Blog 2 – Describe a Community

by Lorna Lyons

Week 3 sets sail on this community building voyage and we begin with a concept we discuss a lot in bold, Authenticity. This is widely considered as the most important attribute in a leader, but it is not quantifiable, it is subjective so how can it be measured? Research shows that authenticity and trust is more important than hierarchy but authenticity & trust need to be earned whereas hierarchy can simply be constructed. Does a community need a leader? More questions, so off we go into our breakout rooms with another question ‘How does Community work?’ we answered:

  • Common Interest
  • Desire to be part of the community.
  • Common drive & motivation
  • Engagement
  • Frequency

I reflect that bold does have Authenticity at least I hope the partners consider it so and doesn’t have a leader but is a community. Onto the next homework task ‘Describe a community’ which I attempted for the bold community below:

Context A community of people who have completed the bold (Bringing Out Leaders in Dementia) Online Social Leadership Programme and then move forward to help those living with dementia to flourish in their own communities.
Membership Is dependent upon completion of the bold Programme.
Choreography Weekly e-mails, social media, sharing stories & blogs on community & main website from the bold community. Partners share and take part to different degrees at varying times.
Exclusion You must complete the bold Programme and have a link to the dementia world which my colleague and I discussed could arguably include 1 in 2 people since 52% of the population either has a dementia diagnosis or knows someone who has.
Tempo A very relaxed tempo there is never any pressure to take part and we stress there are never any right or wrong answers as everyone is on their own social leadership journey within dementia. Many partners are either living with a dementia or caring for someone with a dementia so pastoral care is very important.
Identity We take a very person-centred and creative approach which is perhaps off-putting for some who don’t consider themselves creative which we support by saying it isn’t the output it is the process.
Rituals Writing poems and sharing creative endeavours is a ritual which has developed, balanced with more concrete knowledge sharing within the dementia world.
Anthems The bold values which were written by the community are Showing Character, Showing Love, Being Creative & Being bold.

Completing this homework gave me a warm and fuzzy feeling as we have a lot that connects us a bold community and a common goal.

Julian’s work reflects that “Communities may find coherence in their internal agreement, or they may find it in external dissent. Both are equally powerful.”

We feel that our bold Community has both we all agree in a world where living with dementia doesn’t hinder the way you live your life or who you are and are also strongly opposed to any organisation who doesn’t have those with lived experience at its core.

As communities go we are a pretty good one and hopefully our future is bold & bright.

Find out more about Sea Salt Learning here! 

Follow Julian’s blog here!

Read blog 1 of our Community Building journey here!