Blog: The Power of Community

Despite the fact that those enquiring about relocating to Jersey are becoming more and more diverse in terms of where they are moving from, what they want to find in Jersey and what appeals to them is the unique sense of community Jersey offers.

Those who move to the  Island, often with their families and their businesses, also often make big contributions to the local community in numerous ways; through supporting charities and community groups, via philanthropic endeavours, through the arts or sport, and sometimes in ways that are not so obvious.

Work-life balance is so important when it comes to selecting somewhere to move to, and the prospect of getting involved in local community life is a huge draw for people looking at a place to relocate to.

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Community is everything, it’s why at Locate Jersey, the relocation journey doesn’t stop once your application has been approved. The team here make every effort to continue to support those moving to Jersey, to help them settle in by introducing them to people and organisations that might be helpful in setting up their home or their business, or that might align with their hobbies and interests. After all, moving somewhere new can be daunting.

As self-acknowledged ‘urbanite’ Stewart Newton and former London resident Richard Urban, two of those who have made the move over to Jersey, explained to us recently, immersing yourself in the local community, however that might be, is undoubtedly the best way to get to know a place, and make it feel like home.

It’s now 5 years since Stewart and wife Pip made the move across the Channel from the UK, but they wasted no time in getting involved in Jersey life. In fact, a desire for change away from a hectic hedge fund City lifestyle and to embrace everything the Island has to offer was a key driver behind their move, they saw their relocation as a “big adventure”.

“The lifestyle Jersey offers has been fantastic for us. The outdoors leisure pursuits, golf and walks with Bessie, our dog who became a member of the family after we arrived. Moving here has given us the gift of time and we feel genuinely privileged to call Jersey home. Being here has reinvigorated me to give something back to the island and try to help where I can.” – Stewart

Richard, meanwhile, moved to Jersey from London in 2014 with wife Zoe and has had a similar experience. Now a non-executive director sitting on the boards of real estate funds, Richard has not only found that the move to Jersey has given him a strong growth platform for his business, but it has also afforded him a far better work-life balance than his prior role as an investment manager in the City of London.

Richard & wife Zoe moved to Jersey in 2014.

“The move has given us time, more time to spend with one another and more time to do things we enjoy. There’s not a day goes by when we aren’t grateful for that.” – Richard

Stewart Newton, President of the National Trust for Jersey at The Elms

It’s often the case that those who relocate to Jersey find opportunities to apply their interests to local causes when they arrive too. Stewart, for example, has helped support the development of the Jersey Hockey Club stadium, a sport he holds close to his heart, since he moved over, and more recently was appointed to the role of President of the National Trust for Jersey.

Drawing on his previous experience of being involved in Imperial College’s Endowment Fund, Stewart is keen to play a part in broadening the Trust’s membership to preserve Jersey’s countryside, coastline and historic sites, and has his sights set on engaging a wider cross-section of people and being more digital to support the Trust’s work.

Richard too was always keen that he would give back to the Island after moving here and has been able to direct his energy into areas he is passionate about. Over the past 6 years, he has been able to get involved in a number of areas of Island life; from being a trustee of Jersey Heritage and sitting on the board of Young Enterprise, to supporting rugby community coaching and becoming an Honorary Police officer.

“All of this has enabled me to get involved in the real Jersey. This is a really passionate island community and I’m proud to be part of it. What I’ve discovered is that, if you are enthusiastic and have the aptitude for something, the community here is extraordinarily welcoming.” – Richard

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Stewart hits the nail on the head when he suggests that it’s the relationship between people and the environment that makes Jersey the special place it is:

“Jersey boasts a unique, passionate community and it’s a community that is so intertwined with the natural environment.”- Stewart

The power of community shouldn’t be underestimated, it’s a powerful two-way thing and is often why Jersey is chosen by internationally mobile people and their families as their preferred place to call home.

In talking to potential relocatees, it’s our experience time and again that being part of a local community, being immersed and involved in it, is really important when it comes to relocating. Doing so makes it possible to attribute a sense of belonging to a place, and as Stewart and Richard have experienced, Jersey’s special community makes it possible to do just that.

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