Have you ever enjoyed a great day out at one of Browns Bay’s many community events? Perhaps you’ve attended Music in the Bays, Carols on the Green, a Sunday morning Shake Your Booty fitness session, the International Friendship Group or a Teddy Bears’ Picnic?
Did you know that all these activities have one person in common? She’s Sally Cargill, the East Coast Bays community co-ordinator, and manager of the East Coast Bays Community Project. Oh, and she’s also coordinating the Hibiscus and Bays Restoration Group and the Pest-Free Network.
Originally from Whangarei, Sally moved to Browns Bay in 1983, and almost immediately started doing volunteer community work. When she successfully applied for the parttime position of community co-ordinator in the early 90s, she seized the opportunity to “… set up a community house in Browns Bay, ascertain the needs of people of the East Coast Bays, and provide services to meet those needs, and … work with youth.”
When people are looking out for each other and feel like they belong to a community – that’s all you need.
Community development happens when people meet and interact with each other [which] builds fantastic community cohesion, making people feel good about where they live, … and … able to say, “I live in East Coast Bays – and it’s a fabulous place to live.”
I love my work! I hope to continue for as long as the funds keep coming and as long as my legs keep walking.
We’re all around the village green and it’s just the most amazing setting for community development to happen. When we’re having our Teddy Bears’ Picnic, the librarian comes over and reads stories to the kids.
The annual Cairo to Cape Town festival began in 2003. In recent years, about 20,000 visitors have enjoyed being immersed in African culture – food, music, dancing and crafts. And all that happened because people from South Africa wanted to show their culture in a positive light. It’s just been fantastic, so when people come to me with these ideas, generally we’ll give it a go.
(First published and permission to post by ShoreLines Magazine)