19 February 2011
The government has announced the selected partner who will deliver and train up to 5,000 Community Organisers.
Locality - a new nationwide network of community led organisations, formed through the merger of the Development Trusts Association (DTA) and bassac - has been chosen to carry out a range of work including developing a training framework, Code of Conduct for Community Organisers, and an Institute for Community Organising.
Community Organisers will be well-trained and committed individuals who will play a major role in delivering the Big Society. They will work closely with communities to identify local leaders, projects and opportunities, and empower the local community to improve their local area.
Up to five hundred senior Community Organisers will be trained and given bursaries of £20,000 for their first year, along with a further 4500 part-time and voluntary organisers who will support them.
The Community Organisers programme is about catalysing community action at a neighbourhood level – ‘igniting the impulse to act’. They will help their communities to take advantage of other key Big Society initiatives such as ‘Right to Buy’ community assets, and the ‘Right to Bid’ to run public services.
Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, said:
I am pleased to announce Locality as our partner in delivering Community Organisers. The Organisers, who will be driven by local communities needs, will encourage social action and enable individuals to shape the services that matter most to them. The Big Society is about empowering people and the Community Organisers will play a key role by giving people a chance to improve the community in which they live.
Lord Wei, Big Society advisor, said:
Getting well trained people out into communities to help mobilise and facilitate is an essential step towards delivering the Big Society on the ground. This is vital in generating the ‘ground-up’ approach that will be needed to harness the energy and ideas of individuals and communities.
Steve Wyler, Chief Executive Designate of Locality said:
This is an exciting opportunity for everyone - from national government to local groups and individuals - to work together and help ordinary people achieve extraordinary things and shape the future of their localities.
“We are proud to be selected as the national delivery partner for the programme. As an independent, community-led movement, Locality can draw on the wealth of practical knowledge and experience found across our nationwide network, to ensure Community Organisers are truly rooted in the needs of their communities.
Locality has ten areas ‘ready to go’ including Birmingham, London, Bristol, Cornwall and Norfolk. Community organisations in the ten areas have committed to recruiting organisers and to ‘hosting’ them. The organisers will have access to facilities, other groups and charities, mentoring and support (through a well-established national network) and financial resources.