Since I started working on Museum of Fun I’ve come across a heap of amazing people who are keen to get involved, or are busy working on their own ways to take action and make Whitstable a better place.
I’ve discovered this undercover world of active citizens running groups and societies with no plan to make a profit, from the board game club, to the Twinning Association, to the lantern parade, to park run, residents groups, the museum community group or WhitLit volunteers. There are far too many to list, in fact there’s a small army of people who are giving time, energy and thought to adding a layer of interest and depth to our town.
I don’t know if there’s a phrase for these people. I wish there was. I think of them as the Active Citizens of Whitstable. Although that shortens to ACOW which isn’t a very friendly acronym. And citizen reminds me of Citizen Smith, so I’m not sure the word is right.
I have a few dreams about my life in this town. One of them is to throw an annual party for all the ACOWs (name to be confirmed.) To get an invite you must pledge to take action and do some positive act to improve life for our community. It could be one small thing like volunteering to go on a beach clean, or taking in interest in local affairs by attending a WAMP meeting, or setting up a group for your hobby.
I like the idea of this meeting for people who Do Stuff, and wonder if new ideas could be hatched, alliances formed, or maybe this meeting of busy creative people might even have some epiphany and win the Holy Grail of Whitstable life and fix our traffic problems?
My other dream is more personal, I would love to create a useful, exciting, permanent, tourist thing in the town. Something that nowhere else has, and that would entertain locals and get people talking about our town. I have no clear plan for what this will be, just a few half hatched ideas. Unfortunately I have to make a living and don’t have any spare cash so this will likely just stay a dream. But if I did win the lottery I’m pretty sure there’d be a bunch of clever active Whitstable citizens to give guidance. Ideally over a glass of wine at some Doing Stuff People’s party. (Must work on that name…)