Getting to know you
Blog by Helen Willmott, Programme Director, Made in Corby @helwillmott
Last week was my 4 and a half year anniversary of working for Made in Corby. It might not seem like much in relation to some people’s work history, but it’s now the longest I’ve ever been in one organisation. I was thinking about what that has meant and specifically, the relationships that you build over a number of years in one place.
Sometimes, one of the team pops to the shop to buy some milk (or normally chocolate biscuits if we’re honest) and it takes much longer than expected. We all wait eagerly in the office for our tea and biscuit, only to discover that they’ve bumped into someone from one of our community panels or workshop projects and stopped for a chat. Sometimes it’s more than one person. Sometimes a quick trip to the shop takes an hour.
And that’s not only the joy of being here for years, but also a by-product of our approach. Getting to know local people, visiting community groups and having endless cups of tea with people that take part in our activities is all part of helping to make sure that the programme has been led by local people and attractive to the widest possible range of Corby people.
Last week also saw a major change in our work, as we started the process of delivering activities in Wellingborough as well as Corby. There’s lots of change to come (including a new name), but there’s two things that are the most important to us; keeping the relationships we have in Corby and building new ones in Wellingborough. We’ve already started the latter with our open meeting in Wellingborough, where over 70 local people and representatives of community groups came to talk to us about what they want for the area. And over the next few months, we’ll be travelling around the area talking to as many people as possible. And obviously, there’ll be plenty of tea.