Published 10th December 2018

Rotherfed’s More Voices and Choices – Community Organising in Action

As part of ‘Voices and Choices’, Social Action Hub Rotherham Federation has supported seven new community organisers to develop their skills and understanding of the principles and practice of community organising, which saw them listening to local communities and facilitating residents to develop community activities and campaigns; training volunteers and supporting them to deliver their own solutions to community issues.

Through Voices and Choices, community organisers have listened to over 700 local people, building trust and giving residents the opportunity to consider the possibility that things might change, perhaps for the first time!  As a result of listening, organisers discovered that a lack of opportunity for children and young people was the chief concern that emerged from the community.

Listening is so valuable. Without these initial conversations the idea that things could change would never have crossed people’s minds. These hundreds of small conversations have led to huge change.
Community organiser, Rotherham Federation

The success of the initial Voices and Choices project has enabled Rotherham Federation to secure a further 3 years funding from Big Lottery for ‘More Voices and Choices’ – to help and support people living in eight of Rotherham’s poorest and most excluded areas to become engaged in local life, have an effective voice, and be empowered as a community to influence change in their area.

The project will train and directly employ three full time community organisers from local communities in Rotherham to undertake this work.

This project will continue the excellent community organising work we have been undertaking during the last three years. We are using the innovative Community Organisers’ approach to involve local people in planning and delivering community change.
Steve Ruffle, Chief Executive Officer, Rotherham Federation

There are currently 20 Social Action Hubs across England. They are locally rooted organisations – such as Rotherham Federation – who train and support people to develop their understanding and practice of community organising and to get involved in social action.

Rotherham Federation supports communities to grow and develop, working with them to build their sense of belonging, community pride, and spirit.  They work with and through grass roots community groups that are committed to bringing communities together; giving all communities a voice and creating local solutions to local issues.

The Big Lottery Fund supports the aspirations of people who want to make life better for their communities across the UK and are responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised by the National Lottery for good causes and invest over £650 million a year in projects big and small in health, education, environment, and charitable purposes.  Since the National Lottery began in 1994, £33 billion has been raised and more than 450,000 grants awarded.

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