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Greater is a new magazine for the Greater Bentley region, made exclusively by people from the area and produced with the support of A Better Way. It’s full of inspiring examples and fascinating insights that illustrate the power and the potential of genuine connection and community.

The small town of Bentley (which lies 3 miles outside Doncaster), together with the area of Greater Bentley which surrounds it, is amongst the top 10 per cent of poorest communities in the UK. Over the last few decades, there has been a breakdown of its social infrastructure, closure of the pits, cuts to council services such as home help, wardens, youth services, children’s centres that were all part of the day-to-day contact of communication between person to person. Most communication with the council can only be accessed online.

The magazine gives another way of communication that is free to local residents, will be a vehicle for facilitating discussion, and a voice for what’s good in the community, by sharing news about local groups and events. The last time the community had a newsletter was in the late eighties but it has a proud history of community-led solutions which the new magazine is showcasing and hopes to build upon. Articles include ‘Building Better from Below’ by Warren Draper about the work of the Bentley Urban Farm, ‘Better Business: Rethinking Business in the Community’, by Ian Mayer DL, about the role that business can play in building empathy with local community and working in a collaborative, co-operative and constructive way, and Catherine Berry about the Bentley Community Choir. 4,000 copies were distributed by a local business to local residents, and the magazine is already sparking wider interest in those who might like to do something similar.

To read the magazine click here.

Greater want to create a Better Way network in their community of resilient, self-reliant, caring communities - and they think Greater Bentley is the perfect place to show the power and potential of this kind of network. The Greater network members and contributors to the magazine currently are:

Charlie Hogarth DMBC Councillor

Dave Berry Vicar of St Peter's Church

Angie Davies - Teacher Bentley High Street, Primary school

Warren Draper - Doncopolitan

Janis James - CEO Academy Trust. Education

Ian Mayer - Manna CIC/Mirata

Natasha Mead - Stronger Families Co-ordinator

Tara Hannan-Murphy - WEA co-ordinator for Doncaster. Local resident

Audrey Thompson retired- local resident

Bentley Area Community Library is a contact point for the magazine and major community hub which, with the help of the magazine, is building a ‘warm web’ in the community which is promoting informal education and learning through family fun sessions. It already hosts many events, including a carers’, cancer support and fibromyalgia groups, to the WEA Learning Group, to Art, Readers’ and Heritage Groups and computer courses.

For more information, visit the website the Greater network are building.