By Ash Rangasamy, Community Builder for Paignton Town Centre & Clifton with Maidenway
What makes a community feel like a community?
Is it a good group of pals? Is it hustle and bustle? Calm corners and leafy parks? Is it cafés and local shops to relax in and potter around? Places for kids to go and be kids? Is it knowing that Jeff in the local hardware store will always go out of his way to help you?
It can be tricky to pinpoint exactly what makes a community, but somehow, we seem to know it when we see it.
What we may not be able to see as clearly though, is all that goes on underneath to make that community what it is.
All the people secretly giving their time and energy, their skills, their expertise, their kindness and optimism, all to make those corners truly communal.
And why would we? You don’t examine the roots when you’re eating the apple – unless you’re really into the rhizosphere!
Well, we are hoping you will join us to not only see those undercurrents of awesomeness but also to become those
undercurrents of awesomeness!
In October, we will have a tremendous opportunity to experiment with our streets. Make them work the way we want them to work. From October 15, for three whole days, we will be restricting vehicle access in Winner street, Paignton – specifically from the corner of New Street to Palace Avenue. That’s one whole block to play with!
We’re hoping to have community projects and events from all walks of life. Schools, local businesses, local community organisations and everyone else are all welcome, encouraged – we’re slightly begging, in fact – to come help us with this project! We will be having performer corners, local merchant markets and a whole host of fun and games as well. As much as we can cram in!
But we want it to be yours. Truly yours, 100% yours! So, if you would like to join us in making this happen, or if you
want to know more about the event, don’t hesitate to contact me or Mike the Sustrans; Liveable towns coordinator to have your say and get involved. Call me on 07703 715 222 or email Ashrangasamy@torbaycdt.org.uk or for Mike, email Mike.Elm@sustrans.org.uk or call 07812 470 678.