KEYNSHAM ACTION NETWORK may be difficult to understand because it is not one thing – it is a Network, a weaving together of many ideas and aspirations, many groups and individuals.
A single hole in the net catches and holds the fish.
By itself that hole is useless, a nothing. To catch a fish, it needs the help of all the other nothings in the net.
A core activity within KAN is the weaving of the net. In Keynsham there are many people who deplore its current state, but by themselves they can do nothing. We want to listen to those people, to discover what their concerns are, to join together those with similar concerns to create a whole, which by working together can catch the fish they’re after.
We want to listen – because to deal with a problem you must attack its root. To achieve root solutions listening matters. This, shortened to RSLM, is a method used with great success by several organisations to tackle failing communities, and we have the backing of two of these, RE:generate in particular.
RSLM trains “listeners”. Our “listeners” have conversations with residents, guiding the flow of talk to discover their likes and dislikes about Keynsham, and whether they feel strongly enough to join with others in an Action Group. The problem that the Action Group addresses is chosen by the Group, not by KAN, and the Group takes the lead in their chosen action.
As Action Groups form, one after another, they build up a Network which is capable of combined action to tackle larger issues, such as the status of Keynsham as a local centre, independent of Bristol and Bath. This will take time, but we have the example of RE:generate in Whiteway, Bath, and of Connecting Communities in Falmouth to assure us that change is possible!