Green Hive is beginning an exciting new research initiative to help us explore the value of our work and identify new project areas which address the appreciation and anxieties that local people have for our changing Nairnshire environment. We will be recruiting and training a team of volunteer community researchers who will plan and deliver a research project over the summer and share their findings with the wider community. In the longer term, we hope that our community research volunteers will become embedded in our service, enabling us to continually monitor and reflect on our successes and discover new ways to improve that respond to our dynamic environment.
Green Hive is being supported by the British Science Association Highlands and Islands Community Climate Change Grant to work with Dr Louise Senior, an independent researcher, to carry out this project. She will be providing training and support to our volunteer community researchers to enable them to design and carry out the research. Louise says “I’m delighted to be working on this project with Green Hive. Rather than simply carrying out a one-off piece of research for the organisation, I’m sharing my knowledge and experience with their volunteers which leads to more equitable and sustainable outcomes all round. Firstly, it provides a range of skills for the volunteers that they will be able to use in other areas of their life; secondly, it provides a bank of research competent volunteers for Green Hive to draw on in the future; and finally, because the research is community led rather than researcher led, its findings should be of direct benefit to Green Hive and the research participants.”
The initial two-day training for volunteer community researchers will take place on the 18th and 25th June. Trainees will learn interview, focus group and participant observation skills and will also be introduced to research ethics and data protection. They will collaboratively plan their research project and receive ongoing support and training during the summer to collect, analyse and share their data.
Caroline Woods, Volunteer and Events Officer comments “We know our volunteers do amazing work, whether they are spending their time at our community workshop, in their local communities or out in Nairn's green spaces - we're really chuffed to be working with Louise Senior and our volunteers to find out what matters to you when it comes to Nairn's community and environment, what inspires you to take action? The results of this project will help us plan out our future events and activities, shaping them around your priorities and ensuring we keep offering rewarding and fulfilling volunteer opportunities in Nairn”
Neil Mapes. Chief Operations Officer comments “Green Hive is committed to gaining a better understanding of the impact of our work on the people and the environments across Nairnshire. We are very pleased to be working with Louise Senior who is leading this research work for us and offers new and exciting volunteering roles to our existing activities. We hope to be clearer about the benefits that people experience as well as their perceptions and concerns about our changing natural environment. The volunteer researchers will ensure our future activities remain grounded in local experiences and ideas.”
If you are interested in participating in the training to become a volunteer community researcher, you can book your place here.