Its midsummer in Lunenburg County and more than 30 people showed up at the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre to learn about NOW Lunenburg County, meet new people, share food and enjoy music. I think this says something about the interest of people in this project.
The discussion focused on barriers to change and identified personal experiences of overcoming barriers. A young woman from Lunenburg, discussed how she was able to find summer employment. As she said, it was always about who you knew in town and the connections you had with others that insured successfully landing a job. She paused for a moment and then said: “What if you were new to town, how would you ever get a job?” A profound statement that should make us all think about our community and how new residents may be frustrated or how connections may reinforce feeling like an outsider.
Connections are absolutely important in overcoming barriers, however, connections can also be a barrier if they eliminate groups or individuals. It is interesting to think about how this may be impacting on Lunenburg County in a positive and negative way.
I loved being in the Galleria of the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre. We had people walking through the event on their way to the Library and to the pool, there was a good energy to the space. This centre is a testament to overcoming barriers and Jeff Sabean did a great job of sharing the story of building the LCLC. This was a project lead by a group four community members who believed in the idea and made it happen. An inspiring story to say the least!
I too met new people! Jan Hull was one of those people. A shout out to Jan and her group who organized the Rural Arts & Life Tour (www.ruralartsan dlifetour.com). There are 30 experiences waiting to be discovered along the road from Blockhouse to Maplewood, just take Exit 11 off Highway 103 on Saturday, September 13! This is the kind of creativity and energy that highlights the assets of a seemingly ordinary rural road.
The group offered some great suggestions for NOW LC on how to make these events more useful for participants by identifying project leaders who are attending the event, more clearly outlining the projects that exist and explaining how people can connect with the work that is going on through the website.
Another person suggested an improvement on language at these events was to talk more about action than change. Change can be a very scary word for many and the thought of change alienate people. Action speaks to a direction which may result in change but also captures the thought of getting things done!
The meeting absolutely fuelled my tank and I look forward to the next event on September 18 at the Mahone Bay Centre, RSVP now.
Check out the slideshow from NOW Meets 1.2
- Elspeth McLean-Wile
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