Three reasons to attend the South Devon 'Friendly' on Tuesday, June 12th
We are deeply excited for our FRIENDLY gathering at the Devonport Guildhall next Tuesday.
In our short residency in Plymouth, we’ve met some of the most inspiring and visionary ‘doers’ working in the field of community action, since starting The Alternative UK. Many of them will be participating on Tuesday night.
Alongside them will be many members of the local community – drawn from as wide a range of micro-communities as we have been able to meet – who might want to be part of something new starting here. Or just plain curious about what’s going on.
What’s new, you might ask? Well first of all, many of these great local actors have never met each other. Maybe it’s a feature of 21st century living - that you can have so much on-line connection with just about anyone you can think of. But you end up having little or no real-time relationship with most of the people who live around you.
That’s fine for many of us: there are only so many hours in a day, after all. But it can also result in invisible borders that people won’t step over - creating an alien environment for those of us who can’t get out of the bubble we find ourselves in.
And when we think and plan for the future, it’s hard because we don’t know what even those living in our neighbourhood are thinking and feeling. If nothing else, Brexit has demonstrated well the impact of being disconnected.
We can seize three great opportunities when we come together:
Firstly, to hear each other speak. We’ll be having plenty of facilitated conversations about what we have in common, as well as what makes us distinctive and different. There will also be great contributions from people making a mark in South Devon for a variety of reasons.
From Pam Barrett from Buckfastleigh who, together with Peter Macfadyen will be giving us an intro to Flatpack Democracy. To Hannah Sloggett from the Nudge Community in Plymouth, who started running street parties in Stonehouse and is now running a number of vibrant community hubs.
Secondly, to create the beginnings of a citizens’ network that defies the usual political or historical divisions. Whether you think of yourself as Left or Right or neither, you are a member of the community where you live. The best way to build trust between us is through friendship. Or even a “friendly”!
Thirdly, to agree a programme of how we build on this gathering. Our next offer is to have an “Inquiry” into what makes this community what it is, how it could improve and how it might face the future. This will start very soon. If you want to join in, mail us here - and help us choose the date.
Maybe we should add a fourth opportunity – which is to have a bit of fun together. The whole evening will be driven and shaped by music, arts and movement, so that we don’t get too caught up in words alone. If you know the soulful voice of Roz Birch, the disruptive poetry of Antonia Eastwood or the global weaving of Anairda, you’ll know what you’re in for.
See you at the Devonport Guildhall on Tuesday, June 12th at 6.30pm.