Archive for August, 2012

What we are working on

We have just had our annual changes business planning meeting, which always leaves us with great long lists of exciting things to work on. Gathering these together into a plan really helps us to see the links between different aspects of our work at the same time as illustrating how we are branching out into new – but related – areas. It also gives a good idea about how ‘consultants’ spend their time when not out there delivering.

We do a lot of what we term ‘Research & Development’. This might be about maintaining and updating existing resources, extending existing resources where we see opportunities for them to help in less traditional (for us) arenas, or working on something ‘new’. (We say ‘new’ cautiously as we don’t believe that anything is truly’new’, it is all building on what has gone before, providing firm foundations).

This time around, the things that will be occupying our time include:

  • Updating the Voice resource pack – this has been on the agenda for a while and has been delayed by plans to:
  • Develop the changes ‘core documents’ – this will be an online resource drawing together the common aspects of the ‘Axis of Influence’ frameworks – things like: an exploration or power, understandings of community empowerment, exploring what influence means
  • Update information on the model of change to clarify what it is, how it can help and how it might relate to other models
  • Pulling together resources that we have done over the last year or so and making them accessible to wider audiences. This includes a workbook on Working in Inclusive Ways, another on Reflective Practice and yet another on Planning Community Engagement
  • Following up recent thoughts on Trustee Engagement and developing these into a resource
  • Disseminating the Lisbon Papers (of which we are very proud!)
  • Planning and supporting events focusing on feminism and community development
  • Coordinating progress on the Dynamo framework in the Axis of Influence series
  • Expanding our work on community leadership and link this in with the Inspiring Democracy resource
  • Polishing our resource on facilitation skills and make it available online
  • Maintaining our commitment to all of our voluntary work local and national


A suite of resources – going ‘e’

… or perhaps it is a ‘nest’.

Over the past few years, we have consistently added online resources to help the people that we work with. Included in this are:

  • Our networking site – where anyone can sign in to network with others. Currently with over 250 members, the site has private groups for people who have taken part in particular training course, then open blogs and forums. There are monthly email updates to keep members in touch with new postings on the site
  • Policy Nutshell – originally set up to focus on health & social care this has now been broadened out to focus on all policy relating to community engagement. The idea is to capture the essence of changing policy and pull out the bits impacting on engagement with communities and post it all on the same site for ease of reference
  • Inspiring Democracy – a practical resource for local Councillors (which may also be of use and interest to VCS and Council officers) to change the way they work in response to changing policy – which basically means much more community engagement
  • Pinterest – where we have started to gather examples of our work, references to different aspects of our work and a selection of websites and resources we are looking at which may also be of interest to you
  • Core documents – this is the working title for an (as yet) incomplete online resource. It will draw together the common aspects of our frameworks – things like: exploring ‘what is community’, thinking about ‘community development’, exploring concepts of power, considering what we mean by ’empowerment’ and putting them together in a workbook format – watch this space for updates on how this is coming along, we hope to have it up and ready by the end of the year.

All in addition to this website which offers an overview of what we do, a bit about us and our clients, access to specific resources to download and signposts to the rest of it!

Saturday, August 11th, 2012 Community engagement