BY AMY KINNEAR
I’m really delighted to have started as the new CEO at Southmead Development Trust. I’m passionate about community driven change and my first few weeks in the job have completely confirmed that it is going to be a real privilege to work for Southmead.
I’ve been spending time getting to know colleagues, trustees and local community leaders. I’m really impressed by the committed community activists and volunteers we have here who have worked so hard to make sure the people of Southmead have access to the opportunities they deserve.
My highlight has definitely been a tour of Southmead with Deana Perry who has introduced me to some of the people who have achieved so much – whether it’s door knocking the whole estate, running the SCART shop, campaigning for improvements to Doncaster Road Park, saving the Youth Centre and Ranch, or volunteering to help their neighbours.
Sitting in the Greenway Centre café has shown me again and again how the simple act of bringing people together unleashes ideas, connectivity, opportunity and energy. If it wasn’t for residents saving the Greenway school site from vandalism and setting it up as a community resource, it would have been lost. Now the Centre is open to the public 86 hours a week, with hundreds of people coming through the doors each day to meet, access support into employment, improve their fitness and wellbeing. or work. Southmead Development Trust teams have lots of exciting projects underway here, not least working to tackle local housing need.
I’m really looking forward to working with all of you to make sure these projects are a success and to identify what’s next for Southmead! I couldn’t agree with Deana more when she says: “Community assets are not just buildings, the most important community assets are the residents themselves”.
Do get in touch with me at the Greenway Centre or come and say hello.
(photo above: Amy on a tour of Southmead with ‘community asset’ Alan Piper!)