Transition City Lancaster’s February radio program was this month still aired from the studios of the Diversity radio station in Lancaster but the station’s future is quite uncertain. Watch this space for updates.
The New Year inspired thoughts of the bigger picture so we’ve been working on the subject of ‘community’. Liz Neat and Gina Dowding, both having worked in the area for years, joined me in a studio discussion of ‘what is community?’ to top the show.
Liz, working for the National Coalition-Building Institute, comes from a background of working with minority groups and runs workshops on racism, exclusion etc. Gina has worked with many sectors of the community as as a Green Party councillor and in other roles. It can be heard in our voices how much we all enjoyed the discussion.
We had to work in the smallest studio, which is really not set up for three people, so I was banned to the room next door where I had to talk to them with microphone and headphones, through a glass partition. You can tell that we soon got used to this. It’s an obvious point but until we had adjusted our chairs and mikes so that we could see each other’s faces, we weren’t happy. This phenomenon can be experienced on Skype technology: when the visual connection goes we are very unsettled and just as relieved when it returns. As Liz emphasised, we are social creatures and our instincts are to communicate in the best way we can: words are good but adding facial expressions is so much better.
After we had tried but not necessarily succeeded (tell us what you think) to tie down the meaning and role of community. We tried to list many of the sections that make up a community but these are not finite and nor are the minutes allotted to our show. We did manage though to fit in Mary Clear talking about the development of the business side of Todmorden as a food town and, continuing the financial theme, Michael Hallam then gave us his view of what went wrong with the financial sector and how it affects everyone in our small city. Of course he then went on to say how a healthy financial/business section of the community would work.
Caroline Jackson finished the subject by interviewing the organiser of the volunteers at St John’s Hospice that sits just over the river from the town centre. This interview touched on what individuals give to the community by volunteering and discussed the role of charities. St John’s is as well known for its lovely garden as by its compassionate work with its clients and it is obvious that Caroline takes full advantage of the gardens as a volunteer-student of gardening and a visitor popping in to grab a cuppa and smell the roses.
These programs are made by a couple of volunteers but we would welcome anyone who wanted to edit, help plan the programs or interview the many interesting and knowledgeable people that assent to being verbally probed by our amateur team. It is very rewarding, educating and sometimes quite entertaining.
To listen to the show click on the link below:-