community building

building-communitiesOne of the things we called to be involved in here as HTGP is that of ‘building community’.
In a listening survey I carried out in my first 9 months here I asked 3 simple questions:

What do you like about living here?
What frustrates you here?
What is lacking in this place?

To that last question the overwhelming majority answer (46% of people) said that the place lacked community feel. The next most frequent answer, at 14%, was facilities for teenagers. Nearly half of the people ho live around me feel there is no community or community spirt of feeling here. Whether that is right or not, it is a massive ‘popular’ opinion.

When I got here I quickly became part of the Residents Association and now, somehow I am secretary! This is actually  group the campaigns well and puts on good events. Tonight I hosted a planning meeting for a large summer even, loosely called ‘The Village Summer Fete’. I’m excited about this because we are responding to the 46% by trying to deliver something that will bring community together . The plan is not to just have a one off event, but to have a forum or some method on the day itself for people of common interest to connect and maybe do something that will further develop community.

How does community grow?
I’m not sure I can answer that yet.
I wonder of we need ‘nodes’ or catalysts to ‘form’ around.
I hope The Village Summer fete might be one of those nodes or catalysts that gets something going.
I’m just think aloud really … because the Peninsula is quite a unique place … we are trying to develop community on land where people have not lived previously … in other areas of new builds this is not always the case and people are displaced or there is a community around that people either link, or not, with.
On the peninsula we do not have that option … we build together from nothing
It’s another exciting thing to be involved in.

So … if you live on the Peninsula …. or even if you don’t cos we are a pretty welcoming bunch …. put the date of Saturday 15th July in your diary and watch this space.

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