Category Archives: Community

“I blog to be listened to”

“Want cats’ milk in your tea?” MJ asks me in her distinctively southern accent. We burst out laughing.

Luckily she mean’s the lactose free variety in the fridge and not ladled from Pickle’s bowl.

Each armed with a cuppa, notepad and pen, we take to the settee draped with paw print covers.

I’m in MJ’s home to offer my help with a community newsletter that she’s volunteered to write. Only, I’m more fascinated by the writer herself. I’ve read her blog, MJ’s World. She says it’s her way to express what it’s like to live alone with clinical depression, fibromyalgia and other illnesses.

Somewhat selfishly, and blaming the lure of her blog, I want to know more. I’m awash with questions. Why publish your life? Was there a trigger for your illnesses? Continue reading

Culture clash

When you use opposing approaches to do a job, at some point there’s a clash. And now I’m left dealing with the impact that’s going to have on our customers. Community development is a long term approach. It’s not a quick fix; it’s building relationships at a pace people are comfortable with and creating lasting change on our estates.

Man with thumbs up standing in gardenMy contracts have ranged from six to 12 months adding up to just short of three years. So I’ve built the relationships and some seeds have grown. Sadly now it’s the end. A permanent job elsewhere came up and despite my love and passion for this work it would be silly to pass that up for two more months.

So what’s going to happen to all those groups, individuals and activities I support? We’re all working above capacity and I’ve no-one to hand over to.  So all of those people I led to believe we were in it for the long haul; what are they going to do? Continue reading

I’m not bothered because it doesn’t affect me

Housing: Why it’s not on the agenda

What is a house? For me a house is more than bricks and mortar, it’s your home, your roots, your common unity with other people (community) the place that gives you security and a base to enable you to achieve all the aspirations you have in life. Living without a decent home and security directly impacts on all aspects of your life.

Grant Shapps

When Grant Shapps, the disgraced Conservative party chairman, tried to justify the hated bedroom tax at the Homes for Britain rally on Tuesday I could not help the feelings of anger that raged inside me as he walked off stage with a smug grin on his face. Continue reading

Can’t build, won’t build

This Christmas many of us will be introduced to, or be re-acquainted with, the ups and downs of property construction, ownership, and speculation when we open up our Monopoly set. No better insight into the challenges, pitfalls, and potential profits of housing development has been created. In Monopoly-world, despite all those softer Community Chest incentives on offer, victory is bestowed on the most ruthless competitor. Ultimately it is money in the bank rather than your public spirit that is the key to success. Continue reading

My employee volunteering

When the employee volunteer scheme was launched I was really interested in getting involved.  I saw it as an opportunity to share my skills, gain some new skills and learn more about what other services Bolton at Home offer.  I looked at the opportunities that were advertised on the webpage and the one for Breightmet UCAN caught my eye. Continue reading