Last month we welcomed new community mobiliser, Rebecca, to Arborfield Green and this month it’s the turn of Tadpole Garden Village to introduce Chris Tanner!
Tadpole Garden Village is an exciting new development near Swindon so it made sense for a Swindon local to become its community mobiliser. We caught up with Chris Tanner to find out more…
Congratulations on your new role as community mobiliser at Tadpole Garden Village, Chris! Can you start by telling us a little bit about you and your experience?
Thank you! Well, I suppose a good place to start is to say I’m a Tadpole Garden Village resident myself. I moved in at the end of June 2016 but have been local to Swindon for over 30 years. For the first 25 years of my life I was based in Fairford (around 12 miles away) and I then lived in Old Town for nine years before the move to Tadpole Garden Village.
Swindon is a great area, hence why I’ve stayed nearby. It’s so close to the Cotswolds but London is also easily accessible. There are plenty of things to do and see – hopefully my local knowledge will be useful to the Tadpole Garden Village community.
From a professional point of view, I spent 11 years working as Media and Communications Manager at Swindon Town Football Club and now work in the education sector in a similar role. I’ve been involved in a plethora of things, from event management, fundraising initiatives to social media and press relations.
Sport is a big part of my life too; having volunteered for my local football team for years and, despite almost being classed as a veteran, I still play rugby regularly in a local league. Having just moved into a new build property, I’m spending lots of time with my fiancée making the house a home, as well as on Pinterest!
How do you see that experience fitting in with the community mobiliser role and Tadpole Garden Village?
During each stage of my career I’ve been involved community engagement in one form or another, whether it’s been through working closely with a local charity or in growing social media channels to help followers – communities – stay in touch and up to date.
It sounds like you’ve got a really keen interest in sport too?
Yes – I’m still a volunteer for Fairford Town FC and have done for the past 20 years or so. I think that fits in really well with the community here at Tadpole Garden Village, as there are plenty of sports facilities in the pipeline. The importance of green space is a focus of the garden village too. I can see there being a lot of interest in sports groups – I know there have already been a lot of great ideas put forward.
From a ‘Meet Your Neighbours’ event earlier in September we had lots of great suggestions for different clubs, activities and groups at Tadpole Garden Village. There were certainly lots of sports-based ones that would be great to get up and running but it was by no means limited to sport, there was a huge variety – from cookery nights to parenting groups.
What is first up on the agenda for you as community mobiliser?
Top of my list is to make sure there really is something for everyone at Tadpole Garden Village; that can be so important for an emerging community.
With that in mind we’re looking at getting together a calendar of events – we want to get lots in place over the next few months in the run up to Christmas. But we want people to feed in their ideas to that events calendar too.
We’re hoping to get another date in the diary for neighbours to get together and discuss ideas for our emerging community.
Can you quickly summarise for us what you believe is most important as a community mobiliser?
Everyone is in the same boat at Tadpole Garden Village; everyone is new to the community. That’s a great opportunity to really mould the role of community mobiliser to the residents and what they would like to see from the Tadpole Garden Village community.
A community mobiliser helps to establish a new community and with a big development like Tadpole Garden Village there is also a responsibility in ensuring there’s a stake in the ground for the community in the local area – we want the development to be recognised locally and blend with other communities too.
How can Tadpole Garden Village residents get in touch with you?
The first port of call for getting in touch really is the residents’ forum. Visit www.tadpolegardenvillage.com and click on the forum tab. This is a private forum, exclusively for residents at Tadpole Garden Village, so you will need your PREIM resident login to access the forum.
Ask us any questions you may have about the community here, post your ideas for groups or get-togethers, or simply introduce yourself to your neighbours!
The website is also a hub for resident information, whether it’s the opportunity to register your interest for an allotment, find out more about local wildlife at the garden village and learn about upcoming events.
Alternatively, my email is [email protected] or say ‘hello’ if you see me around.
Thank you for telling us a bit more about your role Chris!