Who is a ‘Neighbourhood for Learning’ champion?

A ‘Neighbourhood for Learning’ Champion is a local resident of the ward who is trained and supported by the LOG to listen to the priorities and views of local residents. This knowledge will help make the neighbourhood t a better place in which to work, live and enjoy. Any Claremont resident who is interested in improving housing issues in the neighbourhood can be a community engager. You don’t need any particular training or skills.

Some LOGs may decide to use other names for their champions such as community researchers or community engagers. If you think that the word “champion” is not meaningful or clear in your area you can discuss with your LOG a most appropriate name.

· What is the role of Champions?

CLAHRC Champions can:

- contribute to engagement activities on behalf of the CLAHRC;

- contribute to specific pieces of research/evaluation on behalf of the CLAHRC;

- be part of the LOG.

Champions do not have to be directly involved in all the activities.

· Could you give some examples of what I will be asked to do?

If you choose to participate in activities that aim to understand the views and priorities of other residents, you and a group other residents will be given adequate training and support by the LOG throughout the activity.

There are many different ways to talk and listen to people. Depending on the issues we want to consider, community researchers, in pairs, might ask questions to other residents or facilitate small group discussions at the local COREN organisation. You may be asked to take pictures of your neighbourhood or learn to use visual tools such as maps of the area. These techniques are fun and also help to trigger discussions and make residents at ease. Do not worry, you will receive training and support and you will have a said in what is the best way to gather people’s views.

Some community engagers might not feel comfortable talking to other residents but may want to be involved in other roles. These roles include:

- helping to organise a public community event;

- write letters, or reports to local newspapers and media;

- write a report about findings;

- giving talks at meetings of community groups in Claremont and beyond to make residents’ voices hear and louder’

- putting posters and distributing leaflets.

- acting as a secretary and taking notes in meetings 

· Will you be recording or document our research activities?

Yes. The discussions you have in your role as a community champions are important.  Therefore, these activities will be most likely recorded or documented to act as an aide-memoire. Not all the activities will need to be recorded or documented but you can discuss this during your team meetings. If you ever want to have the tape recorder turned off, or you don’t want some specific fragments of the discussions to be documented, you can say so at any time.

· How will you be using any materials produced through the research activities?

Photographs, maps, drawings, flip charts or any materials produced through the research activities are important and will be shared with other community researchers and the LOG. These materials are precious to understand what is currently happening in the neighbourhood and discuss how an existing resilience related activity could be improved. There is also the possibility that some of these materials will be included in public exhibits or presentations. If you ever want to remove your name or any information that can identify you in these materials you can say so at any time and information will be removed.

· Confidentiality and anonymity of community champions and residents

If you wish to remain anonymous you can pick a made-up name to use during the research activities so nobody can identify you.

If you choose to participate in activities that require asking questions to other residents, you will receive training from qualified professionals on confidentiality and safety. Training will give you the information and skills needed to reassure other residents three key issues:

- No risk of harm. Taking part in the resilience project will not put them at risk for physical, social or economic harm.

-  Confidentiality. If they wish they can remain anonymous. Their name and any detail that can identify them will be removed.

- Right to stop the conversation at any point. They are free to not answer any question or stop their participation at any moment, for any reason.

· What is the time period of commitment?

There is no time commitment for the LOG; you can attend as many meetings as you wish.   One-time research or engagement activities will have specific time scales that will have to be agreed with the local COREN facilitator.

· If I have signed up for research opportunities, am I authorised to participate in other activities?

Yes, you can. Speak with your local COREN facilitator and s/he will be happy to give you information when opportunities come. Having said that, COREN is committed to be as inclusive as possible and, if there is high demand, we will try to allocate opportunities fairly.

· I am interested but I am not sure I can commit to participate in research and engagement, how can I still be informed?

You might not want to become a champion but still might want to be involved in some ways. For instance, you can still play a role in snowballing information, attending one-time activities or just staying in the loop with everything that is happening. Just send us an email with your full name, home address, postcode and contact information under the subject heading “want to stay in the loop”. Let us know if you want us to contact you by email, snail mail or msm. Alternatively, you can visit your local COREN agency and let the facilitator know that you are interested. You can unsubscribe at any time.

· Can I stop being a community champion?

You are free to stop being a community champion at any time, for any reason.

· What if I have any questions about my role or the resilience project?

If you ever have any questions about your role or the resilience, you are most welcome to contact your local COREN agency (Table or hyperlink).

· Are there any risks involved with taking part in the activities? Will I feel uncomfortable?

Taking part in the activities of the resilience project should not put you at risk for physical harm. You may feel uncomfortable asking questions to other residents, taking pictures or using other visual tools such as maps. This is ok and you can discuss any concerns with your local COREN agency. Further, you will receive training from qualified professionals and support throughout the project. You do not have to participate in activities that make you feel uncomfortable.

· Has this project been approved by Lancaster University?

Yes. This project and all its activities engaging residents have been approved by the Ethics Board of the Faculty of Health and Medicine at Lancaster University.

· How do I sign up for participating in the project?

Contact your local COREN facilitator and s/he will make sure you are welcomed on board and informed