Empowering our community leaders

01 November 2016

We’re celebrating the achievements of our residents who have completed our accredited Community Leadership training programme this month.

Our course, which was delivered by our own Community Empowerment team, was designed to offer our community leaders accredited qualifications through undertaking practical projects in their own neighbourhoods. The course’s eight modules included event management, project funding and sustainability, and community safeguarding.

Eight residents been awarded NVQ Level 2 qualifications in Community Development on completion of the course. Chair of our Board, Nick Medhurst, presented certificates to our awardees at a celebratory ceremony held at our Weston-super-Mare office.

Our community leaders are:

  • Barry Christie, a young parent from Frome, who was keen to engage with young people in the community. Barry’s project involved a series of summer holiday activities for local children, as well as participating in the Ecos Court community  'Veg Patch' group
  • Kristelle Champion, who runs ‘Muddy Boots’ gardening project in Bridgwater, as an outdoor venture for local children and families, which she fits in around part-time work and volunteering activities
  • Jonathan Smith, one of our residents in Highbridge who is active as part of local anti-litter initiatives and community sports programmes
  • Karen Stewart, who manages regular resident consultations and meetings in her community in Frome
  • Stephanie Bale, the lead of the Ecos Court events group, who ran a whole-community event in Frome to celebrate Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday
  • Jacqui Pirrie, from Street, who leads a conservation and community group within the Houndwood neighbourhood in Street
  • Jane Gentle, who has been active in her Stapleton community for many years, and organised a hanging garden installation project within her neighbourhood
  • Les Wood, an active member of a community events group in Taunton, who managed a community gardening programme for families over the summer
  • Harriet Kilcommon, who successfully delivered a community Olympics sporting event after securing funding from the West of England Sport Trust (WESPORT)

Steve Andrews, our Community Empowerment Team Manager, said: “I’m really proud of all of those who participated in this year’s community leadership programme. Everyone’s willingness to learn and enthusiasm was great to see, as well as the commitment shown as part the varied project work.

“The course supported residents to further their skills and knowledge, as well as facilitate activities to engage their local communities. I’m confident that all of our community leaders will build upon their skills learnt as part of the programme and continue to deliver excellent leadership in their neighbourhoods.”