It feels strange to be writing anything at all that is not directly about #riots, but while we can all pontificate easily enough, at Locality we always try to reflect what our members are experiencing so we’ve put out a call today for stories and issues and will report back later about how development trusts, settlements and other neighbourhood organisations across England are responding. See http://locality.org.uk/comment/civil-unrest-community-response/ for the initial call-out.
In the meantime, the Community Organisers programme moves forwards, with more of our pioneer ‘Kickstarter’ hosts completing their recruitment ready for the first cohort of community organisers to start their training at the end of September. All of the hosts have been bowled over by the levels of interest and the sheer quality of the people who want to take up the opportunity. The role of a community organiser is to listen, actively and systematically to local people without bringing any agenda; to build networks between people with shared interests and help overcome conflict between differing interests; to challenge and support local people to take effective action on the things that matter to them – building on what they love about their neighbourhood, to address the things that make them angry, sad or frustrated.
One of the resources that organisers, people in their communities, hosts and wider interested people will be able to draw on is the CoCollaborative – a ‘cupboard of knowledge and stories’ that has now gone live at www.cocollaborative.org.uk. As well as browsing the Q&A forum, asking questions and rating answers, you can suggest resources or stories to be included.
Stay safe, help with #riotcleanup if you can, keep your kids close, don’t spread unverified rumours, and above all watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCS7c__OSBw – definitely one for the CoCollaborative cupboard!