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Guinness Hermitage Recruitment Event

July 17th, 2014 by Clive

Guinness Hermitage are holding a recruitment event on 30 July at Kingsway Primary School.

Martin Beacham (Sustaining Tenancies Officer for Guinness Hermitage in Gloucester) said:

“We have re-let maintenance contracts recently with a requirement for our contractors to recruit some local employees.

I would be grateful if you promote to the local community in any way you can.

All job-seekers welcome to attend.”

Here are the details:

Guinness Recruitment Event

Kingsway Community Builder

June 25th, 2014 by Clive

Many of you will have heard of the recently appointed “Kingsway Community Builder” in local meeting and in the local press. His name is John Gow and he has been tasked (by Gloucester City Council) with “Building a Community” in Kingsway over the next two years.

I must confess that my initial thoughts on hearing about this scheme were along the lines of "typical Glos’ City Council, starting a new scheme with a guaranteed success"…! After all, Kingsway already has a thriving community (in fact we have been featured on BBC News for “bucking the trend” of community breakdown in the UK).

But the real problem is far more widespread than just the UK. In fact the trend towards breakdown in communities is now a recognised global phenomenon, with many experts analysing and explaining reasons for it.

One such interesting analysis is by Rabbi Jonathan Kligler, who says:

We bemoan the breakdown of community in our society, and the fact is, that breakdown is for real. The quest for individual fulfillment, mobility, and economic success — life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — is central to the American experiment. But that quest, in our time, has torn loose from the context of communal and civic responsibility in which it was nurtured. We are faced with the steady atomization of our communal infrastructure… (Read more here).

Psychology Today says:

One of the most destructive problems is the breakdown of community, and it is this breakdown that has often led to the breakdown of persons. Though we may put many around us, we are alone. Relationships have become superficial, there is no longer concern for the other, and we are pressed by societal and financial pressures to focus on our own survival. We do not concern ourselves much with the plight of others except a few we may call family or friends, and even then, our concern and attention is waning.
It is this which is leading to numerous dilemmas for our children and the diagnosis of a gamut of so-called mental disorders and the mass drugging to subdue them and force their conformity to a system of madness, a system they and most despise but which continues to perpetuate itself. Today, do we even know our neighbor; do we even care to know our neighbor?… (Read more here).

Much work is now being done to address the situation both abroad and in the UK, and it’s for this reason that Glos’ City Council have decided to appoint Community Builders in some areas. As a new (and fairly large) community, Kingsway just happens to have been selected.

When this was announced in the Citizen (here), one of their readers commented: "How to build a community go out side the front door knock on the next door and say hello"… Well, that might work, but there are better ways to do it! One of those ways is via an initiative known as “ABCD”: “Asset Based Community Development”… (Read more here).

John’s role is being jointly funded by Gloucester City Council and Oxbode Housing Association with support from the Barnwood Trust who run workshops and fund ABCD-based projects (Read more here).

When John spoke at a recent KRA meeting, he quoted Michelle Obama who said:

“We can’t do well serving communities… if we believe that we, the givers, are the only ones that are half-full, and that everybody we’re serving is half-empty… there are assets and gifts out there in communities, and our job as good servants and as good leaders… [is] having the ability to recognise those gifts in others, and help them put those gifts into action.”… (Read more here).

Stirring stuff I thought, so I volunteered to join the scheme and help John out (along with Barry Kirby and several other local residents).

So far we have had a number of meetings and John and others have been involved in introducing the ABCD approach into Kingsway by asking residents to allow them to fill out questionnaires aimed at identifying both those who can offer assets to others, and those who wish to become involved in taking advantage of those offers.
That is the ABCD approach (in brief)! It involves simply finding local folk who have something to offer others, identifying those “others” (who are interested in said asset) and bringing them together. For instance there are a lot of local people interested in joining a local Cycle club, and several who expressed an interest (and ability) to organise such a club. John brought them together and the Kingsway Cycling Club was born.
John also started the Kingsway Runners, and we are still looking for local gardeners to build a community garden or get involved in local landscaping/gardening projects. (That last link also includes my first mention of the Community Builder Scheme on the blog).

