ABCD Europe

Asset-based community development in action, all over Europe.

There seems to be a problem, the red light will not turn green.

There seems to be a problem, which seems to be a long-term problem with no end in sight. There are 7,500 (estimate) people living on the Alumwell Estate.

Some of these people would like to do things in the area, or help with what is already taking place. But they are faced with a red-light, you have to stop before you can go, but the red light is always on, therefore you have to remain in one place, you cannot move forward you can only return home and wish you have never put yourself for to help out in the community in the first place as a volunteer.

People are not contacted, despite their details given to the same people/individual several times, noting is followed up on, new groups aren’t formed and new people are not found.

When you try to discuss this issue you are given a barrage of excuses after excuses. Such as, “I can’t see you this week, I am going on holiday”, “I can’t see you this week I am going to a conference”, “I can’t see you this week  I’m off sick”, “I can see you this week I have family coming round”, “I can’t see you this week my area is being invaded by zombies”.

Excuse after excuse, and they make you feel as if you are disturbing them if you try to contact them. By which time weeks, months and even a whole year has passes by, while things continue to deteriorate and excuses continue to be used to avoid discussing the real issue as to why are salaried individual/s fail to carry out the most simplest of task, and why aren't they properly managed.

Due to their ‘none-activity’ of which they receive a wage, nothing is developed or delivered, no partnerships, no networking and the none delivery of the ABCD or anything else that can help in the community are contributed from these people/individual. 

We should have, on the Alumwell, at least five community groups by now. One person wants to run a reading and writing group, which is a good idea, because there is a literacy problems amongst adults in the area, another person would like to run a health group.  Another person wants to get fully involved in local businesses, in terms of how they can help the local community; we already have a Neighbourhood Watch Group, which do a lot of in the community as well. Yet not of these people have been contacted at all.

However, the people who are always there are not necessarily paid to work in the community, but they do the best they can, plus, they have their own jobs to do and to pay their way through live, they are not always available during the daytime. Because of this, they cannot contact the necessary people needed to develop, or even create the above.

Therefore, there are paid people/individual employed to carry out the above, to do the ‘contacting’, develop partnerships, support existing groups, create new groups and to support those groups, find new people, network with the local schools, hotels, businesses and the local NSH Trust Hospital. Then they are suppose deliver a running commentary on progress, so we volunteers know what is taking place and to continue to volunteer in the community. 

However, we have lost far too many people over the last year due to a lack of support from that/those salaried individual/s, who make excuse after excuse to avoid even visiting the area, where they are supposed based.

I could write extensively on this issue, but I am not going to. It is just a shame that some of us have waited months and months to discuss minor or even major issues about the community, with certain salaried individual/s who make you feel as if you are not suppose to disturb them and their precious self-indulgent time, while we, the volunteers, are still waiting and will most likely continue to wait.  

I would not have written something like this if I had not already waited months to discuss how to move forward, when we have lost such a lot of disillusioned people. The red light will remain on, and it will always remain red. .

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Comment by Gary Loftus on October 1, 2012 at 16:46

Excellent Dean - I look forward to meeting you!


Comment by Dean Campbell on October 1, 2012 at 9:44

Hi Gary, I will be there on Wednesday, see you there. Dean

Comment by Gary Loftus on September 30, 2012 at 17:09

Hi Dean, 

are you going the Fair Share Learning Series event in Birmingham on Wednesday?  If so, I'll be there and would be happy to chat through with you - see if we can identify any solutions and share some of our work in Oldham, Trafford and Bolton (Greater Manchester), where we have a community builder based and working in the neighbourhoods with residents. 

Best wishes, 


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