“I like looking at what the community wants out of a project and turning those concepts into something useable and ergonomic yet inspired and enjoyable,’’ says Haydn
Meet Haydn Lock
Our Architecture and Building Design Guru
Why Helping The Community Makes Our Heart Beat Strong
Did you know Conversation Caravan works with eligible community groups and not for profit organisations for free?
It’s called our Heart Projects, where we work with the groups to provide advice relating to research, facilitation or engagement with their members and clients.
One such project we are involved with at the moment is Willow Lodge Bowls Club at Bangholme, south east of Melbourne.
The club is based within a retirement village of about 500 residents and they reached out to us to help attract more members and retain competitive bowlers. Willow Lodge Bowls Club spokeswoman Maureen Atwell said the club currently has 26 members plus social memberships, but they can’t always field enough competitive teams.
“Our club and the greens are beautiful and we’d like more members so that the club has an even better atmosphere and social calendar,’’ she said. “It will be interesting to know why people aren’t joining. We think that it is their health getting in the way, but we are not sure.’’
Conversation Caravan distributed a survey to all households at Willow Lodge to gauge their interest in the lawn bowls club and find out why some members have left and what would encourage new members to join. The data was then used to create an action plan for the club.
“Most of us have joined the bowls club because of our love of bowling, not because we want to run an organisation. It’s good to get some help and fresh eyes,’’ Ms Atwell said.
Conversation Caravan director Cindy Plowman introduced Heart Projects as she is passionate about helping community groups. “Community groups and not for profit organisations usually have the people to implement ideas, but not necessary the time or expertise to set the direction,’’ she said. “It also useful to have a second opinion, from an organisation that has experience in community related fields and is impartial to the individuals within a club or group, and the daily issues faced.’’
For further information and to apply, visit our website https://caravan.conversationco.com.au/heart-projects/
* images sourced from Willow Lodge Bowls Club Facebook Page
The Story Behind Our Props
When you work in the community engagement business, you need to stand out from the crowd.
One thing we love and do well at Conversation Caravan is a good prop.
It’s no surprise that our travelling caravan ‘April’ is a conversation starter but did you know we have other eye catching inventions?
Our newest is the Splash Zone, which was used at the YMCA Doveton Pool project and was a hit with families, grandparents and children alike.
Conversation Caravan director Cindy Plowman is the brains behind the props and her husband Drew brings them to life.
“You want people to take interest, then you need to make it look interesting and attractive but not so polished that they don’t feel welcome. It’s a balance,’’ according to Cindy.
“Sometimes by using a prop you are going to exclude a whole generation – oldies that think it’s too cool, or youngies that think it’s not cool enough. So you have to plan to attract these audience other ways.’’
Also among our expanding collection is the house, a super practical prop that creates a space for reflection. There is also the cube, a simple design that is light and extremely useful.
But Cindy says it’s the caravan which has proven to be the crowd favourite so far.
“Younger people associate it with events, families with holidaying and oldies with travelling around Australia. We hear so many times “I was only coming across to look at your van!” We say While you are here!’’
So Cindy, what’s your next creation?
“I want to create a recharge station for people to recharge their mind and their electronic devices. That is also a little green with outdoor plants and a space to sit that is kind of separate from us as well.’’
Watch this space.
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