The last year has challenged all in every part of life. Some changes can be swiftly charted. The challenges of isolation, work, poverty, skills, health, learning and active well-being remain. The pandemic has however given them new shape and depth but we may now be clearer on what may work and what may have to change.
Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum, thanks to the informed and faithful commitment of those who have sustained and supported our work, has continued to meet and to develop what we do alongside our Councillor Mary Locke, and Karen Cheney with her City Council colleagues at Stirchley Baths. With them and many other local partners we have welcomed and worked with the newly planned development of the former Tesco site, other sites whose use may change and the wider High Street renewal initiatives. Corners have been turned. More will come and be met successfully. We continue to work with police, library, health, transport and education providers to ensure that their work responds to Stirchley’s needs.
Our core work is of course exactly as our name says. Forum is first and last a gathering place of experience, wisdom, needs, opportunity and action. Our Neighbourhood Forum is utterly committed to offering this for the benefit of Stirchley’s excitingly varied residents. We are not confined to the High Street. Our commitment is to the whole ward including the Pineapple (Dad’s Lane) estate, housing, industrial and business areas away from Pershore Road and to areas brought in since 2018 to the new Stirchley Ward. We have already begun to develop new work in housing especially in relation to sheltered housing and multi-occupation sites, new and old.
The future demands that we continue all this. We want, from now on, however to explore the ways in which we might be a means, on behalf of residents, to gather together Stirchley’s many different stakeholders. Stirchley is never short of creativity and enterprise, whether in work, business, learning, healing, culture or social change. We are however as a Neighbourhood much in need together of a means of effective communication and where appropriate for joint working and partnership. Within all else that the next twelve months offers must be sharp focus for the sake of all who live here and all who care for its future.
My very large thanks to all who have attended meetings and supported us and especially to our Committee for their faithful work and wise insight. Paula Aubrey our Treasurer has not only been assiduous in keeping our books straight and in enabling the Stirchley Together funds to operate effectively but also in ensuring with Pastor Matt and his colleagues at Stirchley Community Church that we have a steady welcoming place to meet. Julie has been indefatigable on Zoom, Margaret, Heidi and Stacey give wisdom and a wide range of contacts and of course Sandra Cooper, our vice-Chair, Planning Officer and Acting Secretary has worked with assiduity, commitment and deep insight to further the Forum’s work.
It has been a great personal joy to be their colleague in the service of Stirchley. Please join us.
Rob Morris, Chair
To read the full annual report from 2020 – 2021, click here.