Fringe Box



Joining In! Community Project Is Going From Strength To Strength

Published on: 28 Jan, 2013
Updated on: 30 Jan, 2013

A community project in Guildford that encourages people to get involved with activities and events and to help strengthen local groups is set to grow following the appointment of a dedicated co-ordinator.

The Joining In! team, from left:  Nigel Smallbone from Voluntary Action South West Surrey, community safety wardens Tracy James and Richard Musgroove, and project co-ordinator David Rose.

The Joining In! team from left: Nigel Smallbone of Voluntary Action South West Surrey, community safety wardens Tracy James and Richard Musgrove, and project co-ordinator David Rose. Picture by Dan James Photography & Design.

The person who has taken up the role is David Rose, who is well known to the community of Park Barn and Westborough where the project, called Joining In! is based. Many in Guildford will already know him as a writer and journalist with a passion for local history and a main contributor to The Guildford Dragon News.

David took up his new post on January 7 and is working 14 hours a week on the project that has been running for the past year.

The project is currently managed by VASWS and is a partnership between them, Park Barn’s two community safety wardens, Tracy James and Richard Musgrove, and those who live there.

David said: “Joining In! has been up and running for a while now. The first community meetings were in October 2010. Last year, a booklet containing details of where activities take place and what opportunities there are for people to volunteer, help out and most of all be part of, was published and widely distributed.

Look out for the Joining In! logo. Picture by Dan James Design & Photography.

Look out for the Joining In! logo. Picture by Dan James Design & Photography.

“Listings include mums and baby groups, the local residents’ association, social groups for the elderly, churches and their activities, and schools.

“In fact, there is a good deal going on here already and lots of opportunities to get involved in a fantastic range of community events, if you have some spare time, want to meet others, or are perhaps looking to do something different for a change.”

A new edition of the Joining In! booklet will be published soon, and will contain more than 50 entries. Details are also available online on Kings College’s website. Click here to see.

A Facebook page and the use of Twitter to promote the project will be some of things that David is keen to introduce, while liaising with members of the community at consultation meetings.

In September there will be a special Joining In! week that will culminate in a day of community activities which it is hoped many will visit and participate in.

David said: “It has been reported elsewhere that Joining In! is a community magazine. Unfortunately, that’s not really correct as it’s much more than that. The booklet and its listings are just one aspect. The project includes lots of ways of promoting what’s going on and getting people and groups involved, plus the events will help to bring people in the community together.”

Over the next couple of months David will busy visiting those listed in the booklet, finding more out about their needs and in what other ways he can assist them in promoting their activities and recruiting helpers.

David added: “Joining in! has been built on solid foundations by Nigel Smallbone at VASWS and the community safety wardens. I will be working with them, as their knowledge is paramount to the project’s continued success.

“I hope to bring to the project my communication skills from many years in local journalism as well as community work I have already been doing in what is my home patch!

“I am lucky to know many people in the area already. My family and I worship at St Francis’ Church in Westborough, and I was a member of its parochial parish council for some eight years.”

David has also been one of the organisers of the annual Westborough and Park Barn Community Day, the third of which takes place at the end of June.

David said: “This is a perfect job for me, doing all the things that I really enjoy.”

The role of project co-ordinator for Joining In! has become available with funding from Travel SMART initiative. The post is for three years.

David is also keen to hear the views and suggestions of people in Park Barn and Westborough of how they think and would like to see the project developing. Call him on 07825 419408. Email:

There will also be regular updates about Joining In! and what’s happening on The Guildford Dragon News.

Team meeting at the Park Barn Centre. Picture by Dan James Design & Photography.

Team meeting at the Park Barn Centre. Picture by Dan James Design & Photography.

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