Published 16th January 2018

Building the community – connecting community practitioners

In December 2015 Nick Gardham (Community Organisers) and Cormac Russell (Nurture Development UK) set out in a three-part blog series the power and potential for connecting community organising and community building approaches.

Since then a lot has happened.  Britain is facing a divorce from the European Union; politics in the UK have become increasingly divided – with a Government that does not hold a majority, and a greater polarity between the far left and far right – set against the rise of an administration in the US that has divided the American nation (and the world).

Division does not build community; relationship building across fault lines, does.

We believe that now is the appropriate time to seek to call on community practitioners from the Community Organisers network and the ABCD networks to connect.  Creating an alliance with each other, to enable more fluid neighbour to neighbour community building.  To create belonging and build a power base that gives solidarity and power at the neighbourhood level.

Across the UK people are using community organising and community building approaches to deepen democracy and build solidarity.  From the Town Hall to hyper-local neighbourhood associations, connections and relationships are being made; power is being built.

We believe that conversations that reach towards alternative futures need to take place between practitioners, so that together, we are creating a new set of relationships that have confidence in the power of community.  We believe that with the combined support of community organisers and ABCD community builders, these conversations could be accelerated!

Across England, and more widely across the UK, community organisers and ABCD community builders have come alongside local residents in neighbourhoods and villages with a view to enabling them to become the primary architects of a better tomorrow.

To support and galvanise this network, Community Organisers has launched a network of Member Organisers to connect community practitioners.  To build regional networks of people to share learning, to share practice, but more importantly to look at what can be achieved together.  With the support of local ABCD community builders, who knows what might be possible?

We are stronger together.

Collectively, our belief is that community organising and ABCD community building can achieve much together.  We hope that at a local level you will join together with local residents to burn a bright flame of liberation and solidarity towards a future where community and people matter more than profit and consumerism.

Onwards!

Nick Gardham CEO of Community Organisers and Cormac Russell MD of Nurture Development UK.

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