Posted by: nickgardham | May 11, 2011

Céad Míle Fáilte* – A lot can happen in 24 hours!

*100 Thousand Welcomes – this phrase adorned a number of doorsteps that I have called on over the last 24 hours – and never has a truer word been spoken. People have been friendly, open and willing to engage in dialogue and prepared to be involved with action. It has shown what can be achieved with an effective strategy and process for deep and meaningful engagement.
Over the last 24 hours I have met people on their doorstep, in the pub and in the local park. I have listened, built trust and reflected on the projects people want to develop and actions that they can take to tackle their concerns and realise their visions.
I have listened today to people who want to
  1. set up a bereavement counselling services to create a supportive network for the families and wider community of those who have suffered a recent loss.
  2. explore how a community ‘listening hour’ could take place on the local community radio station.
  3. ensure that young people who are involved with some of the challenging behaviour are able to take part in and lead activities that they both want and need.
  4. create a motorbike track that will provide opportunity for people to ride their motorbikes away from the streets and in a designated off road area
Whether all or just some of these projects emerge people all have had the ability to feel that they have the power to have a say over their own lives and their community, have become part of a wider network of people and have started to think about how they can network with others to effect change.
But, importantly, what have I learnt. I have learnt that we must never inhibit people’s ability to take action over the things that matter most to them. We must encourage people’s creativity and action to blossom and ensure that people are able to develop their own responses so they are able to build on the things they love, tackle their concerns and realise their visions.


  1. Nick, you have been in that community for under two months. You have met over 150 people and many want to engage. The skill of listening effectively and turning apathy into action is rare. You are clearly building trust respect and relationships. The skills you have got must be shared so I look forward to meeting your listening team from the area as you find them.
    Keep up the good work.

  2. We would be very interested in helping with the bereavement counselling service to create a supportive network for the families and wider community

    It is already part of our vision and 5 year plan, currently we are building a service at our new Resource and Information Centre on Stodman Street

    • I guess it might be helpful to clarify the ‘we’ is Beaumond House Community Hospice

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