The art of engagement

A new exhibition will be visiting towns in the Stewartry next week featuring paintings, poetry and photographs inspired by local people who took part in an groundbreaking consultation, run by Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway, on the future of health and social care in the area.

With the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014 requiring Health Boards and Local Authorities to integrate their health and social care services, local teams and professionals across health and social care are working together to deliver quality, sustainable care and services resulting in improved outcomes for people using these services.

A Third Sector spokesperson said: “The aim of the consultation was to give people who live and work in Stewartry the opportunity to help develop the Stewartry Health and Social Care Locality Plan.

Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway was commissioned to run an extensive engagement programme, which it produced and implemented between October and December 2015, taking an innovative approach to ensure as many people as possible participated in, and engaged with, the process.

“As part of its creative approach, Third Sector Dumfries and Galloway recruited local artists: Anne Errington, Blackie, Sara Lockwood and Emily Tryon; photographer Phil McMenemy; Sheena McCurrach; Cate Ross; Katharine Wheeler, and Tony Bonning, to capture the feelings and emotions of participants, from service users and their families, to carers, community groups and staff across the health and social care partnership, in paintings, poems, sketches, photographs and film.

“The flexible approach provided an opportunity to engage with, and listen to, a wide range of groups and individuals, particularly those who do not normally feel able to engage. Their views and thoughts, which have helped to inform and shape the final version of the Stewartry Health and Social Care Locality Plan, have been documented in a user-friendly booklet to support the feedback to local people and communities.”

Meanwhile the artwork they inspired will be on show in an exhibition roadshow which will be stopping off at:

* Dalbeattie Town Hall Car Park on Tuesday, April 12, from 10am-12noon

* Castle Douglas Community Centre, on Tuesday, April 12, from 2-4pm

* Gatehouse Health Centre, Wednesday, April 13, from 10am-12noon