A busy 6 months for Sneinton's Organiser team...

posted 31 Oct 2012, 17:31 by Tom Hughes   [ updated 31 Oct 2012, 17:36 ]
Community Organising is a way of helping people play an active role in their communities, doing projects that improve their area, their streets and their lives. Its all about LISTENING to find out about people’s concerns and their hopes, and it has a proven track record in improving neighbourhoods and empowering people- along the way building strong connections between neighbours and local groups.

About a year ago, Sneinton Alchemy applied to become a “Host” organisation for the Community Organisers Programme. We won the right to take on 3 trainee organisers who would study the techniques involved and begin to use that learning in Sneinton. Dawn, Steve and Shabana started in April 2012 and have already made a great start to their year-long trainee period. 

The team has held in depth ‘listenings’ with several hundred local residents, and they will go on to listen to hundreds more. A ‘listening’ is very different to filling in a questionnaire or being ‘consulted’ about a particular issue. It consists of a one-to-one conversation during which the organiser can begin to properly understand how someone feels about the area, their concerns, their hopes, and their ideas for making things better.

A number of common themes have started to emerge from these listenings, with concerns around our dirty streets, anti-social behaviour and crime levels. On the flip side, many people love Sneinton for the diversity and community spirit of its people, its closeness to the city centre and the range of shops and community facilities on offer. Project ideas are also beginning to emerge that tackle the problems, but also - importantly - build on what people love about Sneinton and the strengths and abilities of local people.

Quite often after having been listened to, people feel inspired to get involved more with the Community Organising programme, and the group of Sneinton Volunteer Community Organisers has started to grow. These volunteers can spread the listening process even wider through the community, sometimes through holding house meetings of their neighbours and friends. 

This whole process is aimed at encouraging Sneinton to come together, work through the challenges we face and get positive change happening. Crucially, the information gathered stays within the community, guarded by a Community Holding Team who ensure it is used only for local benefit.

The CO team look forward to listening to you soon!

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