There are 17 districts in Heerhugowaard. In 2008 public services in Heerhugowaard set up a project in cooperation with organisations of public health and non-commercial house rental, the Salvation Army and representatives of the people living in the Rivierenbuurt, a problem area.
The main aim of the project was to gain more insight into the problems and environment of citizens with severe (social and financial) problems. The idea was to organise a one-day conference where policymakers, experts, social workers and citizens could meet and find out more about each other.
This project aims to give the policymakers an opportunity to talk to people with severe problems and give them a very special day - ‘A day never to forget’. A group of 35 expert staff members and managers were matched as a ‘coach’ to a partner of the target group representatives. Each coach picked his partner at the start of a memorable day. There was a day programme with workshops, lunch, performances by a drum band and a choir, dinner and a final ceremony. With the help of a questionnaire, the coaches found out more about the problems of their partners, the help he/she requested, the contacts he/she had at official bodies and what he/she needed or was lacking regarding the communication with public bodies and social services. After that, the coaches had six months to guide the people to help them to solve their problems. The results of their work have not yet been evaluated.
|Award category:||citizen involvement|
|Sector:||Employment, labour related affairs and gender equality|
|Type of activity:|
|Keywords:||Poverty, social services, citizen dialogue|
|Short English description:||The main aim of the project was to gain more insight into the problems and environment of citizens with severe (social and financial) problems|
|Organisation:||Municipality of Heerhugowaard|
|Other applicants:||Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania (MES), Telecommunications company TEO LT, AB|
|Level of government:||local level|
|Size of organisation:||>100|
|Number of people involved:|
|EU membership:||EU member|