Queensland Stay On Your Feet® - Toolkit Phase 2 Community planning meetings
Community planning meetings
This section describes how the Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project used community meetings to:
- introduce the project - introductory meetings
- obtain community support for the project - 'getting started' meetings
- plan what would happen in the community - community planning meetings
- review progress on the community action plans - community progress meetings.
When planning community meetings, try attending meetings of other community groups that are already scheduled to inform people about your project/program, rather than holding additional meetings and expecting people to come to them . By attending established meetings, people don't have to decide which meeting to attend . The Rural Chronic Disease Initiative projects found this approach very useful .
In 2001, the Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project held introductory community meetings to introduce both the project and the project officer to key stakeholders and older people in the project catchment area.
At the meeting, information about falls prevention was provided using examples of other successful programs such as the New South Wales Stay on Your Feet® program. Contact details of stakeholders who indicated that they were interested in the project were collected .
Planning for 'getting started' meetings
Research conducted by the Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project was used to provide an understanding of the target group, organisations and the community before any meetings were held. The research included the introductory meetings, the 2002 community stocktake survey and the baseline levels of knowledge, attitudes and skills collected from the Wide Bay/Burnett community in a computer assisted telephone interview (CATI) survey conducted in February 2002. This research identified issues that could negatively impact on people's involvement in the project, for example: a lack of time to be involved, existing negative attitudes about preventing falls .
To motivate people to attend:
invitations were sent to those who were interested at the introductory meetings
invitations made it clear that you didn't need to be an 'expert' to attend and encouraged people to bring a friend
meeting locations were varied and meeting days/times were held to fit in with other community events and regular commitments as much as possible
venues were neutral and had universal access
easy to understand guiding principles for the meeting process were developed and distributed with invitations and handed out at the meetings .
Holding 'getting started' meetings
The 'getting started' meetings initiated the community-based planning process. While these gatherings followed a formal meeting style with a set agenda, they were run in an informal and relaxed way. Each participant received a resource kit that contained information about the project, resources and order forms. This kit formed the basic resource for all future community planning meetings.
The aim of these initial meetings was to identify local resources, needs, and gaps relating to addressing the main risk factors for falls in older people. At the meetings, information was shared concerning the community stocktake and CATI survey results, latest falls prevention research, other successful falls prevention programs, and existing resources relating to falls risk factors and falls education. Groups were asked to make initial decisions about priority areas for the local planning process and to achieve group agreement about the planning process and next steps .
Using a forum style for the meetings enabled people to contribute to the planning process by either attending or feeding back through the meeting records . Throughout the project, this meeting format was used and the guiding principles became an essential tool for future meetings .
To assist with your planning, the following 'getting started' meeting materials are available for you to use:
The Queensland Stay on Your Feet Wide Bay/Burnett trial project held nine local community planning meetings, with the aim of developing community action plans.
At these meetings, priorities for each area and relevant strategies to address falls and healthy active ageing were identified and written into a plan. All plans focused on a range of awareness and information activities and resources, and encouraging and promoting opportunities for increased physical activity . The plans were distributed to each organisation on the mailing list (1,300 contacts). The plans became the central focus for the project and were taken to all training sessions, displays, expos and events. This allowed the community to focus on implementing the plans.
Community action plans were produced for the following four areas:
- Bundaberg Health Service District Area
- Fraser Coast Health Service District Area
- North Burnett Health Service District Area
- South Burnett Health Service District Area.
To assist with your planning, the following community planning meetings materials are available for you to use:
- Community planning meetings: Introduction letter
- Community planning meeting: Feedback form
- Community planning meeting: Action list
- Community planning meeting: Action plan