Arriving on 23rd October, the Polish visitors were met by Community Organiser’s CEO Nick Gardham, who joined them on their whistle stop tour of the UK to learn about how community organising has developed in England, so that the lessons learnt and the approach can be developed in Poland.
Their first destination was Stockport, where they visited Community Organiser Nicola Dean at the Starting Point Community Learning Partnership’s Coffee Shop. Later they met with the Alvanley Family Practice’s Kay Keane FRSA and Patient Champion Dave Chorlton – who co-designed an allotment well-being prescription issued by local GPs, which has seen a decrease in the number of folk visiting the surgery with non-medical conditions.
Day two saw the Polish team visiting Lincoln, where they met the City Council Neighbourhood Manager, Paul Carrick, who explained how the Council got involved in Community Organising:
“The aim of the team is to develop neighbourhood action plans by listening to the community. We want to make sure residents have a say over how things run in the area, and have commissioned a place shaping strategy with a governance structure and regular meetings with residents – making sure change happens and local people are at the heart …at the end we want everything to be resident led.”
Day three was spent with Community Organising Social Action Hub at Lincoln City Football Club, where Community Organiser Joanna Okrasa told the visitors about how, over the last five years, the Club’s Community Organising programme aims to empower residents to take an idea and deliver it for their community; taking the time to understand the views of people – to support, encourage, and motivate individuals to make change happen, improve their local area and take action on the issues that matter to them.
The final day, 26th October, saw the Polish representatives – accompanied by Joanna and Nick – visit London, where they met with Miriam Levin, Head of Community Action and Giving in the Youth and Social Action Team for the Office for Civil Society.
At the end of the visit, Pawel Sacha spoke on behalf of the visitors, thanking Nick and the Community Organisers: “Thank you so much for the amazing and inspiring days in the UK. The next months will equal both hard work and many challenges!”
Find out more about Centrum Doradztwa Strategicznego HERE.