I’m Sheila and I live in the heart of Sherwood Forest in North Nottinghamshire. Although I am not a trained Community Organiser I’ve been closely connected since 2014 and feel very passionate about the philosophy and methodology of the movement and privileged to now be able to take part in the training.
Raised in the back streets of Nottingham after the war I saw my own, and other communities dismantled and disempowered with the break-up of neighbourhoods through new housing developments, personally experiencing how difficult and isolating this can be. I was thrilled to discover how Community Organising was about listening and empowering individuals and communities to recover their own potential to rekindle the sense of empowerment and belonging, enabling people to campaign for positive change where needed.
I’m a retired mental health worker with experience of working in both institutional and community settings before qualifying as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist within the NHS. Mental health and wellbeing is something I am passionate about and in 2014 co-founded a local group using the aims and objectives of Community Organising. Since then we have engaged with the residents, businesses and service providers of our parish, conducted a parish wide survey and listening projects which resulted in a Community-led Action Plan. Set up a community wide digital communication network and facilitated several self-care groups with an aim to reduce isolation and improve inclusivity as well as health and wellbeing.
As a person with hidden disabilities and a serious health problem I was happy to experience an improvement in the quality of my own life through my volunteering activities and try to enable others to do the same thing.
I was honoured to be elected to the Board of Directors and dedicate myself to spreading the awareness of Community Organising and the fabulous expansion programme wherever and to whomever I can.