I remember one of my college lecturers at ICC saying that good community work takes about 7 years to develop, and so from being in Perth 8 years and be able to articulate that i had a grasp of youth work there, i now, on day one of a new role, have at least a 7 year stretch in front of me to develop something even more meaningful here.
And yes, before you ask the question, we have settled in, though the last week has felt a bit like christmas as we’re opening lots of boxes and finding things, and a holiday, as we’ve been to the beach alot, cos unlike scotland, when its sunny here its hot too ( can you tell ive never lived in the south)
So mindful of the fact that today is just day one, where do i start? pray yes ( and i met up with the church ministers this morning) , plan, communicate and recruit volunteers, strategise, set outcomes & targets? In some ways having a blank sheet is exiting, and yet its also slightly daunting, not quite knowing whats expected , or what would be considered a success, or a process on the way to something else.
Maybe its about doing the basics, meeting people, the networks locally, those who have local knowledge and power, those who are key, whether business, community activist, young people, traders, services, church people, schools, and developing things from then. I suppose i am not used to the vacuum, neither am i used to the extremely positive response there has been to my/our arrival here in Ottery. Various people have been round to say hello, donating time, cakes and homemade stuff as welcome gifts, already we have meal out invites, so there is a considerable wave of optimism and positive expectation for whats about to happen.
So, day one of new job is over, with more ideas and plans that when i started the day, and with a heap of new things to think about, to start planning and create anew.
What was that chinese poem again;Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have:
But of the best leaders When their task is done
The people will remark “We have done it ourselves.”