When we became an independent body in June 2015 the staff team had a lot of work to do. The organisation had to be able to develop so that it could carry the legacy of the Community Organiser Programme but also be ‘fit for purpose’ for the future. To achieve this, we decided that a series of annual events would serve as key milestones for the organisation, enabling us to get to the place where we needed to be.
CO18 highlighted how far we have come since our early days. Through a series of workshops built around the Community Organising Framework the event closed with more than 200 members of the network agreeing on what matters most to people in their own neighbourhoods and how, as a network, people could organise around these issues.
These issues – including government sanction, housing and how the network can provide peer support and skills to each other – are the foundation on which our network will use its collective power to bring about change.
Highlights from CO18 included a fabulous keynote from Ernesto Sirolli, Founder of the Sirolli Institute and a stand out piece of poetry capturing the key themes of the event from Ellen Moran, Member Organiser, North East.