deliverers

Getting the whole story

This is a short story from one of our training sessions a while ago – it really ilustrates how ‘frameworks’ can help people!

Chris was a Social Exclusion Officer working for a local authority. He was based in the Policy Department and felt passionately that community empowerment was a key aspect of his work, although he couldn’t be specific about what that meant or how it manifested.

On top of this difficulty with defining the ‘what and where’ of community empowerment, Chris had also been struggling for quite some time to see how his role fitted – and complemented – the Community Education Department who saw themselves as the main protagonist of community empowerment.

Chris came along to one of our training courses on community empowerment and, as always, we introduced people to the 5 Community Empowerment Dimensions and showed how they can help him to understand what community empowerment is. For Chris, this was a major break-through – and very heartening for us to see someone get so much clarity from them. In Chris’s case,  he could see that the Community Education Department were concerned with just one of the five dimensions – the one about increasing skills, knowledge and confidence (which we call the ‘confident’ dimension), but they had no focus on – or remit to work on – the other 4 dimensions.

Chris could see that the other four dimensions: equality, organised collective working, cooperation and influence were all key parts of his role.

This meant that Chris was able to start up discussions with colleagues in Community Education about how they could work together to ensure they took an empowering approach to their work. It worked out really well and offered a platform for those officers to have those discussions – they could also see how their own departments fed into the authorities work in complementary ways.

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Monday, March 11th, 2013 Community empowerment