By Sean Meister
“Why have a meeting when you can have a party?”
David Derbyshire, community developer with the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton (SPRC), smiles widely as he explains the reasoning behind using a party and social events to truly spark community development.
“When it’s something like a block party, residents on the fringes, those who are hesitant, become engaged when they’re invited in to have a meal” he said. “They become part of the community.”
Derbyshire, along with Brent Browett from the City of Hamilton Public Health Services, was leading a group of staff, faculty and family medicine residents from the Department of Family Medicine on a neighbourhood bus tour of Hamilton.
Learning from the experiences of neighbourhoods involved in the Neighbourhood Action Strategy, the group was exploring how to use the assets within the department to partner with Hamilton neighbourhoods in their mission to become healthier places to live, work and raise a family.
During the three-hour tour, the group visited the Riverdale, McQuesten, Crown Point, Gibson/Lansdale and Beasley neighbourhoods of Hamilton. Hearing from residents of each area, they learned about initiatives that were developed and fostered by the neighbourhoods.
Article and image source: McMaster University Daily News