The Pro Bono Society help the community to understand "Street Law"

posted 28 Jan 2014, 04:32 by Steve Smith   [ updated 28 Jan 2014, 05:58 by Unknown user ]

Pro Bono Society support Sneinton Alchemy and the Community Organisers to host community networking and learning event Your Sneinton.

My name is Steve Smith and I am a Senior Community Organiser operating in Sneinton and Bakersfield.  Community Organising is about empowering communities to take action on issues dear to them.  This is done by carrying out systematic listening’s to residents in order to find out the local needs.  We then work with them to help them to form groups (or join existing groups) that work to tackle these problems 

The first time I became aware of the Pro Bono Society was when I had a chance encounter with Demi Mcintosh at a volunteer forum.  This event was aimed at informing and gaining feedback about voluntary action in Nottingham.  However, there seemed to be more service providers and hardly any volunteers present which seemed a shame.  My team were at least inspired to hold an event of our own as after listening to over 1500 residents and recruiting over 100 volunteers we felt that we were best placed to organise such an event.  Demi said her group would be interested in helping out so we arranged a meeting and got to work on planning.

At our first meeting Demi explained in more detail the work of the Pro Bono Society.  What was of particular interest was the project to teach communities aspects of “street law”.  This was the concept of finding out areas relating to law that communities struggled to comprehend.  The team would then carry out research before doing a presentation (in simple terms) at a local centre.  My team felt this was a great idea and asked Demi and her team to research Neighbourhood Planning and the Localism act, as Sneinton is in the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan but many residents didn’t understand what it was all about.  At this stage Demi and her team were also unfamiliar with Neighbourhood planning so they went away to research it.  The date was set for the community event where they would be doing the presentation. I crossed my fingers and hoped the Pro Bono Society would deliver.


At the event Your Sneinton

Demi and Katie address the conference and explain the work of the Pro Bono and received an appreciative applause for the great work they are doing in changing attitudes towards students by local residents.  The key point was the new willingness to engage and support the local communities where they were residing.


The presentation

The presentation was fun and engaging and delivered in a way that was easy to understand by all.  In the past, I have been to professional presentations covering Neighbourhood Planning and Localism and in my opinion the presentation given was as informative as the professional ones I had attended.  To be honest I was amazed at how much they had learnt in such a short space of time. I was also very proud to have been the one that had collaborated with the Pro Bono Society and had invited them to event. The event was a huge success and I believe that the Pro Bono Society were instrumental in its success.   On behalf of Sneinton Alchemy and the Community Organisers, thank you to Demi, Katie, Abi and the rest of the team that came to Your Sneinton.

Steve Smith, Senior Community Organiser.

Steve Smith,
28 Jan 2014, 04:32