Catch up with the Community Development Coordinators!

November has been a busy month for the Community Development Coordinators, with the Community Development for Older People Network, and South Bristol Community Development Gathering taking place.


Catch up with the Community Development Coordinators and see what they've been up to this November.

Community Development for Older People Network

LinkAge’s Community Development team organised its first network morning on Wednesday 15th November at St Pauls Learning Centre.  

The main aim of the morning was to bring together the community development projects funded by Bristol Ageing Better (BAB), with the purpose of sharing, learning and finding common threads, to support each other in our work.

The morning saw BAB Programme Director Adam Rees, welcome the projects to the meeting, and give an update on Bristol Ageing Better’s work, with Community Development Coordinator Wendy Harris, then leading the morning. 

Through a variety of group activities and discussions, workers were able to hear about all of the good things that are taking place in different communities, and share some of the learning and challenges that workers regularly face, with several organisations interestingly raising similar issues. 

Those who attended the morning found the meeting a valuable space to reflect together on their work so far, and gain ideas from others to use in practice. The group also decided that future meetings would be held quarterly, and they would focus on three priorities for 2018:

Transport needs of over 50’s

How to reach those most lonely, socially isolated and unconnected over 50’s

Sustainability of our work in the future

We look forward to seeing how the future sessions help to strengthen the community development work that is taking place across Bristol. 

If you would like to find out more about this work, then please contact Wendy Harris on 07738 104 097 or wendyharris@linkagenetwork.org.uk

South Bristol Community Development Gathering

Monday 20th November saw the second South Bristol Community Development Gathering take place at The Factory, run by Knowle West Media Centre. The session which was organised by Natalie Campbell from Community Access Support Service (CASS), aimed to get everyone working together in a creative community space.  

The session which was led by Fiona Dowling at The Factory, gave an insight into the workshop and the facilities that are on offer to local people and organisations. Fiona had everyone working their socks off, cutting plastic and sanding wood to make their own individual masterpieces. Ben Barker an activist from Bedminster, commented that he had never seen community workers working so hard!

The session then proceeded to the reception area of the Filwood Business Park, where discussions took place on current challenges that were faced by workers. Conversations included how to reach the ‘hard to reach’, sustainability of projects and groups, being too bureaucratic, organisations being insular and not communicating, and how things change around us. Workers expressed that they would like to further explore these challenges and ways that they can overcome them. 

Discussions also included the inspirational work that workers had come across in communities, such as the services that groups are providing with little money and little resources, communities working together through cuts, and people who are making a huge difference during busy times of their lives.  

Three members of the gathering volunteered to organise the next meeting, which is planned to take place at the end of January/February 2018, so watch this space! 

If you are involved in Community Development work in South Bristol and would like to find out more, then please contact Magda Kowalik-Malcolm on 07738 104 101 or email magdakm@linkagenetwork.org.uk