The fun that was had at local events recently in the Stroud Brickthrowing competition and Street Parade plus Gloucester’s Winter Festival – Chill Out has had me thinking about the wonderful qualities of small communities. I am fortunate to live in Stroud, a small Mid-North Coast rural community. I’ve lived here all my life and while I’ve seen many changes over the years, one thing that has never wavered has been the wonderful sense of community within our areas: that feeling of identity, togetherness, solidarity, comfort and security. Sure, people in larger cities and towns come together in times of need or danger, but in small rural communities where people tend to know each other and where economic downturns and environmental challenges are more keenly felt, this ‘unity’ seems heightened.
I am passionate about our community’s growth and sustainability, especially as many small communities struggle to survive. As a child, my parents instilled in me the need to be kind and to be involved; to ‘give back’ and ‘invest’ by donating where possible; sponsoring and/or participating in local activities; lending a hand where needed; supporting local businesses; wrangling the Saturday morning fund-raising sausage sizzle, selling raffle tickets…..the events and projects were endless!
And now, as a resident of Stroud and business owner with two offices; Stroud and Bulahdelah, these and our surrounding communities have been very good to me, so my commitment to local support is as strong as ever. R & R Property is active in a wide and varied range of local activities, including financial and product donations to sporting and welfare clubs and groups; starting up street libraries, a school competition where the winner can purchase much needed goods; participation in local events such as Stroud’s Brickthrowing competition and Street Parade, Gloucester’s Chill Out Festival, Medowie Christmas Carnival. We supply free face painting and gifts at events. We support our local artists and photographers, help community groups with printing and postage, continually promoting their events and services. R & R Property also has a policy of employing from within our communities and in order to secure the best possible staff we help them train and improve their professional skills. And, wherever possible, we utilize the services of local contractors, service & product providers. Among my most treasured activities is hosting the local Christmas Giving Tree and supporting our Men’s Shed from which we purchase handcrafted woodwork items to present as gifts to our clients.
Our support is not limited to community and welfare groups. One of the most important factors in a community’s success is its economic strength and sustainability. When essential businesses close down forcing residents to travel to cities or purchase online, the entire community suffers. To help combat this, R & R Property network and collaborate consistently, plus include local businesses in their internet directory. We strongly believe in the concept of doing business with those who do business with us.
Our communities are thriving in the face of a multitude of challenges; challenges that communities everywhere are forced to confront. We are growing, retaining long-term residents while welcoming new residents, many, escaping the cities for quieter, more peaceful and cost-effective lives. We feel such a sense of pride in these wonderful communities and the equally wonderful people we share them with.