Community … is Spirit Enough?
It almost seemed today that Spring has passed us by already and Summer has arrived! A big claim I know but it has been sunny all day with small white puffy clouds and so warm!
So yesterday I asked why it is some members of a community cannot just enjoy the simple and beautiful thins like our spring time flowers without damaging them? I am beginning to wonder if the disease is more deeply spread than trashing some crocus. Just over a month ago we had a meeting to consider our vision for our wee red toon – it was a good meeting and people left with a feeling or promise of progress.
I followed up with the meeting I had with the volunteering group which has led to two further meetings with different bits of the Community Learning and Development Team. In addition to that I have posted on the Community Council facebook page a challenge to the community to help pick up some litter – we get so many complaints one would think that volunteers would be knocking the doors down? I have one volunteer – me!
On Wednesday I went to the follow up meeting; fewer people attended and we spent a lot of time talking and disagreeing about online vs paper methods of communicating. The reality is we need all of them because if we ignore online we will never appeal to the youngsters growing up on Facebook and if we ignore the posters and newsletters the older folk will be alienated. So if we need them all we have to make it as efficient as possible by adopting online formats that can readily be printed?
One of the issues we face is very limited visitor accommodation and I had suggested a backpacker hostel which was a popular idea. Since the meeting this week I have started to put out some feelers to see what it would involve if the community wanted to run one. I updated the meeting on the volunteering activities I was looking at and initially received a slap down over the litter picking up because the Council are to launch a big campaign.
Then I got an e-mail to say that there where no litter picks available for me to borrow form the Council because they were all in use. I contacted the person responsible directly and explained I only wanted one at the moment to pick up the litter between my hamlet and Kirriemuir. Amazingly one has been found and deposited at the Forfar Recycling Centre for me to collect. I am pleased one is available but having told the chap that I have very limited income and why did it even cross his mind that I couldn’t get there to collect the thing?
I feel like saying oh stuff the litter and making a fuss until the Council go pick it up … but I won’t. I will collect the kit when I walk to Forfar next week to sign on and walk back with it (10 mile round trip) and then I will spend my evening collecting litter so I can return the kit when I use the bus to go for a Job Centre meeting on the Friday. Because I need bus fare for a training course on Wednesday I only have one bus fare for the two different trips to the job centre and I get it refunded on the Friday – hence the bus that day and not Thursday.
I am starting to think that Community Spirit, which is in short supply in it’s own right, is just not enough – if our Council are not prepared to embrace volunteers and facilitate their contribution how will we make out Town whole and healthy again?
Ah well – back to photos tomorrow and here’s hoping for more sunshine …