Working in partnership allows you to reach new audiences and create a lasting legacy, even in short projects.

In Summer & Autumn 2016, Sniffer arranged and hosted eleven Scottish Government funded Climate Conversations engagement sessions. Based on the Climate Conversations Framework, developed by Climate Outreach, we lead groups of five to twelve participants through two discussion-based activities, focusing on people’s views on climate change and the potential actions we could take to address it here in Scotland. A key aim of our sessions was to reach people who did not frequently talk about climate change and give them the opportunity to become more involved in ongoing conversations on policy and action.

To achieve this aim, we approached a diverse range of community-facing organisations from across the country, focusing on those which did not consider climate action as their primary purpose, and arranged to co-host our sessions with them. Organisations we partnered with included: the Rotary Club, LGBT Youth Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Generations Working Together and Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire (ROAR).

By issuing invitations to the sessions through our CFOs’ existing trusted networks and fitting around regular meetings we were able to achieve a high attendance at our events, with 88 participants overall and ages ranging from 17-90. This included many who said they had rarely discussed climate change in the past. Feedback showed participants found the activities fun and enjoyable and would take more interest in discussions on climate change as a result. In addition, by collaborating with CFO staff members on the delivery of the workshops we ensured all activities were appropriate for the audience by taking account of any additional support needs, and we gave CFO staff hands on experience of the Climate Conversations method, allowing them to hold follow-up sessions with their wider networks. The organisations we worked with were all keen to take part and helped promote the project internally and through their social media channels, with the Scottish Wildlife Trust inviting Sniffer to present on Climate Conversations at their National Members Day.

Working in collaboration takes time and careful management, but the results in this case were clear: reaching and empowering new audiences, creating opportunities for follow-up and legacy, expanding professional networks, and sharing resources and learning.