Community Organisers Blog
It has been so encouraging to have such a warm and positive welcome from the residents of Swindon who have shown an interest in our training and support.
Caption: The Bakers Arms, Swindon. A space in the community that the residents are working hard to ensure it is used again.
We were lucky enough to have so much interest from the residents of the Railway Village (and its surrounding areas in Swindon) that we had to deliver two separate days of training. We kept our training groups at under 15people and felt that this made for quite a nice manageable amount where people were able to share intimate stories and develop some new relationships.
We thoroughly enjoyed delivering this training and they were two very different days;
The first was a day where we delivered to a group who the majority were already established as a residents group; and had a project that they are working on. The second day was more people that had come from all over Swindon with their own individual groups and projects. What was really interesting was to sense the dynamics of these two groups.
We found that on the first day people were less keen on moving around the room and engaging with different people. The afternoon was really exciting as when we discussed case studies and moving listening into action; People were able to relate it to their own project; and came away with clear action plans for moving forward. Not only did they all go out and work together on the following Tuesday, but they were also able to make more contacts through the course and get more people behind their campaign.
With those that attended the second day we found that people were much more willing to move around and discuss stories and find out about each other. We heard about lots of new projects that are going on in Swindon and are now working with these individuals on their learning logs to help support them in their communities. Again, people were able to link up with each other and some people who were there because they wanted to be involved but weren’t sure how; found projects that they would now like to be a part of.
We wondered if having a group where people already knew each other made it harder for people to be open to the training day, whether it is easier to stay within the groups that you know and are almost conditioned to continue doing things the way you have; but we also wondered if it was because we delivered day 1 on a Sunday…people could have just been very tired and a bit reluctant to move around!!!
The training days were a really great learning experience for the both of us; we are so grateful for those that came along and are inspired by the hard work you are all doing in your communities.
We are now in the process of following you up on your Learning logs-so look forward to catching up with you all and working more with you soon….