Published 7th August 2019

CO19 – Developing Skills and Practice

CO19 was Community Organisers’ 5th annual event, and many attendees felt that it was the best National Meet-up to date!

It was certainly a celebration of an amazing 12 months, which saw an exponential growth in membership (welcoming our 1,000th member at the end of 2018) and the rebranding of our organisation, including the new website.

It was also the year in which the National Academy of Community Organising was launched and our network of Social Action Hubs expanded to 22 across the country!

With the Community Organisers Expansion Programme in full swing, we reached another major milestone too, training our 2,000th leaner!

The event opened with a special video message from Mims Davies MP, Minister for Sport and Civil Society, and a presentation from our first Local Organising Group: Community Organisers Staffordshire.

CO19 kick starts a year of training and support, which will be available to the membership and beyond. As well as continuing to deliver the introductory training, we will also be putting emphasis and focus on our additional workshops and qualifications – so that members feel well supported in taking action locally.
Nick Gardham, CEO Community Organisers.

True to its theme of ‘Developing Skills and Practice’, CO19 was packed with amazing workshops and presentations; and there was a panel discussion on the second day, which focused on the issue of Collaboration or Competition – where members of Extinction Rebellion, TCC Wales, the Ron Todd Foundation, and Community Organisers shared their thoughts on how community organisers working on different issues and in different ways could collaborate to add strength to each other’s work and avoid competition.

The ‘Collaboration or Competition’ panel. L-R: Moussa Amine Sylla (Selby Centre), Indra Donfrancesco (Extinction Rebellion), Nick Gardham (Community Organisers), Bianca Todd (Ron Todd Foundation), and Kay Polley (Trefnu Cymunedol Cymru/Together Creating Communities).

The second day also included a massive interactive workshop – ‘Organising In Action’ – that involved hundreds of people, who had to create a ‘call to action’ designed around the initial results of Community Organisers’ National Listening Campaign.

People taking part in the ‘Organising In Action’ workshop!


All photos taken by Alison Loydall.

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