Leaders' Q&A

As part of our Leaders' Development series for anyone new to TCC, leaders have shared their experiences of being involved in community organising with TCC over the past 25 years.  After the meet and greet for new leaders in early 2021, we asked some experienced TCC leaders the questions below. 

You can read the full responses or click on a question to find out how each of the leaders has benefitted from being involved in TCC and the changes they have achieved.  You can also watch a short film of interviews with some of the original leaders who founded TCC in 1995.

Chris Potter 

group name...

Chris joined TCC... 

Rob Owen 

Transition Holywell

and District

Rob has been involved with TCC... 

Menna Davies

Capel y Groes

Menna heard about TCC... 

Shamima... 

BAWSO

Shamima works for BAWSO which joined TCC... BAWSO... 

Here are the questions that we asked... 

  • How has being part of the TCC alliance benefitted you? / Sut mae bod yn rhan o gynghrair TCC wedi bod o fudd i chi?

  • What is the best change you have made through community organising with TCC? / Beth yw'r newid gorau rydych chi wedi'i wneud trwy drefnu cymunedol gyda TCC?

 

How has being part of the TCC alliance benefitted you? / Sut mae bod yn rhan o gynghrair TCC wedi bod o fudd i chi?

 

Chris: When private stories become public issues change can happen. Someone once said that where there are people there is power and, through organising, that power can be put to good public use.

Rob: It taught and demonstrated that "power" was not a dirty word but absolutely essential for achieving change.

Menna: Being in the TCC league has benefited me because it has given me the confidence to act on my principles. By receiving TCC training to understand who holds the power in a particular situation and in carrying out the research, I have been able to apply my principles to change a particular situation. 

 

What is the best change you have made through community organising with TCC? / Beth yw'r newid gorau rydych chi wedi'i wneud trwy drefnu cymunedol gyda TCC?

Chris: Using organising methodology, we researched the issue, found out where decisions were made in the local authority, wrote letters telling of personal experience of danger.  Within six months we had electronic speed warning signs and speed bumps slowing down the traffic and the church was acknowledged as the key player in the process.

Rob: Eventually managing to persuade TCC to set up a climate change action group was the best change I have made.

Menna: Shortly after becoming a member I was involved in organising a petition for Wrexham Borough Council to recycle waste instead of an incinerator which would have damaged the environment for years, and in ensuring that Wrexham was awarded Fairtrade Town status.

Shamima: Getting hotels...  

What is hard about community organising and what tips do you have to keep going when things get tough? / Beth sy'n anodd am drefnu cymunedol a pha awgrymiadau sydd gennych chi er mwyn dal ati pan fydd pethau'n mynd yn anodd? 

 

Chris: Organising needs large numbers to turn out for public events, which means a good quota of people from groups who may tacitly support the issue but perhaps are not as acutely engaged with it as those who are more immediately affected.   The inspiration was the story of Noah’s Ark, and of course on the 38th day they didn’t know that in another two days they would be safe. The “38th day” then became a byword for hanging on in there, don’t give up yet, we’re nearly there.

Rob: Try not to waste these opportunities! Keep inviting members to TCC's  Strategy meetings and make sure transport arrangements are discussed.  Encourage other new members who've been to a meeting to say what they thought of it.

Menna: The most difficult thing about community organising is trying to explain to people what community organising is.  "TCC never goes away."  Some young people at Ebeneser Cross Chapel are now taking an interest in TCC, so it shows that it is worth continuing to support TCC and explaining its principles.  I came across this quote from Martin Luther King in Barack Obama's book: - “Change has never been quick. Change has never been simple, or without controversy. Change depends on persistence. Change requires determination. 

 

Who or what do you feel are the most important influencers in the local community? / Pwy/beth yn eich barn chi yw’r dylanwadau pwysicaf yn y gymuned leol? 

Chris: Social media for one... 

Rob: Pre-Covid I would say that local schools were amongst the main influencers.  The Transition group was/is also known and respected for organising big annual town centre events and improving various areas of the town with eg a Holywell Heritage Trail, tree planting, public gardening, public artworks, litter drives etc. 

One of our county councillors has stepped up and been co-ordinating collection of donations. He also uses social media to share relevant news from TCC. 

Menna: Communication with local council members is sometimes difficult, although TCC has gained more respect in recent years.  Some members are very supportive, others are reluctant to listen to our request. The groups that are members of TCC are a great influence in the local community, with everyone doing their best to solve the problems we encounter.

Any other words of wisdom? / Unrhyw eiria arall o gyngor? 

 

Rob: I think we need to use the changed public perception of what really matters in life to provide positive visions of what a much-needed, greener,  simpler life-style could be like.  Unless the public is brought "onside" politicians will never take the radical action needed in the short time we have left.  

Menna: It's great to see the young people who work for TCC so dedicated...

Chris: Do your research, gather the stories, be patient, be persistent, be polite AND assertive and be clear that you are not going to go away.   Action usually springs from frustration and anger that sustained injustice in the lived experience of a proportion of the community never seems to get addressed by those who could actually make decisions that would change things. Anger that is harnessed gets directed to a purpose, it is under our own control and focused. That’s where the passion in organising comes from and that is what makes it effective. And you can be patient, polite and persistent and still show how angry you are. 

Thanks to Chris, Rob, Menna and Dawn for sharing their thoughts and experiences of community organising.  If you would like to speak to another TCC leader about their experience of being involved, please get in touch and we can arrange this.

 
 

01978 262588

37 Kingsmills Road, Wrexham. LL13 8NH

Charity no/rhif elusen: 1086434
Company no/rhif cwmni: 04033853

 

Mindful Employer Logo (White).png