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I will be working with eight different rural communities across Swansea: Gower, Mawr, Pontardulais,Bishopston, Pennard, Fairwood, Llangyfelach and Penclawdd. I'll be recruiting, training and supporting a Community Organising Team (COT) in each ward. Each team will be made up of volunteers from the community with a passion for improving the place they live in and a drive to make positive change. What will the Community Organising Teams be doing? The COTs will help local people to debate and rate existing ideas for the ward and make suggestions of their own.
This engagement is primarily online but where appropriate, face-to-face and larger meetings will also take place. As more people engage with the process (and the more the better!), the most popular ideas will float to the top; then it gets really interesting! The ideas with the most support will be progressed into action with the assistance of the COTs. They will arrange projects for local people to pledge their support to online, and at meetings.
Where required, they will present results to groups or individuals for extra support to ensure the ideas become reality. The outcome of this process will be better connected communities, able to work together to improve their lives for themselves and ultimately more facilities and activities for the ward. I'm really pleased and proud to be a part of this project and I'm looking forward to helping people make a positive change. Keep checking in for progress updates - the journey starts in Pennard! If the idea of Community Organising appeals to you and you’d like to explore it further, drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
posted on 21 Jun 2017
Well October has come and gone along with our extra hour of daylight! I’ve had a great month meeting lots of new people in Pennard, Bishopston and Gower Wards. I’ve also been working closely with Gower Unearthed on our tree-planting project.
Last month, top of the list of Pennard Priorities was to plant a tree to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passing of Vernon Watkins. While investigeting the feasibility of this idea I discovered that both Pennard Primary and Pennard Library both also celebrate a 50th anniversary this year. With this in mind, we approached both the school and library to suggest we combine all three, strengthening the links between Vernon, the village and literacy. Both were really happy to be part of a great project and so our tree is to be planted on November 30th outside Pennard Primary School where all members of the community or visitors can pop along to have a look. The tree has been kindly donated by Pennard Stores and the plaque will be supplied by the Gower Landscape Partnership. In order to ensure the children at Pennard Primary understand the signficance of the tree planting, Gower Unearthed will also be running workshops with the children, bringing the work of our famous poet to life. It really is a great example of people working together to make a positive change in their community.
I have spent time in Bishopston this month, working with residents and local Councillor Lyndon Jones on how to improve the playground facilities for children in Bishopston ward. There are two playgrounds in Bishopston and both are in a poor state of repair. The Community Council are applying for grant funding to improve the situation but alongside this, a group of residents are very keen to help them to achieve their goals. Watch this space for news on progress!
Ever been sat somewhere on Gower and thought what a great place it is to lie back and look at the stars? Well hopefully, you will soon be able to do this at Rhossili. As a result of an idea straight from the project, Rhossili is set to apply for official dark sky status and host its own fantastic stargazing event. The funding application has been sent in so fingers crossed for a positive outcome and the first of many such events at Rhossili.
We’ve only been running for four very short months and already so many positive projects are happening in wards where residents are using www.vocaleyes.org to rate and debate ideas for positive change in their communities. Register now to make a difference to your community!
posted on 7 Nov 2017
Follow us @swanseavoice to keep up to date with developments. We are working in partnership with Friends of Pennard Library (FoPL) in Pennard and Gower Access Path (GAP) in Bishopston – where we’re heading to next with the project. We are also about to start discussions with AFC Pennard about their aspirations for women/girls sports teams in the ward and a fit-for-purpose Pavilion on the Playing Field.
You can make a difference to the community without leaving your armchair but if you're inspired by the project and want to be involved, we are recruiting teams of Community Organisers in all 8 wards. We need diverse teams of people with many different skill sets so don't be shy or sit at home thinking there wouldn't be a place for you; contact me now at email@example.com and help bring positive changes to your community!
There are very exciting times ahead - more and more people are registering with www.vocaleyes.org and having their say on what they want in their communities. Coming soon is our first "Coffee, Cake and Communicate" event with plenty more to follow. We are also about to launch a very exciting competition for the younger members of the community with a fantastic £50 prize! I’ll be back soon with more news on our progress – keep communicating! Susan x PS Here's a link to Pennard's priorities for August: http://vocaleyes.org/vocaleyes/group/idea-report/grp/3502/token/8a1c7347af8ff51ef7b4b2f2b78e6658
posted on 8 Sep 2017
To help and advise those thinking of setting up small cooperative enterprises.