Jennine Bailey has been working with Barnwood Trust for over a year. She began by supporting our inclusive community building team in developing its practice in community building out on the streets of Gloucestershire by working alongside them and modelling practice, which was hugely helpful as a practical way of learning the skills and techniques. She has gone on to deliver workshops to mixed audiences of residents and professionals with an interest in ABCD, and has brought ABCD practice to life for people in a governance role.
Added to that she has also facilitated events and groups and provided coaching in ABCD practice one-to-one as well as supported community builders to learn about asset mapping. So as well as being good at what she does, Jennine is a constructive and positive presence, bringing energy and liveliness with whoever she works with. We are pleased that our work with her will be continuing in 2016.
We initially contracted Cormac Russell and the team from Nurture Development to run a series of 12 workshops over a year, to introduce Asset-Based Community Development to Gloucestershire. We wanted to see what appetite there might be here for us to use it as a tool in contributing to the achievement of our vision and 10 year plan to build more inclusive and welcoming communities across the county. Four years later we are still working with them, which speaks for itself!
The reasons why? There was enthusiasm from people in all kinds of roles, and none, across the county for ABCD. People got the idea, aspired to be able to live it, and wanted to understand more to be able to apply it themselves. The whole philosophy and clear methodology of ABCD has provided the right foundations for building progressively, at people-pace, towards a long-term vision. And if it is at people-pace it will work because it will have the roots needed to sustain change.
But we have seen first-hand how much support we all need to learn to work in this way, unlearning some of institutional habits we have got into, and reflecting on our disconnections from life lived in communities. So we continue to work with the burgeoning team at Nurture Development and continue to learn about ABCD and its practice. They always challenge but in a way that you can hear if you listen. They are fun to work with to boot!