Ritchie Community League and the Support Team have hosted several open house meetings to present the Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE) initiative. The great turnout at these meetings demonstrate the need for a framework to enhance neighbourliness and connections between neighbours. Many keen Ritchie residents have already signed up to become Block Connectors (BC) (stay tuned for the Block Connector list and check out if your block has its own BC).
The Ritchie Abundant Community Support Team is thrilled to officially announce that Amanda Heiford has accepted the position of Neighbourhood Connector.
Amanda brings with her years of directly related professional experience in community engagement and outreach, as well as a strong background in volunteer and project management. This along with her passion for Ritchie, enthusiasm for our community, and ability to foster relationships amongst individuals, will help us grow Ritchie into an even stronger community for all neighbours. The Support Team couldn’t be happier, and with Amanda we are certain Ritchie Abundant Communities initiative is in incredibly capable hands. We want you to grow with us and help build Ritchie to its fullest potential! Here you can learn more about the initiative and even sign up to be a Block Connector on your street!
A Face of ACE
Maureen O’Neil has a lot of commitments. In addition to being a mom to energetic four and one year-old boys, working full time, volunteering, and joining the Community League Board last month; the energetic Block Connector is trying to make a difference in northeast Ritchie.
“I initially saw the Abundant Community Edmonton program on the League’s Facebook page and it looked really interesting,” she says. “I think neighbourly connections benefit everyone so I don’t mind doing my part to make our community a great place to live.”
As a Block Connector, Maureen is looking to engage with the people on her street and build relationships. She recognizes the advantages to knowing and working with her neighbours.
“It sort of started out as a search for a reliable babysitter to be honest,” she jokes. “But I soon realized that there was much more to be gained than a few nights out.”
After the snow melted earlier this year, Maureen started worrying about her eavestroughs. Not being particularly knowledgeable in the area, she asked a few people on her street for recommendations.
“We ended up finding six homes that were planning to do a spring clean up,” she says. “I called around and discovered that if we coordinated, we could get a 10% discount on the service so it worked out nicely for all of us.”
In the coming months, Maureen will be exploring other interesting ways to add value on her block. The Abundant Communities program has various tools that help volunteers to identify local skills, determine interest in social activities like block parties, and collect ideas for the neighbourhood.
“I’m a friendly and fairly outgoing person so the Block Connector role is a good fit,” she says. “There are tons of great things going on in Ritchie and I’m just glad to be a part of it all.”
Ritchie’s Abundant Community program is continuing to gather momentum. We are still actively looking for local volunteers to fill Block Connector roles. If you would like to learn more please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abundant Community Edmonton
Abundant Community Edmonton (ACE) is a neighbourhood engagement and organization approach – basically, a way to build a culture of connection one neighbourly conversation at a time.
The benefits! ACE works with citizens to…
- Enable relationship building to advance connection and belonging
- Shape community life according to residents’ vision for their neighbourhood
- Build neighbourhood identity and pride through shared ownership and responsibility
- Facilitate local recreation opportunities
- Foster an environment of care for one another
- Reduce social isolation
- Increase safety on the block and in the neighbourhood
- Build the capacity of the neighbourhood to engage with neighbourhood leadership and the City of Edmonton
In 2016, Ritchie Community League has launched the Abundant Community initiative in the neighourhood and put together a Support Team (ST) to spearhead the project.
Be a point person for the block so that everyone can be in touch about block related matters (e.g. garage doors left open and neighbourhood watch) and so that info can be shared (e.g. events and news) back and forth with the community league, other neighbourhood associations and one another.
Initiate the organization of social events, such as block parties, BBQs, Halloween hot chocolate, wine and cheese) with/for your block.
Discover the vision for our neighbourhood, the activities and interests (e.g. soccer, photography) that you and others might want to share in with Ritchie neighbours and what skills, abilities and experiences (e.g. senior care, handy-man/woman) people would be willing to share with a neighbour or the neighbourhood. We have a Neighbourhood Conversation Guide to facilitate this information gathering.
To become a Block Connector, complete this form:
Want to find out more?
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Ready to participate in your abundant community?
Please complete as much of this form as you feel comfortable with: