Community mobilisers are a crucial part of placemaking. Their work helps to empower residents, bridge the gaps between authorities and individuals and create a community spirit that is often crucial to making somewhere feel like home.
So, it’s our pleasure to welcome a new community mobiliser to the Crest Nicholson Arborfield Green development near Reading, Berkshire.
Rebecca Eytle joined Preim in April 2016 with 10 years experience fundraising for various charities and working in the Careers and Employability Service at the University of Nottingham. Her vast experience working with a wide range of people from many different backgrounds promises to be a real asset to the Arborfield Green community.
A fan of the great outdoors, beyond her role as community mobiliser, Rebecca enjoys camping with her three children and husband, and is discovering new and exciting places all the time having moved to the Arborfield area in January 2016.
We caught up with Rebecca to find out more about her role, her experience and some of the projects she’s working on at the moment.
My experience in the charity sector involved fundraising with corporate clients but also through events and with community supporters. It was a fantastic opportunity to work with volunteers to raise much-needed funds for some fantastic causes.
Working at the University of Nottingham was also a great opportunity to work with people on a one-to-one basis to understand their needs and concerns.
Alongside the experience I’ve gained professionally, I’ve also moved 12 times in 10 years – so my own, personal, experience is also key in helping me in my role as community mobiliser!
My husband was in the military for 16 years: we have lived in Australia and Germany and in different cities, towns and villages across the UK.
We’ve lived in lots of different communities – whether that’s on military bases or in private housing. We have thoroughly enjoyed making the most of each location and getting to know the local community.
Now, working at Arborfield Green, I believe that experience helps me to understand what it is like to move somewhere new.
As a new resident you face challenges such as getting to know the local area, understanding how services work, making new friends and becoming part of the new community. It’s all about finding your feet really.
It can feel quite lonely and isolating when you first move somewhere, especially if you don’t have friends or family close by. Having an access point, whether that be a job, children at the local school, joining a group or organisation or getting to know your neighbours, can make a world of difference. My top tip for new residents is to understand that others often feel the same way!
Great advice! Now we know a bit more about you, could you tell us about your role at Preim and what you do on a day-to-day basis?
No two days are the same. Last week I was at Crest Nicholson’s Head Office feeding into marketing material for the new development. Today I was at a holiday camp run by the Arborfield Church, understanding more about what they do in the community, whilst also planning a fireworks night event.
I stay in contact daily with the site to find out about new developments and work closely with local parish councils, community organisations and residents to keep communication flowing.
I also actively work to make contacts within various existing communities, such as Arborfield village and the military community that is still living on site.
Exactly that – the variety and venturing into the unknown by working with existing communities, as well as new ones, is a great aspect of the job. Building relationships with lots of different people is another area I particularly enjoy.
I hope to help build an atmosphere where all new Arborfield residents are able to take advantage of the community facilities and have an input as to how they are used. Alongside that, I hope to help existing residents build strong links with the new community.
The community mobiliser role is very important for many developments. Most communities take years to grow and find their feet. Community mobilisers will help bring about that stage more quickly and ensure that new residents feel very quickly part of a growing community that has services and links into the wider area.