Published 23rd February 2022

National Listening Campaign 2022

We are excited to announce that in partnership with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), we are about to start our latest National Listening Campaign.

Introduction to the National Listening Campaign

Working with Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) we will jointly listen to over 400 people from communities connected through our network. Utilising our network of Social Action Hubs across England, we will reach out and listen to those who are on the margins and underrepresented in decision making. Developing a shared mandate which we can collectively organise around.

The listening campaign will surface the stories and lived experience of those in our network. Helping to identify common themes and wider issues that are concerning people. It will highlight issues for action or change on a local, regional, and national level.

These stories will be used to inform the development of action groups across our network. Action groups will advance the collective solidarity that people need to feel, to be able to act together and engage with those in positions of power. Ensuring the voices of those seldom heard can influence the policies and processes that affect their lives.

Creating Wider Actions and Conversations

In March 2020 (at the start of the pandemic), our National Listening Campaign identified the urgent need for ALL people to be able to access Wi-Fi – whether to view up-to-date government information, access home schooling, or access NHS support.

Starting in Hartlepool, Stockport, and Birkenhead, a team of community organisers mobilised a national campaign that got the attention of key Government ministers, civil servants, and mobile phone companies called #OperationWifi.

Other Action Groups that have come together and connected through our listening campaigns include:

"One of the easiest human acts is also the most healing. Listening to someone. Simply listening. Not advising or coaching, but silently and fully listening"

The Areas in our Network that are Involved in the National Listening Campaign 2022

There have been 10 Social Action Hubs/organisations from within our network, selected to take part in the campaign:

London

Southwest

East

East Midlands

West Midlands

Northeast

Northwest

Why Listening Is Important

Listening is one of the fundamental components of the Community Organising Framework.

It is not consultation, but it does give us valuable insight into our community. We find out about what is really going on beneath the surface. We hear powerful stories of people’s lives. We find out what people love about where they live and what they are angry about. We uncover real problems that need addressing and explore the possibilities for change. We find leaders and we challenge people to act.

When will the National Listening Campaign take place?

Over the next few weeks, we will be working with the selected areas to ensure that their experienced community organisers, local leaders, and volunteers all have the requisite skills to listen successfully within their community. Upskilling the participants in Listening Skills, data protection and safeguarding. Once the participants feel confident in the listening process, we will reach out and connect to those in our communities whose voices are seldom heard.

The ‘listenings’ will take place between 21st March and 14th April 2022.

Next steps after the National Listening Campaign

After the campaign has finished, and working closely with JRF, we will come together to investigate the campaign findings in a session exploring the ‘root cause analyses’.

We will then organise around the issues that emerge. Empowering people to continue working on these issues at a local, regional, and national level.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF)

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is an independent organisation working to inspire social change through research, policy and practice.

Partnership on this National Listening Campaign was created after we met the JRF principles “to boost the visibility and participation of people with lived experience of poverty, in public policy and practice discussions at national, regional and local levels.”

Find out more

If you have any questions or want to know more about the National Listening Campaign please contact david.symes@corganisers.org.uk

Interested in training?

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