Posted by: Neighbourhood Challenge | March 26, 2011

A busy week

Friday 25th March

Nick Gardham, REgenerate’s Projects Manager and lead animator had a busy week. He started listening in the Parish and found a project administrator! He set up the online recording system to capture and analyse the local listening results. He organised a meeting with Whitebox digital to help improve the RE:generate website – with space for local projects including the Newark Neighbourhood Challange. And he worked with Fr Michael, Tony and Julia (RE:generate) to prepare for the meeting with Robert (NCVO) and Helen (Icarus) and on the blogging technicalities and co-ordination. We will try having a rotating blog editor to share the work and the perspectives – starting this week with RE:generate’s Development Director, Julia Olsen!

Wednesday 23rd March

Already interest in the Neighbourhood Challenge is growing. Rev. Sam Tredwell, Vicar of Christ Church, Boundary Road, Newark – which serves the Hawtonville Estate – was briefed on ways in which and others, including members of the Anglican Church can be part of the Holy Trinity and RE:generate partnership. Rev. David McCoulough, Director for Partnerships and Mission for the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham also attended in his role as supporter of local clergy.

Fr Michael explained that his experience of a RC Diocesan Justice and Peace Workshop led by RE:generate was enough to convince him that the people of Newark would benefit from RE:generate’s approach and the team shared and discussed the threefold RE:generate plan for engaging with communities:

1. Listen in the parish and community to find people who want to change;

2. Build and train a listening team of local people from diverse communites;

3. Listen across the NG24 area to grow, connect and activate individual and community networks to respond to the loves, concerns, aspirations and ideas of and local people.

Nick explained that The Root Solution – Listen Matters process grows action from the grass roots. It is a systematic and strategic process that listens and supports people to take action. It transfers power to people to have a greater say and control over their lives and allows the community to control the agenda. This process can be challenging to existing structures and we need to ensure that we build on the positive work that exists and support people to take action they want to take to fill gaps in provision where they exist and to make the best use of community assets that can be shared. Both Sam and David are well connected and were keen to be involved and to offer support as needed.

Tuesday 22nd March

Fr Michael O’Donoghue, with Julia Olsen and Nick Gardham from RE:generate, attended the Bi monthly Parish Pastoral Team meeting at Holy Trinity Community and Partnership Centre

The lively discussion about NESTA, the Neighbourhood Challenge project and other local partnerships highlighted the developing interest, curiosity and queries being raised. The Team agreed a communications plan: to create a link from the Parish and Partnership websites to the Neighbourhood Challenge “Parish People’s Power” blog; to put up information, updates and a copy of the bid on the Parish and Partnership websites, and publish a leaflet for parishioners outlining the ambitions, activities, anticipated achievements – and how the award will be used. A hard copy of the bid will be available to view on request. Over the next two weeks Nick will make contact with everyone who came to the introductory session and arrange to meet them. Everyone recognised that one year for a project is a very short period of time but they are hopeful that some new local talent with a passion for community building will be uncovered and able to come on board and work with the resources of the parish!

Julia Olsen


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