Over the last couple of months, we’ve made some good progress with our project here in forest green so much, so I don’t know where to start.

I’ll start though by saying we have named the project “Friend of Forest Green” and most of the advertising materials have arrived which has been designed by yours truly!

I would also like to start my saying that I fully enjoyed the convention that took place back in June. It was a great opportunity to learn more about community organising but how we are all part of one great big family!

I was a little worried going into it because I didn’t know what to expect and I have a few different allergies which makes everything that extra bit more challenging. BUT, I had a great time and made some new connections which was excellent!

It wasn’t that long after that we got back from our convention that we started door knocking. Now, I was a little sceptical of door knocking but I knew from day one it was something I was going to have to do as it’s a great way to meet and engage with residents.

I’m glad to say that I actually rather enjoy door knocking now and we have identified a potential leader and passionate individual who we are looking forward to engaging with more over the coming weeks.

We have started door knocking towards the bottom of Forest Green and are working our way to up the top which means we get to keep fit!

I think one reason why I enjoy door knocking is because I’m out and about. I’m the type of guy who likes to be taking action, doing something rather than just laying around.

At the moment, I go door knocking every Friday with Georgina as it’s important that there are two people that go door knocking for many of reasons. Safeguarding is just one of these reasons. This has been something I’ve had to get used too as because I live in the area I feel like I could just go, and door knock on everyone’s door right now. However, there is a process and being patience is a key skill in this line of work but also in life generally. On my last post, I mentioned about my other projects and it’s exactly the same there. I must remain patient and continue to move forward every day doing what I can do with the time and resources that I have.

Some of things that we’ve done over the last few months include talking to people who are out and about in the neighbourhood, engage with those already at clubs that use the Arkell Centre Community Building as well as planning our potential own event and generally just being seen in the community. Most days I’ll often go for a walk around the community, go into the community centre and be a familiar face.

We have attended some meetings as well. Not that we try to make this a regular thing. However, these meeting can be used to our benefit as there’s nothing wrong being kept up to date!

An important meeting, we went too only a couple of weeks ago now was our ALS meeting. ALS stands for Action Learning Sets and these meetings are a great way to learn from other people who has similar projects to the one here in Forest Green located around Gloucestershire. And, this month everyone came to Forest Green… we were the hosts!!

Georgina done a great job of explaining our project and the purpose and vision behind Community Roots CIC. I pipped in here and there!

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone else’s projects as these ALS meetings go around the different locations every 6 weekly or so.

Some of the other meetings I have attended over the last couple of months have been the Arkell Centre Trust Meetings, the Multi-Agency Meeting, Nailsworth Youth Club Annual Report meeting as well as a couple of others.

All these meetings are a great way to meet new people. And, some are also residents in the local area as well which is even better as we get to hear their opinions on the local area. As we start to reach more residents and connect people together, I can see us attending less meetings as like I said this is not something we want to be a regular thing. Most of our work is with the residents directly as this is where the sustainable change happens.

The whole community organising experience has been a great one so far and during the one-day community organising workshop which is something else that happened over the last few months, I learnt a lot about community organising. I learnt about what it is and what it is not. I’d recommend the workshop for anyone who’s interested in community organising or just finding out more about what it entails.

Looking into 2019, I’m going to be doing the next course. There is a level 2 and a level 3. I’m think I’m going to go for the level 3, just need to know more about what it entails but I think that’s the way I’m going to go!

The next steps for our project are about engaging with more people and hopefully connecting with people who have similar passions to the people we have already engaged with. We’re mindful though that Autumn is here, and winter is just around the corner and by all accounts this type of work is even more challenging during the winter. I mean, who wants to answer their door on a snowy day in December to door knockers? No one, right?

I’m looking forward to experiencing it for myself and, seeing how challenging it is.

Overall, the last few months have been very interesting, and I have enjoyed all of it. It’s still a learning process for me but I believe I’m on the same wave length as the Community Roots team which is great. It’s great to be around some more like-minded people. Now, it’s about finding those like-minded, passionate people in our community and helping them to make their ideas happen!

Luke Burrows

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