Community First News & Updates

Introducing new Community Organiser Clara

by | Oct 24, 2018 | Community Development, News

Left to right: Community Organisers Katrina, Alex and Clara

If you have been following us on Facebook and Twitter over the last week or so, you’ll know that Community Organiser Alex Neale has recently moved into her role as Macmillan Community Development Coordinator for the Macmillan Cancer Connections project.

Macmillan Cancer Connections is a new project that aims to understand how rural isolation can affect the experience and wellbeing of people living with cancer in Wiltshire. Funded by Macmillan Cancer Support and delivered by Community First the project aims to identify the challenges people can face in accessing support and develop sustainable community-based solutions.

With Alex moving into her new role, we would like to introduce new Community Organiser Clara Hickman who will be working with Katrina Watson as part of the Social Action Hub Wiltshire + Swindon project.

Clara has written a few words about her background and her new role with Community First:

Since moving to a small rural village just outside Devizes I feel passionately about the power and significance of communities.

I have a history of volunteering. After I left school I spent a year in a rural school for mentally and physically disabled children (STAR Special School – Coimbatore) in Tamil Nadu India teaching English, maths, music and drama. During my university holidays I volunteered at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability in Putney London as a care assistant helping the resident patients participate in an art, reading and music programme.

Before I joined Community First I had a career as a television producer working mainly for the BBC or Channel 4.  I was drawn to programmes and projects that illuminated how inspirational people can be, and the pleasure generated by community activity and living life to the full.

Since moving to Wiltshire in 2010 I have become even more aware of the value of happy, well integrated and active communities. I am lucky enough to be part of two thriving communities: a small primary school and the village where I live. Being a part of both has taught me how important it is to listen to each other’s problems and to reach out and share things with others. However small the problems feel if you come together as a community you can always bring about change. This act of collaboration has also made me realise how lonely and isolating life can sometimes feel – particularly when you embark on motherhood or perhaps when your children leave home (this hasn’t happened to me yet!). Adapting to your changing circumstances can be very hard but this is where a community can become so important to people’s lives.

And I think I know what ‘good’ communities look like, and appreciate how much work they take to sustain.

I am really excited to be joining Katrina and Alex and the dynamic Community First Team!

I’m sure you will join us in welcoming Clara to the team.

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