WHAT ARE COMMUNITY ORGANISERS?
Community Organisers (COs) help residents, groups, associations and businesses in their area to develop their power to act together for the common good and take action to tackle local issues which are important to them.
Community Organisers work within a particular community. The first thing that COs do is LISTEN to local people – one to one and in groups. They do this by knocking on doors and by going to local places where people hang out – clubs, pubs, parks etc. They explore what local people care about – their loves, their concerns, visions and dreams for their community - and collate this information to share with the community at a future date.
Bringing people together
COs build capacity, trust, relationships and networks within a neighbourhood. In doing so, they begin to identify local leaders and volunteers – people willing to get together to do something to help tackle local issues. Some of these will go on to become part of the local CO team as volunteers in the community.
Converting ideas into action
COs challenge and support people to convert their ideas into action. The CO is not there to do the job for them, but to support them to get their views and opinions heard. COs then link them with others that feel the same so they can take positive action and find local solutions to the issues that are important to their community.
WHAT IS SO DIFFERENT ABOUT COMMUNITY ORGANISING?
Through door knocking and engaging with people in their own spaces, COs reach people that traditional methods of consultation don’t always reach. Through structured interviews, the COs build an important resource base of community concerns, ideas and assets. By bringing people together they help build sustainable relationships, networks and capacity within communities. They offer a new way of initiating community led activities and a different path into volunteering. Community Organising is a truly ‘bottom-up approach - engaging people one by one, ‘resident by resident’ – building on what local people care about.
WANT TO FIND OUT MORE?
For further information about the work of the Community Organisers across the country, check out www.cocollaborative.org.uk.