Over the past few years, community organising has emerged as a vibrant and powerful movement; building collective power within communities; enabling people to overcome social injustice by taking action around their common concerns.
It is such a popular movement that organisations as diverse as the Nationwide Building Society, Airbnb, and Bristol City Council are all employing community organisers. It’s a success that is reflected in the membership of the national body – known simply as ‘Community Organisers’ – which has grown from hundreds to thousands of members in less than two years; inspiring people up and down the country to join a growing band of active citizens who are transforming their neighbourhoods for good.
The impact of that transformation is acknowledged in the Government’s Civil Society Strategy, which states: “We know that where Community Organisers are at work, people feel a stronger sense of belonging to their neighbourhood, they feel more valued, and they become more likely to team up and improve their area.”
Last week, amid this growth in community organising and surge in social action – and just over a year since its inception on Charities Day 2017 – The National Academy of Community Organising registered its 2,000th learner: Tyler England from Islington in London.
18-year-old Tyler – who currently volunteers with the Islington Food Bank and is part of the Creative Opportunities project – said that he was inspired to take part in the ‘Introduction to Community Organising’ training because he would like to “represent the Constituency one day as an MP.” Going on to say that the course gave him the opportunity to understand his local community’s interests and concerns – and that community organising would enable him to have: “empathy and up-to-date knowledge of where I live, and how to organise movements.”