Archive for 2010

Voice and echo in practice

Types of organisations working with Voice include community groups and networks; Third Sector Partnerships; Neighbourhood managers; LINKs; Development Trusts; Refugee Support Network; Equalities Forum. The types of things people are using it for:
• An annual health check
• To report progress and aims for the coming year
• To write funding bids
• To help Parish Councillors to recognise their role in engagement
• To recognise and appreciate what different partners bring to the table
• To develop constructive arguments to put to funders
• To become more influential!

Echo is being used by Town and Parish Councils to assess the position of Councillors in participative/representative democracy; to shape delivery of comprehensive community engagement strategies; to review participation structures in a Children’s Trust and for a Commissioning Board; to consider Housing management’s openness to community influence; to guide processes of community asset transfer.

Follow us on twitter for updates and information: @Salhampson

Monday, September 20th, 2010 Community influence

First ever National Networking event for Voice and echo facilitators

This took place 8th September in Birmingham and was a great day – very buzzy, and an opportunity for people who have taken part in Voice and/or echo facilitator training to share their experiences, hopes and ideas. Let’s hope it becomes an annual event. Many thanks to Dosti for hosting it, Vanessa Randle for the graphic recording and Sue Challis for the photographs which can be viewed on our networking site.

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 Community influence

All change

New Government, new model of Government, new terminology, new thinking, new initatives, Big Society, Community Organisers, cuts, new ways of working, threats to equalities groups, mergers, partnerships, voluntary and volunteering more than community. Explore these on our networking site

echo update

echo, our framework to assess and develop public sector openness to community influence is now being used within Local Strategic Partnerships, thematic sub-groups and public sector agencies.

It is the first framework that is easy to get .. it is a gentle challenge .. the first framework I have seen which is about cultural change

Developed in the West Midlands with support from the National Empowerment Parntership, Community Development Exchange, Improvement & Efficiency West Midlands (L2D programme), Wolverhampton Partnership and the Black Country Take Part Pathfinder we have now started running the first echo facilitator training courses. As with Voice, these are commissioned courses which may be opened up to wider audiences and which target people who are in aposition to facilitate discussions in their organisations

echo promises to have a wide application and has already been used to:

  • help a Partnership Board to consider how genuinely open they are to community influence
  • help inform proposals for improving the quality of community engagement across a locality
  • increase awareness and understanding amongst key decision makers and influencers of the need to be open to influence and of what being open to influence looks like
  • prioritise actions to move community engagement forward across a Partnership
  • enhance understanding of engagement & empowerment.
  • contribute to an LAA NI4 Delivery Plan

If you have not yet come across echo, but this raises your interest, you can find out more in our resources section and/or join us on our network.

Voice update

Hugely useful, quite enlightening, the breadth and depth is interesting. It doesn’t require significant adaptation to be used in a variety of circumstances.

Voice, our framework on assessing and developing community influence,  is now being widely used by Community Groups, Networks, Organisations and Forums. Groups that have worked with it include: Police Independent Advisory Groups, Community Centre Management Committees, Community Anchors, Voluntary Sector Organisations, Forums and a Third Sector Partnership.

We have had an increased uptake of our 2-day Voice Facilitator Training Course, which is specifically designed for people who already work with groups and have good facilitation skills. In 2010 we have delivered this training in London, Wiltshire, & Birmingham and are due to deliver more in Redcar & Cleveland, Wolverhampton & Birmingham again. These are all commissioned course which potentially have places available for people from different organisations. Watch this space or join our network for updates.

If you haven’t come across Voice yet but like the sound of it so far, then check out our resources section to download a copy of our leaflet and handy guide, or read more about community influence under our areas of work.

Voice is of particular relevance for workers assigned/attached to particular community groups, networks, organisations, and workers working with and supporting community groups, networks and organisations.

Get talking!

We are delighted to announce the launch of our new networking site, where clients, participants from our courses and the simply curious can get together and talk about anything related to the different areas of changes’ work. The vast majority of the site is open, with just a few groups kept aside for participants who have been involved in specific course and are encouraged to share their learning and practice. Have a look-see:

Monday, March 1st, 2010 Active citizenship