You may be aware that the council recently ran some workshops on Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) and from these some very positive outcomes were achieved (please see the three linked articles to the left of this page).

One of these was a plan shared by supporters of Transformation Thurrock to hold a ‘Good News Conference’ in Thurrock. The reason for this event came from the poor survey results last year which portrayed Grays / Thurrock as one of the most miserable places to live! Many of you are involved with the community and making a difference. So the plan is to promote and celebrate this, along with the work of the voluntary sector and the service providers, and to ultimately work with the media to change perceptions of the borough.

Transformation Thurrock has met with Phil McCusker (Head of Communications) and Natalie Warren (Community Development Manager) of Thurrock Council to help think through the approach to making this ambition happen.  In practice, two events will be held – and we are looking to Thurrock’s fellowships and expressions of church to help galvanise support to make these a success.

1. Exploratory meeting Thursday 20 June 2013 2-4pm 2013 The Beehive, High Street, Grays

  • Key partners are requested to join the team to talk about this agenda and to help plan for a larger event where ‘good news stories’ will be celebrated. As a leader in the church across our borough, YOU are invited to this and to join in owning the ‘Good News’ vision.
  • Local media will be invited to this event and asked to work with partners to support a change in perceptions regarding life in Thurrock.
  • A call will be made to produce ‘good news stories’ on video for upload to YouTube, and the writing of press releases and news-ready items for publication in local media outlets.
  • Free training on writing Press Releases and producing YouTube clips will be available to those taking part.

2. ‘Good News Showcase’ – a Saturday in October / November 2013 (date and venue TBC)

  • The authors of the YouTube clips and press releases that will have been gathered over the summer will be invited to host a stall at a public event to promote all the great things that are happening in Thurrock.
  • This will give the public the opportunity to learn more about the good things that happen locally.
  • Workshops and breakout sessions will be held to engage people in talking about the borough and their experiences.

More information will follow but we would be grateful if you could make this a priority in your church so we can showcase all the good work happening in Thurrock. The 20 June event at the Beehive is the starting point.

This list was held up as an example of good engagement by church in an area.  We are sure that we have a very similar portfolio

  • PICT1350Parent and toddler groups
  • Pre-school
  • Coffee shop
  • Foodbank
  • Charity shop
  • Hardship fund
  • Schools work programme
  • Youth groups across the town
  • Music academies
  • Dance programme for schools
  • Media programme for schools
  • Detached work
  • Pregnancy crisis counselling
  • CAP debt service
  • Job club
  • Craft groupPICT16982
  • Street pastors
  • Parenting courses
  • Marriage courses
  • Elderly visiting programme
  • Homeless drop in service
  • Housing advice service
  • Alpha

Salt and Light! For such a time as this!

If anyone has questions or wishes to become part of this vision before the above events get going, then please get in touch via celebrate@transformationthurrock.com.

Colin Baker (Grays Baptist Church)
Andy Blakey (Seabrooke & All Saints’ Mission-Shaped Community, Grays)
Tim Harrold (church-in-the-house)

* name of event yet to be confirmed