Giving a day for one’s community, Mike Wilson

THE LOGIC of turning this idea into a nationwide phenomenon requires the relatively modest start of a single community offering itself as a pilot project.

The thinking behind Give a Day is to identify a single day during the year, when the community comes out to improve the look of their place.

You might call it a ‘Gala Day with the paintbrush’, making it part-urban renewal and part-party.

Key to any Give a Day event would be people who know what their doing; in other words, tradespeople willing not only to donate their time but also their knowledge (primarily to any young people who might have volunteered).

Young people would occupy two roles: not only helping out on the day itself, but deciding which proposals be worked on (proposals could be submitted by the general public, to be voted on by school pupils).

Generating local publicity for a pilot project ought not to be too challenging, not least if the local newspaper was prepared to become a partner.

And, similarly, a partnership could be established with a materials and equipment supplier, to provide the necessary kit.

And that would be almost that, with the day itself most likely beginning with small working parties heading out to carry out individual tasks. And then ending with a social gathering.

Except that there are details requiring to be addressed, including volunteer recruitment, child protection, health and safety checks, press and publicity, and the recording of what has been achieved.

So, it’s not going to be an initiative that can necessarily be carried out without some (paid) admin support.

And from one town, to potentially dozens. A single day in the nation’s calendar.

And who knows what, after that? A conversation about some form of ‘national service’: anyone in favour of an enviro-corps?

Mike Wilson is a member of the Place Design Scotland team

Picture credit: Place Design Scotland

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