Community Development – I thought I would just pick a day, and show what I have got up to, but that proved a little challenging as no two days are the same and I wanted to say it all! This is what I enjoy about this role.
The day often starts with reacting to emails I have received; these can be from my colleagues regarding our office processes and procedures or a request to write a blog, post something on Facebook or send out an email to all of our contacts. I could also receive emails from a potential hirer about available slots for their event or activity and what support we can offer, our residents associations about current topics we need to discuss and work together on, a partner organisation or group that we are working with and possibly delivering a joint initiative, the management groups, our residents, our volunteers the list goes on and on.
I also make many calls, and receive many calls. I have meetings with our management group, project meetings, meetings with possible project partners and potential volunteers and potential hirers. I offer volunteer opportunities to our wonderful volunteers throughout the year and I have created a volunteer programme, delivered once a quarter throughout the year. This keeps our volunteers informed and up to date with what is going on, where we are headed etc. We rely on our volunteers for many things and as we move into the Water Tower we will want more volunteers to help us in the office.
I support many people that have a great idea and just need a little help getting this off the ground, this support could be getting them a professional flyer created, making sure their new idea is advertised within our quarterly What’s on publication, I could support the room hire for the first three session so that they can build numbers to ensure the activity is self-sustainable. But I can also see if they have thought things through and they have a good plan. We have worked with many different people and have some knowledge of what could work and what needs to be done to ensure success. There are so many people with such great ideas out there, and sometimes we just need to work together to get things started.
I work with our residents associations on both Graylingwell Park and Roussillon Park; they are the eyes and ears of our local area and do fantastic work at the roots of our communities.
We also have great connections to some statutory group, the voluntary sector, the universities etc, so we can often see how we can all achieve our goals by working together.
The free activities we provide for the local residents is a great bonus to all and such a wonderful position to be in. We offer Youth work, a NEET project, Community Cafés, IT Community Clubs, a Community Business Club , Kids Holiday Clubs, Community events, BBQ’s and the yearly Summer Garden Party.
I deliver a regular weekly Community Café between 10 and 12 at The Community Hall Roussillon Park and today we were visited by Brenda Jackson from Careline Chichester. Brenda came along and explained to myself and a few residents about what services they provide. This was an eye opener for me as you always think their services are for old people, this is not the case. Brenda had some wonderful stories of how the service has helped so many people. At the heart of their service is the person, they do so much more than offering 24hr assurance that should something happen someone is there, they get to know their clients and can tailor their help accordingly. They have developed some very helpful pieces of equipment for families worried about a loved one wandering off, or falling over when no one is about. Even children use the services if they are caring for a relative; they have help at the touch of a button, someone who knows them and their situation. Brenda and her team do an amazing job.
We often try and have different people visiting us on a Friday or Saturday at our Community cafes, our local PCSO sometimes pops in, our management group, the local housing association come in, local residents pop by and get to know each other and share their skills. One popped by today and showed us her beautiful handmade Christmas cards.
I never know what I will be working on or reacting too next, but good Community Development is about listening, enabling and empowering. I hope I achieve that as helping people is something I enjoy immensely.