Last Friday I was interviewed by Joe Webster and Ollie Baines of ‘Local Presence‘, a community podcast based in north east Essex which looks to share ‘good news stories’ in the Tendring area. This kind of voluntary initiative is just the sort of thing that communities everywhere would benefit from and it really is a breath of fresh air. I understand that this is slightly off topic from my usual posts but I wanted to acknowledge Joe and Ollie for the great work they are doing and to highlight the plight of community initiatives generally. Local Presence highlight local issues, advertise local projects and events and interview local people. My own interview was mostly about my involvement with the Naze Education and Visitor Centre, an exciting project spearheaded by Essex Wildlife Trust. They have also carried out interviews with the editor of the local paper, a music producer, a headteacher, a local musician and people involved with local charities.
Both Joe and Ollie are on twitter – @Ollie_Bainzy and @Joe_Webster13
Community initiatives are run by people passionate about what they are doing and are motivated by a wish to make things better for the people around them. People based initiatives, as opposed to purely money based initiatives, often have many more benefits in terms of wellbeing and generating sense of self worth. Not for profits and community groups often hold people at the centre of what they do. Swinging this back to the environment, I believe that the best environmental initiatives are those that have people at their centre. It has been said by many that in order to conserve habitats, people must value them and to value them they must understand and talk about them. Grass roots initiatives are able to engage with people on a very personal basis and are therefore, in my opinion, a great way of encouraging concern for the environment.