The network meets monthly in different locations around Nottinghamshire, exploring different topics each time, including social isolation and creative ways to nurture community. Since the first meet-up, Dave and a group of volunteers have been working towards the sustainability of the network by employing different strategies, including providing food and travel costs to those who need it and letting members set the agenda for meet-ups.
Training has also been a major element in nurturing leadership within the group, drawing on the knowledge of other community organisers within the wider national network. In July, fellow organisers visited the group to share ‘Tools for Meaningful Conversations’ over a two-day course. The idea behind training such as this is to enable attendees of the network to become organisers and facilitators. The meet-ups also offer payment to new facilitators, valuing the work they are doing.
Sue is one leader who has emerged through this on-going process. She became the first female chair of her local Neighbourhood Watch group last May, and has found attending the network meet-ups invaluable in raising her confidence in her new role and helping her connect with others in the region.