Blog 3 – The bold Community Identity

by Lorna Lyons

This week kicks off with another big philosophical concept – Belonging. Does belonging mean membership, identifying with or as something, conforming to a particular belief or view, aligning with particular values or do you simply need to feel welcomed in order to belong. After this gentle discussion we are invited into breakout rooms to consider ‘What does it mean to belong?’

My sailor friends and I decided it was subjective but perhaps you had to feel a certain way to belong like safe, welcome, connected, shared experience, emotional connection etc. Back in the main room Julian asked us to flip it over ‘What makes you feel like you don’t belong?’ Some communities are exclusive and are defined by exclusion. I guess the bold community excludes anyone who hasn’t completed the bold programme or whose life hasn’t been impacted by dementia. However given the statistic I quoted in an earlier blog of 1 in 2 people either have a dementia diagnosis or know someone who has, we are perhaps less exclusive than we think.

Julian set this week’s homework, ‘What is your identity made of?’ I’ll be honest I had a busy week and left it until the day before and then considered the work we had done together at the bold Futures Event regarding Head, Heart and Feet and so bold partners I present the bold Identity for your perusal.

The bold Identity

I don’t think there needs much more explanation other than with our heads we are trying to transform the dementia landscape with safety and love. With our hearts we are being open and courageous to try new ideas and push boundaries. And with our feet we are making an impact and paving the way for change ensuring the voices of those with lived experience of dementia are heard.

Roles within our bold Community

The following week we discussed what role you play within your community. Does it depend which community you are in? Do you bring different selves to different communities? Probably yes and communities perhaps need the right conditions and the right people in the right roles to thrive.

Julian suggested there are 3 roles within a community:

  1. Controller
  2. Follower
  3. Instigator/Change Agent

I think we all take on those roles depending on the task at hand but one thing is for sure we are all dementia activists striving towards a shared vision.

So, with our community identity and the roles within still buzzing around in our heads Julian set us the following weeks homework task of writing an advert for our bold community. Lovely boldlings you’ve all already been recruited but feel free to share with any new recruits you have in mind, I present to you the bold advert:

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Read the other blogs of our Community Building journey here.