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Hi there! I'm Susan Rodaway, the newest member of the VocalEyes team. I'm really excited to have been appointed as the Community Organising Team Leader. This position has been created to support the Swansea Local Action Groups for the Rural Development Partnership to become more representative of the community, provide evidence of community needs, facilitate project development, and assist communities to turn ideas into action. So what does that mean in terms of my role and what I hope to achieve?

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 community-organising@vocaleyes.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

Well it's been a whirlwind couple of months but we are up and running with our Community Voice project! We have started in Pennard and have our first list of priorities for the ward. We have so much support for the project it's really fantastic to be a part of it. Rebecca Evans AM and MP Tonia Antionazzi are thrilled to be involved in such an innovative and exciting project and have committed to help us out in any way they can. Cllr. Lynda James, for Pennard, is also keen to engage with the community and will soon be adding her community budget to the process so we can all see where this funding is being prioritized in line with the community's needs. We have a new Twitter account with frequent tweets about progress and groups we’re working with.

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 susan.r@vocaleyes.org 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

Cooperative development agency
To establish a cooperative development agency, on the lines of West Glamorgan CODA, with a section devoted to cooperative education.
To help and advise those thinking of setting up small cooperative enterprises.

posted on 10 Oct 2017

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Create a working group to establish a Purchasing Power group in Swansea. This idea has been highly rated in ideas section. http://vocaleyes.org/vocaleyes/idea/view/id/6302/grp/372

posted on 22 Mar 2017

Rating Circle
Purchasing Power working group volunteers
People who are willing to dedicate some of their time to working up the Purchasing Power Group idea
This resource has 2 of 4 volunteers and is 50% complete.
Centralised website for local events
In order to better keep track of local events around Swansea, the council should offer a central list of events from local businesses. This saves swapping between many websites of different places and will make finding something to do a lot simpler!

posted on 21 Mar 2017

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Modernising booking process for small businesses in Swansea area
Booking something online is a lot easier as phoning up the place and speaking to someone to book in, you can do it whenever you want and it's more convenient for both business owners and customers. But in Swansea rarely anyone does online bookings, it'll be nice to do something about that.

posted on 21 Mar 2017

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Clean up the areas of Llansamlet Trallwn Birchgrove Bonymean o
Clean up of All knotweed in the areas I mentioned above behind the Range and Lidl on Carmel Road have pavements both sides bring the bus stop back in to action where weeds are coving it and sounding it.Bethel Road near the chapel where a sterm runs clear the knotweed replace the rusting fence and clear the area of litter and put a new fence up by the railway tracks.Clear the weeds between Primrose park and the railway on Frederick Place and clear the weeds around Fredrick Place Surgery and Train Station both sides of the tracks.Clear the weeds on Trallwn Road where the four seasons use to be.Replaced then broken Wall and fencing outside Trallwn Shops and tarmac due to potholes on the road pavement and pathway by the shops.and replace the worn out bus stop by Trallwn Shops both sides across Trallwn Road Carmel Road and Frederick Place

posted on 16 Mar 2017

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