Arden Academy and Knowle Library
As one of the larger organisations in the village, the Society seeks to maintain effective relationships with the wider community and values the links that it develops from time to time. The opportunities and perhaps even pressures for the Society to consider additional roles in the community from increased ‘Localism’ are making this an area of increasing importance for the Trustee Directors.
Recent examples of new links being developed by the Society (community laision) are Arden Academy and Knowle Library. Links with the local schools and the Library are not new but the nature of these particular links is new.
Recent activities (July 2011) include the conclusion of a ground-breaking agreement between The Knowle Society and Solihull Council in which the Society provides volunteers to enable the extension of library opening to Saturday afternoons. A photo-competition Knowle as I see it was also organised for young people to express their likes and dislikes about Knowle in photographs. This concluded with a photo-call of the winners, both pupils of Arden Academy. One of the Society’s aims is develop young people’s interest in the community of Knowle, perhaps through a youth section and this is seen as a ‘toe in the water’ towards achieving that objective. See the News Log for stories on both Library volunteering and the photo competition.
The Society is the lead organiser for one of the largest annual events in the village, the switching-on of the Christmas lights each year. Knowle Traders takes responsibility for all the lights on premises, the Society takes responsibility for organising the Christmas tree and the lights on that tree. The Knowle Society organises the closing off of part of Kenilworth Road and the logistics of the event.
On the day itself all the participating organisations provide stewards, Knowle & Dorridge Round Table provides Father Christmas and a street collection, the Traders provide refreshments, Arden Academy provides the Ardenaires to play and the church leads the carol singing.