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Concrete Wall

Building a Community
Barry Dore

Q&A with Barry Dore


Why did you write ‘Building A Community'?

Initially simply to capture the story of the eight year long project to build our new village hall. It was too good a story, full of challenges, pitfalls, heartache and laughter, to be lost. I saw it as something limited to local interest.


How did your thinking develop along the way?

Very early on in writing the book I realized it was not a book about building a village hall at all, it was about building a vibrant and sustainable rural community. The project had been the catalyst which ignited our community. It was only then that I realized the connection to my professional work on leadership, how we had been ultimately successful by focusing on timeless and proven leadership principles around clarity of goals, right people, building relationships and trust.


Why is the concept of community so important to you?

Small rural villages face so many threats. There are real issues of lack of transport links, rural isolation, young people leaving, inadequate internet provision. Developing a vibrant rural community can address those issues, and ensure these villages not only survive but thrive.


Who is the book aimed at?

I think three distinct audiences. Firstly people within our community who were part of the journey. Secondly I hope it will inspire other communities facing the challenges of rural isolation, limited services and declining engagement. Finally a wider leadership audience. Part of the book focuses on the leadership principles we adhered to, and demonstrates that effective leadership is needed everywhere, not just in companies, but also in any community activity.


How does it link to your previous book, ‘Lead Like Mary’?

Quite simply because both books are about leadership, and authentic leadership in particular. I was delighted by the positive response to ‘Lead Like Mary’, in particular the leadership principles it examined. These same proven and timeless principles are at the heart of ‘Building A Community.’



"Building a community is a fantastic, true story of how a small community came together to achieve great things! The book not only describes the challenging journey Fradswell went through to build a new village hall but also shows that team work, dedication and having a clear vision make anything possible. The story spans 8 years and covers the many challenges Fradswell faced trying to build a community spirit and also a new village hall, throughout the story the principles of effective leadership are discussed, alongside the challenges, and show that the principles of effective leadership are not just for the boardroom! A great read for both the lessons in leadership and the story of a how a community was reinvigorated" MG.


"This is a wonderful book. I read it practically at one sitting as I became totally absorbed in the way the village become re-galvanised back into a community due to the energy & determination of the author Barry who had noticed a lack of community spirit in the rural village he recently relocated to. The stories come alive as you become caught up in the ups and downs as Barry & the village residents overcome obstacles and find solutions to what appear to be simple yet very historical land ownership & modern day funding problems in the rebuilding of their dream village hall (Community Hub!). This is a very informative and inspiring book, an absolute must read for anyone with an interest in local village life, community projects, leadership & change. Indeed it is a must for anyone looking to be inspired by the sheer determination of others" P.B.

Building a Community...



"Having being involved in the project to build the new village hall, reading the book was a very emotive experience. Barry captures the highs and lows with a perfect balance. The community of Fradswell are amazing; Barry captures and explains the strong values and community spirit with great passion, this undoubtedly played a huge part in the success of the project. The book is a very valuable record of the project that illustrates how the journey began, the obstacles encountered and the elation experienced at the various stages of success. Barry is an inspirational Leader and this is very apparent when reading the book, but having worked with Barry on the project, his determination and passion were amazing through all of the highs and lows. Finally for anyone wanting to undertake any type of improvement/change project this book is a ‘must’ read that could make a very real difference." LT


" Well, I don’t know how THAT happened but I just took the afternoon off work to read a local true-life story! When you imagine a countryside village, you probably think of Emmerdale. A local pub and shop and hairdresser, etc. But there’s a real ‘village’ outside of Stone that has none of those things and appears very widespread, difficult to get to and confusing to navigate around. I know, I’ve been there! The properties are all just beautiful with many large gardens and pretty much no one seems to share a driveway with neighbours. Sounds idyllic in many ways but, having lived in village locations myself, all of that can come with a tinge of separation, isolation and loneliness. Not in THIS village though! Despite pitiful internet access, somehow, the residents far and wide found a way to communicate and come together to create a phenomenal central hub to serve the whole community. The story of how they accomplished and, literally, built and cemented their community is the reason for my unexpected half day! Read ‘Building a Community’ by Barry Dore It’s heart-lifting and inspiring and will have you longing to live in Fradswell." AD


"I have just read your book Barry and I loved it. I felt many emotions and I was with you every step of the way, as you took your reader on the journey you lived. It was an amazing experience and you and your colleagues are truely motivated and inspiring people. Your journey made me reflect on my own experiences over 36 years of working within the NHS. great memories in the main but by goodness some real uphill battles." SK

"Your book is a triumph and it clearly recognises the mammoth task the Working Group undertook. It allows outsiders a view of Fradswell and the need for a beating heart in rural communities. It is an easy read and sets a vision for other likeminded groups to adopt to achieve similar projects. Yes, it would not be a cake walk but it provides hope and a ‘road map’ to follow. It shows that the road ahead can be like the M6 on a Friday afternoon but with patience and an accurate Sat Nav the destination is achievable. I enjoyed the book as it was a very personal journey for you and many other hard working, committed and loyal residents.

For me knowing the individuals in the book made the journey real and more believable. It has made me, at 67, think (and that takes some doing) about how I approach my life in terms of community involvement. Anyway, back to the book, I loved it. It’s readable narrative style hides a depth of understanding obviously gained through intuitive leadership knowledge. It is only right that understated, solid and dependable people like Andrea are highlighted for their contribution. I thought page 39 showed a huge visionary change; this was a vital rethink. I loved the ‘on or not on the bus’ page too - I know how you felt. The book displayed that a professional approach with the correct professional people in place reap rewards. Amateurs can achieve a great deal but not the full package. Also there is a need for grit, determination and sometimes the need for honest home truths. (Tread on as few toes as possible but don’t be afraid to tread heavily on some if necessary) In conclusion Barry Dore’s Book, Building a Community needs to be compulsory reading for all Parish Councillors or Village Hall Committee Members. AND, if something needs doing stand up, take responsibility, organise and do." RT

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