Please describe your community project
The project title I got during the training - Hulme Community Forum / Humle Community Bloom is working well as an overall definition of the direction I’m looking to support and be part of and cultivate. There are other elements I’ve not published so much - if that direction of travel is being picked up by another agent I will support rather than take the lead, I’m happy with that.

There was some hostility in the early days because the Community Leader title doesn’t mean anything. The group were initially suspicious because it’s not an elected role, it’s something that was taught. The title then gave me a ticket to be in the room and having a certain amount of practise and it was OK from then.

Who have you been collaborating with?
Serendipitously the management of The Aquarius Centre - it’s now being managed by One Manchester Housing Association who are looking to re-invent themselves - they’ve looked to engage with the community on a number of projects and that’s brought in the food element. I’m working with the Cafe Dynamo team, a project initiated by a group that One Manchester (healthy me, healthy communities), their emphasis is community development and they have a number of outlets - the first project was as Community Grocer and they offered training in Food Safety. I was gifted that so now have additional training. So now I’m working with a small group on the theme of opening a community cafe with Healthy Me Healthy Communities - and through Aquarius it’s being rolled out.

Why does this matter to you and your community/neighbours?

Through collaboration you set off and you have an idea about where you’re going and things happen and you think, that’s a good idea, or that’s a good idea and you end up with a more colourful route.

I’ve noticed I’m not terribly strong in giving up things I want to do. I’m also noticing as much as I’d like to do things. I prefer to do it myself, it gives me raison d’etre which I value. At times I might be interested in being in 2 places at once which isn’t always practical but that encourages me to look for support….to allow others to have more responsibility and do more and then also help me.

Which means if the pressure is on then I’m more attentive to how and where to do that effectively - the idea is to feed a particular interest so as to have that interest support your interest so there’s a certain amount of give and take in that.

What would you like your project to achieve?
In order to be able to make a contribution you have to be able to see the field of play and in that context the title and the role delivers much of that. There’s a lot of work to do!