Organising for Networks, Membership Bodies and Social Movements

Social movements are powerful catalysts for change, but their success often hinges on effective strategies and tactics. One such strategy that has proven to be instrumental in driving meaningful transformation is community organising. Community organising is the process of building grassroots power by mobilising and empowering local communities to collectively address the issues that affect them.

Our consultancy and support programme for networks, membership bodies and social movements is a 6-9 month programme that provides tailored expert support as well as reflective learning sessions to explore how to embed the principles and practice of community organising.

The programme explores how community organising:

  • can amplify the voices of marginalised communities by centring the experiences and perspectives of those directly affected by social injustice to foster a sense of ownership and agency among community members, leading to sustained engagement and long-term commitment.
  • fosters solidarity and unity to forge strong bonds among community members who share common concerns and goals to build collective power enabling the exertion of significant pressure on decision-makers and institutions that can lead to meaningful policy changes and social change.
  • facilitates the nurturing of local leadership by providing opportunities for individuals to develop skills, assume leadership roles, and engage in grassroots activism to enable new leaders to emerge and therefore strengthening and promoting a more diverse and representative leadership that can better address the complex challenges faced by communities.

Embedding Community Organising into The Wildlife Trusts

We have supported The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts to put community organising at the heart of their strategy and have trained 92 Community Organisers across their Wildlife Trusts network in the Community Organisers Level 2/3 Award in Community Organising equipping them with the right skills and knowledge of community organising.

By using the Community Organising Framework, these Community Organisers are working on the ground within communities to reach out and listen to a wider range of people giving everyone an opportunity to learn about nature, connecting them to others who share the same passion and interest and inspiring them to act and build a power base to effect real change.

Membership organisation supporting independent living

KeyRing is a national charity providing support in the community to nearly 1000 adults with a range of support needs. Their ethos is to support full inclusion and independence for their members, enabling them to take control and responsibility for their lives and achieve their full potential. 

KeyRing already had already started the process of exploring how a strengths or asset based approach to their work could change the way their organisation worked.However, wanting to add further value to this work the Community Organisers team were invited in by the Chief Executive and Board at Keyring to introduce the tools ofcommunity organising to enable members to tackle the issues facing them and show community leadership.

The work started with training over 100 of the Organisation’s staff to introduce the practice and principles of community organising. Staff were drawn from across the acrossorganisation and ranged from the Executive and Senior Management to front line workers. As the training was delivered a group of enthusiastic staff champions emerged,keen to introduce community organising to the members. 

In October 2019, working with the staff team at Keyring, we ran the first training with the Charity’s members. Adaptations to our Introduction to community organising coursewere made to accommodate various disabilities. 

Following this session we ran a co-design session for a group of champions – a mixed group of members and staff keen to bring community organising to all KeyRing members.The session was designed to review what community organising means to KeyRing, try out some training exercises and design some new ones which will fit with KeyRing’s wayof working. 

We are now leading a piece of mentoring work with Keyring’s Senior Management, Staff and Members to implement the learning from the training that has been delivered.Across 6 regions we are co-designing a support programme to embed the learning and support Staff and Members working together to develop and deliver local action plansthat will inform the national strategy for Keyring.

Interested in training?

Inspired to find out more about community organising or want to further develop your understanding and practice. Get in touch with us and we will connect you in with one of our many training opportunities

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