This question is important because:
By knowing what services are already available for the people you want to work with, you can ensure that you don’t duplicate existing projects or schedule your activity to take place at a time when people are likely to be doing something else. (For example, you don’t want to set up a buggy walk for the same time as the local parent-toddler group.)
You can build partnerships with other organisations working with the same people. These partnerships may be able to help with signposting or referring people to your activities. You may be able to share resources and build trust in a community more quickly than you might if you were working alone.
- Try to find out whether any community mapping has already been done in the area you want to work in. This might be a geographical area or an area of expertise (eg mental health). Build on this existing map rather than starting from scratch, if possible.
- Your local Third Sector Interface [TSI] can help you find other organisations – find your TSI here: vascotland.org/find-your-tsi.
- If you are working in a particular geographical location, look in “sticky places” (places where most local people go fairly often – eg libraries, local shops, supermarkets, the park, the community centre, churches etc) to see what other services are advertised.
- Ask any potential participants you have contact with what other services they are aware of.
- Identify and make contact with leaders from the community who can support your activities and project.
- Make contact with any relevant projects or organisations you identify – explain what you hope to do, seek their advice and explore how you might be able to work together.
What already exists in our community? PDF