ROC Conversation 2020

On 12th March 2020 at 7pm, 185 people gathered at Trinity Methodist Church, Woking to take part in a conversation about the needs of the Woking community. 

Events started with a song -performed  by Sarah Goddard accompanied by Graham Kirby-Smith.  Then the formal start to the proceedings began with David Munro (Police and Crime Commissioner) and  Mayor Beryl Hunwicks saying a few words. 

First task was to write all the good things happening in Woking on post-it notes and stick them to a large poster.

Debra Green OBE (CEO of Redeeming our Communities, ROC UK) then interviewed some key people. Ian Nicholson and Rosemary Johnson told us about community work run by Woking FC. Ray Morgan (former CEO of Woking BC) reminded us of the need for affordable housing. We were then invited to share our needs by pegging luggage labels to a ‘wishing line’ , yellow labels denoted needs and green labels with offers of help. We ended up with 160 yellow needs labels and 120 green offers labels! 

More interviews followed,  with Brett Freeman, principal of Woking College, talking passionately about the need to give students a sense of belonging to a community and reminding us of the poor mental health of some students with around 40 giving cause for concern. Inspector Andy Greaves, Woking Police Commander, reminded us of policing concerns such as ‘county lines’ and the targeting of vulnerable young girls. Dr Caroline Baker, CEO of NW Surrey Integrated Care Services then spoke about the issues challenging GPs, including the loneliness of some patients contributing to their poor mental health, and how organisations could help through social prescribing. 

This led on to the main heart of the evening, round table discussions of local issues that were of concern to guests. Issues were first identified, and then suggestions made as to how these could be resolved. In total 150 issues were raised, the top three issues being Youth (21), Loneliness and Isolation (20) and Mental Health (17). 

Each of the 23 tables were asked to select its priority issue and present it to the gathering. Facilitated by Debra and her husband, Frank, all table reps were interviewed, and people could hear the range of discussions and solutions proposed. 

In wrapping up people were asked if they would like to get involved in the next stage of Action Groups of which 75 came forward. 

Since 2020 ROC Woking has formed a steering group and been running 3 Action Groups Youth, Loneliness and Isolation and Mental Health.


We are running a follow up Conversation on Thursday 26th September 2024

Please watch this space for further details ...

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