Markets, Jobs, new Housing

Back in Stevenage this week and Orlagh and Nicola set up outside the Job Centre with a large map of Stevenage to stop passers by and chat about their communities. It was a great morning with around 30 interviews from many many walks of life. At the same time I went to the InTown Training Centre and chatted to the workers and one of the new clients about the needs for the service in the current recession and how it is a key link between various communities in Stevenage.

Over to Great Ashby where I met with three residents to discuss the new community that has developed in this large newly built area.  We talked about how communities grow and develop,  how simple things like availability of parking facilities can cause tension between neighbours, the availability and routes of public transport can isolate people, the proximity to the countryside and wildlife and what it is like to live somewhere that seems to constantly be expanding with more houses being built.

The next day we set up for a morning in Watford Market stopping around 30 market goers to discuss the people and places they live in as well as the market and its role in the community. Voices and opinions were wide and diverse though peoples love of the indoor market and its huge importance to old people shone through.

Finally we arrived at North Herts college for a wonderful session with a supported learners Launch To Work Scheme. This group of young people with learning difficulties,  and their workers were  full of fun and laughter and we mapped the many groups they belong to discussing what is important about the groups, exploring what constitutes communities.

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