Join a Learning Circle for Community Building Practitioners
The Learning Circle brings together people who are directly working in communities and play a critical role in supporting residents to build connections between neighbours and encouraging community led ideas to emerge.
Participants are encouraged to share their understanding, experiences and challenges of enabling community led action. Each session is facilitated by an experienced facilitator, who will host specific topics and introduce practical tools and techniques to support your practice and development.
Circle members are invited to commit to meeting six times over a year. Each session will consist of a morning of structured facilitated activities on a specific theme, follow by a shared lunch, then a two hour community of practice session.
The closing date for expressions of interest is Friday 9th November 2018. Expressions of interest will be assessed the following week.
Programme outline and dates:
Session 1 – History and Heritage of Community Building
This initial workshop will involve building new connections and gaining an understanding of the experience of group members. We’ll also introduce the concept of stewardship and its relevance to citizen led movements including Asset Based Community Development. We’ll explore some core principles and what they might mean to ourselves and our organisations. We’ll also take the opportunity to reflect on our personal interest in community, and how we can bring our strengths and gifts to grow the movement.
Session 2 – ABCD – Asset Based Community Development and Community Organising
This workshop looks at the relationship between the community driven approaches of ABCD and Community Organising. We’ll explore where there are similarities and differences lie, so practitioners can understand the most appropriate tools to use in their context.
Session 3 – Asset mapping and community conversations
This session introduces some tools and techniques that enable you to get started in discovering the community you are serving. You will cover the basics of hosting community conversations and how to move the conversation from deficits and problems to passions and interests. You will have opportunity to practice these in conversations during the session. You will also be introduced to the concept of asset mapping and why process of doing it is even more important than the end outcome. It’s more often not about creating a map, but rather building relationships between neighbours.
Session 4 – Responsibility, accountability and power
In this workshop we’ll seek to gain a deeper understanding of how power is held and discuss the relationship between responsibility and power. We’ll explore your experiences of when help is unhelpful and what were the successful outcomes from stepping back. We’ll also discuss how to develop our sense of discernment, so we know when our help is needed and when it’s not.
Session 5 – Community Animation
Animation is a process of how to help others run meetings and create spaces where people feel heard. It specifically seeks to address power imbalances through carefully holding the space and separating out the task, process and content of the group. Community Animators encourage and enable people to come together to shape ideas, actions, initiatives and importantly network with others so that they for themselves can unearth and build on the strengths of the community.
Session 6 – Inspire – How to help community think big
This session explores how to help communities to think big, whilst recognising that every small action towards including each other makes a big difference. During this session we’ll take inspiration from other places, where people have transformed their community through developing a shared vision and mobilising everyone to play their part. This will include stories of placemaking where residents have come together to take greater ownership of public spaces.