With the Olympics domineering the TV, social media and the papers at the moment it is good to see the positive effect it is having upon individuals – I note gym attendance is up and local sports providers are reporting a record number of new members. What a fantastic thing to see! I reported on a community project last week which Village Games had organised a huge gathering with sporting taster sessions and am pleased to see further initiatives taking place. Community projects are often overlooked as they are deemed not significantly “flashy” enough for the project management world however I beg to differ as these projects often have significant outcomes and benefits are clearly recognised within the community – however the national press does not cover them as the stories are not deemed big enough. This is a shame as there is a lot to be learnt from such initiatives and presenting them to a wider audience may inspire others to take the lead and tackle a growing rise in individuals with nothing else to do. Also think about the demise of the high street – communities ripped apart by large chain stores taking residence in small towns making it impossible for independent traders to compete. Well the community doesn’t just lie in the retail area; I for one would love to see more community events which bring together locals working in a collaborative way to inspire and entertain others. Sport is a great way to get involved – I know form the work the Village Games do that everyone can get involved from very young to those in their senior years and of course those with disabilities. By creating a buzz in your area you can start to form new friendships and really feel a part of your community – which will have a knock on effect for those taking pride and assisting others to achieve their goals. Often we are not aware of issues in our community until it is too late and our facilities have closed down, taking an active inclusive approach to joining in and understanding our neighbours / local business people etc more we can help put a stop to the drop in social behaviour and issues which affect us all at some point. Actively engaging community support officers and making them aware of issues can really make a difference.
Do you know of any community projects which deserve some recognition? Let us know, we can help raise their profile and put you in touch with others who work in the field who may be able to assist you with funding and ideas to get you started.