We are well into the depths of winter as we approach the last 31 days of 2018. Personally, the last couple of months have flown by as the project reaches the 6-month milestone.

With that in mind, one of the main things we have been working on during November is a newsletter to update local residents on what their fellow residents have said about the area. This includes peoples loves, concerns and ideas for Forest Green and how we can support them to make long-lasting change.

The newsletter will hopefully be delivered before Christmas as we are just at the finishing off stage right now. The newsletter will also include some stunning photography from Elliot Stanley who is a local young person and has a passion for photography (all photos in this months update are by Elliot).

Forest Green Rovers will be hosting a photography project during the beginning months of 2019 with the dates TBC and Elliot with a few of his mates who also enjoy photography are planning to attend with the plan of hoping to launch something of their own.

If you or anyone you know live in Forest Green and are passionate about photography, please do get in touch.

On the 18th of November, the Arkell Community Centre opened its doors for the Christmas Table Top event. While I was there looked like it was popular with all of the tables filled by sellers and buyers coming in before the official opening time. This event was an opportunity for residents to sell their unwanted goods before Christmas.

What I did find while I was there is that there were a number of people that came from surrounding areas. Our project is focused on Forest Green however, it can be good for people to come into Forest Green.

We’d rather see and work with local residents in Forest Green to put things on. That’s why our approach is to ‘listen’ to residents to hear what ideas they do have. What I’ve found from approaching 6-months in this role is that it takes a mindset shift for some people to understand our approach and that can take time. We are fine with that and will continue with our work in the process.

This month, I also had the pleasure of visiting a community project in Tewkesbury similar to the Friends of Forest Green project to see more of what they’re doing and how different communities actually are. I find these visits very interesting and although you cannot compare them, I personally think it opens your mind to what is possible and gives you a wider perspective on everything.

Overall, this month has mostly been about working on our newsletter, visiting different communities for my own development mainly and continuing to find new ways during the winter months to engage with local residents as we won’t be door knocking until the new year but will still be in and around the community, engaging with residents and seeing what ideas they have.

I’m looking forward to the last 32 days of the year and doing as much as I can to engage and listen to others.

Until December’s project update,

Luke Burrows