Community Organisers Barne Barton

Local Organising Group

Sanctuary Tenants and Residents (STAR) Community Organisers Barne Barton Chairperson Samantha Weaver began talking to residents as a lot of people were not happy due to the local papers calling the area a slum, the residents slum and completely putting the area down. Samantha contacted the local newspapers to defend the area and residents. The area was neglected by the landlords and moral was very down.

Samantha organised a meeting at her house for residents via leaflet dropping, the outcome of the meeting was establishing a residents association, this was to take action on communicating with the landlord and to try and establish a better community for everybody to live in. This proved quite hard to continue as members of the association were busy with their lives and resulted in Samantha working hard on her own with support from another member Sarah Arney.  The landlord Sanctuary could see the frustrations of not being able to move forward on their own so offered experienced organiser Katrina and a community organising team from Community First Wiltshire to come down to Barne Barton and help listen, support and work with residents.

Community organising is important to us as we were a very fragmented community and now we have come together as a strong community.
Sam Weaver, Chairperson for Community Organisers STAR Barne Barton

Initially, Katrina & her team had a five-week plan of action, they initially supported in a fun day, to introduce themselves, reach and listen to the community, they continued to door knock and meet with 65% of the resident in the first 4 weeks. Week 4 the team delivered two days of Community Organising training.  The following week some of the residents went out listening with the experienced organisers. The final week Katrina & Sam held an engagement event which saw 18 resident attend, whom all were interested in being part of something bigger for the community.

The event was successful and progressed to making a community association organising group which gave us fresh hope and a change of direction. Since the training we now have at least 15 active members and 5 committee members, we have also set up a Facebook group and have over 90 people in the group.

Community organising is important to us as we were a very fragmented community and now we have come together as a strong community.

The key purpose of forming the group is to provide a better community to live in.

Our aims are :

  • To help support residents, especially the vulnerable and lonely
  • Provide fun activities for all residents
  • To work and liaise with outside agencies to get the correct information out to people.
  • To provide training and courses to enable a better quality of life and valued life skills.
  • To reach out and connect with the community together so we can be heard as one voice
  • To help and possibly provide positive changes to help the community
  • To put the wellbeing of people first
  • To listen to what residents/leaseholders need and to build around that.
  • To demonstrate honesty, dignity, integrity as a group
  • Listen and support each other
  • To remain neutral.

As a group of ordinary people, we can have a powerful voice that can be listened to and heard to improve our living conditions and quality of life

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