What does it mean to belong? To be part of a community?
Community means different things to different people. Some people choose their communities; others are part of a community without choice. Many of us are part of multiple communities – defined by or interest, our geography, our characterises.
One of the communities in Stratford is Stratford Town Trust’s Membership. 2000 residents are already members, supporting our aim to create a vibrant and connected community. But we want to grow this membership and change what it means to be a member.
We want as many residents of Stratford town as possible to join – its free and easy – so that we can truly represent the views and aspirations of the community. We also want to more directly involve members in decision-making around where grant funding may go, as well as help build connections between members at events and through shared interests.
Away from the Trust, I am a trustee of a small charity which itself has members. I’m a member myself. Together, we play a vital role in helping link my charity with small, hidden-gem community groups and individuals doing amazing things in their community – in person and through social media. They act as catalysts and conduits, with a shared vision of creating a strong community and city, and their passion is infectious. I really see the value of large-scale membership in making a real difference to my own community. Without them, we would not be able to provide grants to those groups we may sometimes overlook, or that we sometimes misunderstand because of our own assumptions and approaches. Having members means we are able to be more human and personal.
So my call to action to you is to join us and become a member. Be part of creating an even better town for all. Your networks, knowledge, and passion is the key to unlocking the potential in the town as we look to a ‘new normal’ future.