair of the Moray Local Action Group, I was excited be one of the panel speakers to share my experience on the topic. Some of my key points involved how, on the ground, communities are identifying their priorities and embracing partnership working. Last year alone, over £250,000 was distributed through the Moray Local Action Group towards projects where communities identified what works and is important to them. Communities are also creating an economy that works for everyone through farmer’s markets, community transport initiatives, and community larders. This is an economy that is circular, local, and sustainable. Lastly, communities all around Moray and beyond are recognising and improving their assets. Whether it is a unique building, skills or relationships, these assets are important because they contribute to our sense of identity and pride of where we live.
I felt humbled to get the opportunity to hear the other panel speakers share their perspectives on community-led development. Former Welsh Government minister Jane Davidson spoke about their Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act, Jane Morrison outlined the core values of the Wellbeing Economy Alliance, Hannah Moneagle shared her experience of representing communities to be heard by decision-makers, and Philip Revell reflected on the future of the funding landscape at the National Lottery.
Our current challenges, such as climate change and inequalities, affect us all. The best way to find solutions that are creative, effective and fair is to get people from all generations, backgrounds, and experiences to join in and become changemakers. At the event were snippets of thoughts and ideas documented in a collage by Alexander Williamson. There was one in particular that really spoke to me. I have included a photo below for you to read it yourself.