Shaping My Community – update

By Transition Bude, Community Communication, Bude Together and Neetside Community Centre”

It’s been 10 months since the Shaping My Community event at The Venue, Bude, and so here’s an update. Two groups were established, one to look at the local economy, young people, training and education and the second to look at how our community communicates.

After a couple of initial meetings, the first group began to look more seriously at the ideas around Transition, based on some of the discussions started at the Shaping My Community event.

Transition started in Totnes and as a movement has spread worldwide. Transition is about communities stepping up to address the big challenges they face by starting local. In practice, transition communities are developing resilience,  reclaiming the economy, sparking entrepreneurship, reimagining work, reskilling themselves and weaving webs of connection and support. All of which seemed to fit the initial brief given by the Shaping My Community day. From those who signed up to the original working group 3 members visited Totness and took a Transition walk, which looked at the various different projects happening across the town, from the Re-economy centre encouraging entrepreneurs, to the community housing trust which has purchased land and is building affordable, sustainable housing, to Incredible Edible – providing free fruit and vegetables across the town using reclaimed land and to the neighbourhood streets coming together to buy solar power.

Bude seemed to be a good place in which the values behind Transition might flourish. As time has progressed some of the initial group members have moved on to other projects and new members have joined. As a starting point and to gather momentum for the idea of Transition Bude, the group has organised a film season for the Winter, showing films for free at the Venue on the third Thursday evening of the month.

The films look at specific issues and then ask how can we utilise this information in Bude, the themes include global energy, the sea and our impact on nature, shelter and housing, food and farming, our global economy and ask us to consider what if and how we can change things.

The first film screened was Albatross, which attracted just under 50 viewers. The next one will be Demain on the 23rd January 2020, which looks at what communities and individuals are doing now to tackle issues such as the local economy, food, housing energy. Although still in its early stages, Transition Bude is planning to undertake further community consultation, partner with other community groups and look at some large scale projects for the Bude area which longer term will support the economy and develop the options for young adults in our area. The group also intends to be part of the Coastal Community Teams funding application for Climate change.

Similarly, the communication group’s make up has changed over the last 10 months, with some new members joining and initial ones remaining or moving on. The group’s main aim has been to try to improve communication with our community and specifically within community and voluntary groups. As part of this, the group has surveyed the local community with the aim of establishing whether an online diary/events calendar and directory would work for Bude – similar to this one – . The results have been promising and the group is now looking at how to facilitate this. In addition, working in partnership with Neetside Community Centre, staff from Neetside organised an Open Day, which attracted over 25 different ‘stall’ holders – community groups, voluntary groups and charitable organisations with an estimated 120 people attending. All with the aim of helping the public know what’s going on in Bude and enabling the many groups in Bude connect with each other.

In addition, a couple of other projects and events have come out of the Shaping My Community day, not directly connected to the two working groups established. This includes:

Bude Together – a twice-yearly event (Spring and Autumn) where 6 community groups, voluntary groups, clubs, societies and charitable organisations give 5-minute presentations and 10 give 1-minute presentations. The two events held since Shaping My Community have attracted 75 and 45 people respectively.

Neetside Community Centre submitted an application to Awards for All for £8,300 to produce a feasibility study on the current and potential provision for young adults. The funding bid was successful and the project will employ a project manager/researcher and a creative practitioner to devise and collate information on the current activities, events, opportunities available for young adults and what’s missing, what is needed/wanted. The end result should be a report that can be used to establish the case for future funding, support etc. to help make Bude and the surrounding area a better place for young adults. It is anticipated the report will be ready by October 2020.

If you’ve been inspired by some of these projects and are interested in joining a group or returning to a group please do get in touch via Neetside Community Centre –

Thank you for being part of Shaping My Community – your support in attending the event has sparked some of the brilliant initiatives above.

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