The Clarice Pears community hub: what's it all about?

SHW's community engagement coordinator Susan Grant reports back on further steps forward in the development of our important public engagement space and community hub in the Clarice Pears building, and invites colleagues to help name the space...

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Collaboration at The Clarice Pears

Gillian Bell of the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit told us about the public engagement space in the Clarice Pears building at the school’s professional services away day on 14 September 2022 and I shared some of our stakeholder consultation around the space and the proposed "community hub". We got some great ideas for names for the hub at this session – more on this below – and started to think about activities which happen in the school that we could open to our local community once we are in the Clarice Pears such as the Macmillan Coffee Morning or British Sign Language Café.

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Co-production and the Clarice Pears Community "Hub"

It was great to see collaboration in action too at our recent Co-Production workshop on 30 August 2022 with the coming together of some of the representatives from external organisations who have been involved in the Clarice Pears consultation so far and members of our community engagement with research group from across the School. Susan Paxton from Scottish Community Development Centre who was facilitating the session emphasized that "co-production takes commitment, trust, capacity, resources, and an acceptance that we don’t know where we will end up, but we know we will get there together".

We focused our discussion at the co-production workshop on the hub which will enable us to extend the reach of our public engagement through the following proposals which have come from our consultation with external organisations and our community engagement with research group:

  • "Outreach and community engagement" by staff and students to build relationships with groups and support more people to be able to come into the hub to use the space, engage with the events programme and get involved in research.
  • Host networking events online and in person with community, voluntary, third sector, statutory organisations and social innovations but open to all to share "information about health and wellbeing services in communities" with each other and our researchers and students to match interests and needs with offers and expertise.
  • Community use of meeting and event space, the IT suite, laptop loaning and learning opportunities as part of the Clarice Pears events programme that "compliments existing provision locally in terms of facilities and services". 
  • Advice clinics to "support community organisations undertaking their own research" i.e. on gathering and analysing data, writing funding applications, drawing on "up-to-date current intelligence around health improvement research and health protection information" to evidence need, measuring impact to funders and signposting to other resources available
  • The hub was seen as a connection between "the academic world and practical lived-experience" and there is enthusiasm with the potential of this space for "two-way support and advice" but an acknowledgment that this is going to need improved communications, resources to make ideas come to life and an acceptance to "share power".

Photo of a group of people sitting round a table chatting

Clarice Pears public engagement space

At each of the community engagement workshops, we have discussed names for the hub. Although it is a virtual mechanism to connect community and university in all the ways described above, we also do have the physical public engagement and knowledge exchange space on the ground floor of the Clarice Pears so there have been lots of different suggestions which include that notion too.

In our public engagement and knowledge exchange space there will be:

  • Interactive exhibits around the theme of "Glasgow’s Health" and representing our three research themes of Data science, Determinants of health and health inequalities and Solutions focused research.
  • Temporary research exhibitions showcasing the impact of our research and a research tower for physical exhibits.
  • Talks, seminars, and workshops with partner on health-related themes
  • Patient and public involvement events and lived experience panels

Naming the Clarice Pears "Hub"

We had a long-list of suggestions for a name for the community space-hub from our consultation with stakeholders and members of the community engagement with research group, public engagement and knowledge exchange workstream, professional services staff and SHW management group have narrowed these down to a short-list of six. Please vote for your favourite of these six via this online form by Wednesday 05 October 2022. Your votes will be added to public votes from the Bank Holiday Brunch: Building Healthy, Happy, Sustainable Communities event as part of the ARCadia Festival on Monday 26 September 2022. I look forward to sharing the name for our hub in next month's HAWKEYE!

Susan Grant 
Community Engagement Coordinator 
School of Health and Wellbeing


First published: 15 September 2022

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