Meet Adrian

Meet Adrian Oldman, Voluntary Director at Transition Stroud (TS)

Transition Stroud newsletter editor Josephine Murray (JM) caught up with Adrian (AO), who joined TS 15 months ago and is involved with TS, The Door and The Bike Drop?

JM: How long have you lived in Stroud?

AO: I’ve lived in Stroud for 40-odd years, on and off. My first job was for the district council in the late 70s straight after leaving school. I’ve lived away, I’ve lived abroad, and I’ve lived back here in the District in Randwick, Rodborough, Top of Town and now Whiteshill.

JM: What’s your role in TS?

AO: I’ve been helping to progress Transition’s own initiatives, and helping to support linked bodies and organisations with their bids for funding and support. We’re quite often asked by various local organisations to comment on and support their bids.

JM: So what do you do with your time?

AO: I left the full-time corporate life about two years ago, as I wanted a more flexible, home-based lifestyle without a 10 hour weekly commute, and I was fortunate enough to be able to do that. I now love the mix of sitting down at a desk and writing, as well as getting out and meeting with young people, hearing their concerns and seeing if I can help. I’m really very fortunate, and I try not to forget that.

I’m a self-employed communications consultant, and I’m currently doing some work for a government agency; Innovate UK. They gave out grants at the start of the pandemic, prioritising social and environmental initiatives, such as Feed Oxford. I’m writing case studies from the various bodies that got the grants about what they’ve done with them. One fascinating one is making cycle bollards for cycle lanes out of used tyres.

I’m also a part-time youth worker with local youth charity, The Door. I wanted to do something with young people so I applied initially as a volunteer mentor, because that’s what I’ve done in the past. They said ‘have you considered youth work?’ We run a number of youth centres across the district, in Stroud, Wotton, Cam and Dursley. I run sessions in each of these. What we do varies centre by centre, it depends what the young people want to do. It could be playing pool, listening to music, or using the session for homework, because often the young people don’t have access to wifi or laptops at home.

The Door also runs sessions in schools, either at lunchtime or after school, the give the young people a safe space to chill and chat issues over. The Door are always looking for volunteer mentors, with over 120 young people being supported at the moment.

Personally, I’m mentoring a 14-year-old, and helping him to address and deal with his anxiety problems, which manifests in him struggling to get to school.

JM: What’s your involvement with The Green Party?

AO: I stood for the District Council in May, but the electorate didn’t want me! Anyway, because I’m passionate about getting younger people interested and involved in politics, together with a couple of others, we’re helping to set up a Stroud Young Greens chapter.

JM: What’s your role with Middle Hill Community Association?

AO: Up until a couple of months ago I lived in Summer Street off Bisley Old Road. I have a car so I often collect food from The Octagon or the Freezer of Love and take it to the Middle Hill Community Room. We collect a lot of surplus food from various places such as Tesco – food that would otherwise go to waste, and people can take it on a pay-as-you-can-afford basis.

JM: What do you do in your spare time?

We’re currently doing up the house we recently moved into. I’m also starting my own veg patch in the garden. It’s many years since I’ve grown my own food, and now I’ve got the opportunity. I’ve already got broccolli and Japanese onions in, and sadly already being attacked by the local slug patrol!!

I’m also a voluntary director of local enterprise, the Bike Drop. It’s part of The Grace Network, an umbrella social enterprise set up to incubate social businesses such as The Long Table, Furniture Bank and Kids’ Stuff. At The Bike Drop our motto is Bike First, and our aim is to get more people to think of bikes – electric and cargo – as a regular means of our transport solution. We meet weekly to make sure we’re on track and look at potential opportunities.

Find out about more local Stroud Transitioneers

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