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Mapping Thurso - Asking the Community What Needs to Be Improved

22nd March 2019

Photograph of Mapping Thurso - Asking the Community What Needs to Be Improved

Thurso Development Officer, Joan Lawrie has been running a series of community consultation since taking up post with Caithness Voluntary Group under the Scottish Government funded Aspiring Communities programme in January. Joan has been speaking to users of Ormlie Community Association, Caithness Citizen's Advice Bureau, Thurso Community Cafe and speaking to various groups existing in the town. The key aim of the project is to consult with those in our communities who are experiencing inequality and return this information to the Caithness Community Planning Partnership in order to empower the community in shaping our area from identified priority needs.

As part of the community consultation being completed in Thurso an event is being organised by Joan on Tuesday March 26th at Thurso Youth Club where residents, groups, service providers and agencies are invited to come along and help to map Thurso. A large wall filling map of the town has been designed and will ask those attending to consider among other topics the facilities, services and activities available for health and wellbeing. How individuals get around the town, what is good about Thurso, what is bad about Thurso and what do people feel needs to be improved?

Joan said of the event, "This consultation exercise is firstly designed to be something different from normal. People can come along and draw on the map, stick notes to it, get creative if they want to or for those who choose to have a quieter voice simply tell me their viewpoint or pass over a note. Using a huge map of the town will allow those attending to see the town in context. For example, someone might enjoy a walk on Thurso Beach to help their mental wellbeing, but they live in a far off area of the town and experience a mobility issue to get there, so that's a barrier to their wellbeing. We can consider all of this by using our map and it gets people thinking in a way that they might not by having a questionnaire. Last year as Thurso Community Development Trust we received 1200 responses by asking
How good is our place? and this consultation event builds on that by looking at the town in a different way and asking those who may not have contributed then to get involved now in an accessible, innovative and informal way. In the past few months I have very clearly found that there is great work going on in the town but not everyone knows what is available and where. This gives us a starting point to mapping those in addition to consulting our community in a new way."

The event takes place at Thurso Youth Club on Tuesday 26th March 2019 as drop in sessions from 2pm - 7pm. Refreshments will be provided along with a friendly welcome and chat about Thurso. All are welcome to attend from community groups, facility and activity providers, residents of Thurso and anyone else who may be interested. Should further details be required please contact Joan via email to


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