What Next?

I would like to thank all the people who have spoken to me about the newsletter that we distributed last week. All the reactions we have received have been positive, some have been emotional, and some have been inquisitive.

It is clear that the people of Pleasley Hill largely support the idea of a community group. There is however, much uncertainty around how to bring about change in the area. In the previous articles we have explained that we have ideas for how to solve many of the problems the area has.

It is important now that we know there is consensus among the community that people volunteer to help start a group. As soon as we have a few people, we can organise a public meeting to fully discuss both the problems, and some of the possible solutions. All that is needed from you is a little time to attend a couple of informal meetings. Meeting is perhaps too grand, all we need is to sit down for a cup of tea.

People I have spoken to have criticised previous groups in the area. I would like to address this before any group forms. It is important that any group should truly represent the community. For this reason we have decided to be as inclusive as possible. All are welcome. More importantly, we feel that we can listen to all points of view, and that everyones view is equally important. And we can do this by using a consensus based decision process. If you don’t know what that is check Wikipedia for a good explanation. Essentially, it will ensure that no one persons agenda takes precedence, and that we all have a say in how to move forward.

It is easy to say that something should be done. But to actually do anything is another matter. We hope that we can soon start to put on a series of small free activities for both children and adults. All these ideas must be discussed. But in essence, they will all help to develop a sense of community here.

I will briefly outline a few suggestions here, that I hope will prompt debate.

Firstly we could like to organise a series of free activities. We will organise free workswaps. (I may have just coined that) In essence I hope to have a series of workshops where people bring along unwanted items and exchange them for things they need. While in addition, people share what they know and help each other with problems. These things will be of a certain nature.

For example, at a computer workswap, people could bring along old computer parts, and computers they are unable to fix. When there, they will have the opportunity to donate, swap or barter any parts they have for other parts. They will alto have people to help fix or diagnose problems, and receive advice. We can have bike workswaps of the same type, as well as clothing workswaps for crafts such as sewing and knitting, dressmaking and the like. Any produce can be kept, sold, donated to community members, or otherwise used properly.

We will try to make activities accessible for children, but we also have other ideas too. Such as an organised bike racing day down Hillmoor Street, and a football day or sports day. In addition we will organise a community rubbish clearing day. Recycling what we can into useful items, and pressing the council in providing equipment, bins and a final collection for free.

While most of the activities presented so far can be done for minimal cost, as a community organisation we can apply for funding to improve these events, hold more, or hold entirely new ones. All money received though must go to something for the community.

We also have ideas for community based businesses that that will provide direct employment to the people here in a way that benefits the community too. There are skills in the area that many of us share that we could come together and use together. And finally we believe we can go some way to addressing the problems of empty housing, regardless of how permanent the housing is.

Hopefully we can create enough activities frequently enough, that everyone will have a chance to join in. We believe that this alone will go some way towards solving other problems such as anti-social behaviour. These things go away easily when we all know each other, and we all have an interest and say over what happens in our streets.

The ideas suggested here are but first steps, ideas to be expanded. If you would like a say in what happens on Hillmoor Street, Clarence Street, or the part of Chesterfield Road North between the MARR road and the chemist, contact me now and get involved.


2 Responses to “What Next?”

  1. June 16, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Hi Mark how’s it going dude? Having just read your last post (dated yesterday) i’m inclined to agree with you, after having lengthy conversations about this topic i agree that there should be more activities for the local children to be involved in, the workswap ideas are quite good & maybe get some ideas in the pot regarding summer holidays etc, 1 idea i have is for everyone to club together & rent some form of transport for days out etc, something for the community to get involved in, just a thought. The main thing 1st off is to clean up the area as i’m sure that 98% of the people here are fed up of living in these kinda conditions, even the rats have emigrated to Shirebrook LOL. If i think of anymore ideas/schemes/thoughts i’ll let you know ASAP

  2. 2 thealphageek
    June 26, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Days out are a good idea. But they require funding! What I like about the stuff we have so far is that is basically free. Also I spoke to A key holder of the Hillmoor Street Community Centre.

    I was unofficial told with regards to the workshops that we could pretty much have it any time (weekends maybe not, have to see) and if it is for the children, or all of the community, then hopefully free too. This is very good news, as every thing we want to do is for the whole community!!

    All this has still got to be confirmed with the Council, but it all sounds promising. And if it pans out, perhaps it can provide more of a base for bigger campaigns. It is perfect because it is right in the middle of the effected area. Fingers crossed……

    And yes we do need to have a big clear up, I think first we need exposure though. So far we have had several emails from local people, quite a few conversations, and a not a few hits on this site. I set this site up 2 days before we distributed the newsletter, with no online publicity we distributed 106 newsletters, and we got 50 hits on this site on the that day, with none the day before. If that is not interest what is? If we become accessible through activities for the local people, we open up dialog. Then we can talk properly about the problems and how to solve them.

    Things are beginning to move, have faith and patience!

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