Having spent many months building a relationship of trust in the community and offering help when it was asked for, our Community Animator became aware of tensions arising between residents of two small villages which had come together in response to the pandemic.

She offered a listening ear, and heard their issues. It appeared that the two groups had different priorities and different visions for the future, and they had become stuck in quarrels and power struggles.

The Community Animator hosted sessions with each of the groups where she encouraged them to focus on what they wanted rather than what they didn’t want. She encouraged them to discover what was strong in their own community, and to grow their own vision.

As a result of this the village has (with some support from us) completed a community asset transfer for a disused NHS facility and is in the process of creating a Community Hub. Local children are painting pebbles to decorate the outdoor area, and anyone with a skill is being encouraged to put it to use to transform the run down facility.

The other village is now coming together to sustain the “neighbour helping neighbour” principle which became so important to them during the pandemic. This group have asked Strathcarron Community team to share their expertise and to support them in their ambition to make the village a place where people can live well with deteriorating health, right up to the end.