As part of Power to Change places, the role of peer connector was established in Devonport to help connect with the local community and begin to solve problems faced within this locality.
Natalie has been living in Stonehouse for 1 and half years. She has not experienced community work like this before however she does volunteer for a local social enterprise and has previous volunteering experience in both primary and secondary schools. She is currently a full time student studying Business Management at the University of St. Marks and St. John.
The role was presented to Natalie by an organisation she is currently volunteering with. Her role as a peer connector is to ‘connect’ with local residents of Stonehouse and Devonport and inform them of community enterprise and the Make Things Happen community event. Natalie also gathered feedback on various issues that locals in the community rose by attending workshops, going door to door and speaking local businesses. Her aim was to determine what they wanted/needed in their neighbourhood to build a sense of community.
Natalie was keen to get involved in this community project because she is passionate about making a difference to people’s lives. She has also had previous research experience from her studies that she felt she could use to assist the impact of her efforts.
This community work has given Natalie an insight into what residents want and the ways in which community enterprise can make a difference. It has also helped her to gain confidence in interacting with people of all ages.