Living Villages 2 - Dorstone Front Room

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A presentation by Karen Usher and Colin Thomas on the Dorstone Front Room project in the Golden Valley

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Living Villages 2 - Dorstone Front Room

  1. 1. Dorstone’s Front Room One Chamber of a Village’s Heart . . . Living Villages Summit December 2, 2011
  2. 2. Who is Dorstone? <ul><li>Located in the Golden Valley </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 350 residents </li></ul><ul><li>Good mix of longtime residents and newcomers </li></ul><ul><li>Active and involved population </li></ul><ul><li>Active and involved Parish Council </li></ul><ul><li>Pub, church, playing field, village hall </li></ul><ul><li>Village school, shop, post office – all closed </li></ul>
  3. 3. Situation in 2008 <ul><li>Post office closure announced </li></ul><ul><li>Closure would result in community owned building going unused/unoccupied </li></ul><ul><li>Concerns for village continuity </li></ul><ul><li>Parish Planning process underway </li></ul><ul><ul><li>85% response rate to questionnaire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High interest in keeping vitality of village </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Got people thinking . . . </li></ul>
  4. 4. Dorstone’s Front Room <ul><li>Idea conceived by small working group in September 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Funding by Community First/Nexus - £7k </li></ul><ul><li>Massive community involvement – </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Physical labour </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>In-Kind contributions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Opened doors in November 2008 – 111 villagers in attendance </li></ul><ul><li>Run by approximately 25 volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Open every weekday 9:00 – 1:00 </li></ul>
  5. 5. DFR Services
  6. 6. Impact on the Dorstone Community <ul><li>Daily focal point to meet and communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Liaison with Parish Council </li></ul><ul><li>Support for vulnerable members of community </li></ul><ul><li>Good source for public information </li></ul><ul><li>Support for other aspects of the community including village hall, church, pub, playing field, youth club </li></ul><ul><li>Helped to promote a “can do” attitude in the community </li></ul>
  7. 7. Hardest Parts of Getting Started <ul><li>Overcoming initial local skepticism </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying/selecting right organizational structure – not for profit company </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with local and national bureaucracy </li></ul><ul><li>BUT NOT </li></ul><ul><li>Finding volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying or meeting local needs </li></ul><ul><li>Funding or revenue </li></ul>
  8. 8. Where DFR is Today <ul><li>Self-sufficient and sustainable </li></ul><ul><li>Deeply embedded in the village </li></ul><ul><li>Growing in terms of uses and ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Still working with the same original volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Requiring only 1 hour a week of administration </li></ul><ul><li>See our website: </li></ul><ul><li>www.dorstonesfrontroom.org.uk </li></ul>

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