Consulting the professionals
Professional views of the community
Obviously, those who are employed for particular expertise are not the only key people in the community, and you will want to also find ways of engaging other key figures. However, in every community there are people who see it from particular and very valuable professional angles, often as outsiders, sometimes as locals. These include headteachers, doctors, health visitors, and local policing officers. Getting their input into the picture can have huge benefits.
In some communities there are better networks than others. In some places there may be personal contacts that you can build on. If it’s possible to invite a representative group to a meeting to discuss people’s perceptions of the main issues their profession encounters in the community, that can benefit all the participants.
If a meeting is impossible (because such people are inevitably very busy) then an email or postal consultation should still be possible. “The parish of St Mungo’s is carrying out a survey of community needs and opportunities. We should be very grateful if you, as a key professional working in this locality, could help us by five minutes to give us your views on … "