Diane Booth – Community Champion
Diane Booth is a happily married 46 year old woman who lives in Renfrew. She is a mother of 4 children with 5 grandchildren and has been a community activist for 25 years. Despite very difficult challenges Diane has faced in her own personal life she has found the time to volunteer in many interesting projects over the years as she is passionate about helping people and her community.
Examples of projects Diane has worked with include volunteering with Renfrewshire Credit Union, a Pre 5 Gymnastics Coach in Moorpark Family Centre and organising a Toy Library which enabled parents to hire out toys for their children, again at Moorpark Family Centre. For her own personal and professional development Diane has also participated in numerous adult education classes such as healthy eating, physcology, arts and crafts, sewing and food hygiene.
In 2010, Diane was a Youth Worker at Moorpark Youth Centre and every day she went to Trentos Cafe for breakfast. It was here she discovered a leaflet advising that Big Lottery were looking to invest circa. £1M into the local community via a funding stream called ‘Our Place’.
Big Lottery needed to consult with the community to identify a shared vision for delivering change in the area and Diane participated in these consultation exercises where project ideas were generated from the community, one of which included activities for families.
At this point Diane formed Moorpark Parents Support Group which consisted of two people but it grew quickly, became a constituted group enabling them to apply for funding. The group soon broke away from Moorpark Family Centre to become independent which is when they changed their name to Our Place Our Families.
In 2011, Our Place Our Families successfully secured three years funding from ‘Our Place’ Big Lottery to provide low cost family fun days and a wide range of family activities bringing the local community together. People can also go along on certain days to complete their CV’s, and conduct job searches. Alternatively people can be signposted to other organisations such as Money Advice Works, Adult Literacies etc. The organisation is run by three part time employees, directors and volunteers. Diane is one of the part time employees and her job title is Family Support Worker but she also spends a lot of her free time volunteering for the project.
Whilst Diane is the driving force behind the success of Our Place Our Families, she recognises it has been a team effort all the way. As such Diane actively encourages staff, directors and volunteers to take advantage of bespoke training courses and also encourages group members to attend events and meetings to increase knowledge and confidence which is an area she sees real progress which she is proud of.
During the next 5 years Diane and her team plan to build on their success and replicate their model of service delivery in other areas in Renfrewshire to ensure other communities get the same level of support that people have in Renfrew.
This story only serves to confirm that Diane is a true community champion.