Exeter Community Forum and Exeter City Council are working with community organisations to put a plan for a team of ‘Community Builders’ to work amongst Exeter’s communities. Diana Moore, Chair of Exeter Community Forum writes about what the Community Builders will do across the city over the next 5 years
How long does it take you to walk to your corner shop? My daughter complains that ‘it takes a VERY long time, mummy – it’s all the people you talk to!’ Aside from a good chat it feels good to live a community where you can stop and talk to neighbours, find out about what activities are going on locally, discover others who share an interest.
Exeter is a friendly place, but as the city changes and grows – with new housing developments and people moving here and away, that sense of belonging can take a long time to feel, however long you’ve put down roots. What if there was a way of making that easier?
For a number of years Community Builders have worked in Exwick, Wonford and St Thomas and have had a real impact on people’s lives. Community Builders have been listening to residents, helping people design an activity trail in Cowick Barton Playing Fields, enabling young people in Exwick to challenge bullying. In short – making it easier for neighbours to get to know one another.
The community organisations involved in the Exeter Community Forum enable really great community projects to flourish in the city. These are growing because neighbours come together to make a change. Changes with others – to help others in their community. I know many people want to get involved in community life or do something to improve a neglected green space, but don’t know how to or don’t feel confident to do so.
The new Community Builders will have a special role – a bit like bees, acting as community pollinators from which thousands of new relationships will blossom.
Find out more about the Community Builders and Grass Roots Grants to support Community action and community Buildings on the Exeter Community Forum website: exetercommunityforum.net