Right now we are awaiting the opening of the new Kingsway Community Centre to allow facilities for groups to meet, and I should like to repeat my offer to allow any local community groups/schemes to use the blog to publicise their existence, contact and meeting details, (I can even create a blog category specifically for your club/group/scheme, to allow interested parties to keep track of your progress etc).

There will be (much) more to come on this subject, and sooner or later one of the CB team will likely knock on your door and ask for 15 minutes of your time to introduce you to the scheme and complete the CB questionnaire, or you may run into us out and about in the community doing the same thing. If so, I urge you to please give the 15 minutes and allow us the opportunity to put you in touch with neighbours and other Kingsway residents who have the same interests as you, and who can either take advantage of your knowledge and expertise to expand those interests, or offer the same thing for you.

Finally, please take a look at Johns Kingsway Community Builder Blog (contains all his contact details) or contact him on Facebook, for more information.

Residents’ Association Public Meeting: July 9th

June 25th, 2014 by Clive

The next public meeting of the Kingsway Residents’ Association will take place at Kingsway Primary School on July 9th, at (the ‘later than usual’ starting time of) 7:30PM.

We have invited numerous speakers/contributors including: Andy Smith (QUVL), Andy Jarrett (Reachout!), Dave Norman (Conservative Councillor) and the local Police. In addition we have invited representatives of the Quedgeley Parish Council and Barry Kirby (County Councillor for Grange & Kingsway).

Please make a date in your diary and come along to the meeting if you can make it. This is your chance to keep abreast of community developments and plans, as well as your opportunity to speak to local representatives (about any and all local matters).

Burglar Alert

June 19th, 2014 by Clive

Hi Neighbours,

I received the following message from Neighbourhood Watch (dated today):

Please make your members and neighbours aware of an increase in non domestic burglaries of sheds and garages.

Hucclecote and Abbeymead and adjacent areas seem to be the current hot-spot of activity.

The offences are occurring at night and are a mixture of insecure and forced entry. A large number of offences are where cycles are removed. Some premises have had expensive cycles targeted so it is imperative that if you do own such a cycle you review your external security and that you secure it inside the locked premises by chaining it to something secure.

Please pass this message out to your neighbours and ask them to report any related suspicious activity to the police immediately.

So please check your cycle (and shed and garage) security, be on the alert for suspicious activity and please pass this information on to your neighbours (or just tell them to check the blog… and thanks for spreading the word)!

Farewell Steve Brooks

June 11th, 2014 by Clive

I spent last Friday evening at the Barn Owl, saying farewell to Steve Brooks (blastu2) who is leaving Kingsway (traitor! Although – in his defence, he’s going to live in one of those dream houses on the bank of a beautiful lake, somewhere in Canada)!

Steve BrooksI first met Steve back around 2008 at a Residents Association meeting. Having already spoken to him several times, I knew him to be an educated guy with terrific connections, an interesting past and some local problems, (which he was pro-actively trying to solve).
Later on he joined the Kingsway Residents Association, finishing up as our Secretary. Steve put a lot of effort into his role, helping to organise many local events, (he was Santa at the carol singing event last December, and was also very pro-active in organising the litter picking event and obtaining equipment for our future use)!
He also campaigned on our behalf (and on behalf of several individuals) with the press, the council(s), builders, developers and many other organisations, and was a great fund-raiser for local events too.

Steve had a talent for “targetting” the right person, and always seemed to be able to come up with personal contact details for the top man in any organisation!

Whilst I can’t say I blame him for his decision, I am personally very sad to see him go. He was a good friend, a kind and helpful man and an asset to Kingsway. He will be sadly missed :(

Bon Voyage Steve mate… Look out Canada!

PS: Don’t forget to keep in touch… Post some pictures of your new house once you’re settled in (just to cheer us all up) :mrgreen:

Kingsway Cycling Club

June 9th, 2014 by Clive

The Kingsway Cycling Club met for the first time on Sunday 8th June and had a great turn out (not to mention some outstanding sunshine) for their inaugural ride.

Kingsway Cycling Club

The club will meet for a road ride at 9am every Sunday, at the Kingsway local centre in Thatcham Ave’.

Beginners and experienced riders welcome, no one will be left behind! So come and have fun, get some exercise, and meet fellow cyclists!


You’ll find more information (and contact details) on their Facebook Page.

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