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Join the Community Power Campaign Team

Posted by Rich Bell on 13th August 2021

The Cares Family, alongside a group of partner organisations, will later this year launch a campaign to put local people in control of the decisions, services and spaces which shape the places where they live. While this campaign will be supported and driven in part by Cares and a host of other national charities and think tanks, it will ultimately be led by community leaders who are taking action to improve their local areas. The below call for participation in this Campaign Team has been posted here on behalf of the coalition behind this campaign.

Community Power Campaign Team

A new campaign for community power is seeking expressions of interest from community leaders willing to consider joining the Campaign Team which will lead the effort in the coming months. To put yourself forward, please fill out this very short form by the end of Monday 30th August. And for an informal chat about it, please contact Will Brett (will@willbrett.info / 07979 696 265).

Context


Earlier this year, a group of nine national organisations committed to the idea of 'community power' (The Cares Family, Power to Change, People’s Health Trust, Friends Provident Foundation, Locality, New Local, Onward, the Plunkett Foundation and the Young Foundation) came together to kickstart a campaign aimed at raising the political and media profile of this agenda and ultimately to win transformative change. They agreed that the only way a campaign like this would be successful would be if it were explicitly conceived and led by those at the grassroots who are driving forward this agenda in practice.

We therefore set out on a deep engagement process with community leaders, which has lasted for six months. This has yielded a core campaign narrative, and a clear direction of travel on what the campaign will be calling for (see below). We are now taking the next steps so that we can launch our campaign in the Autumn.

Campaign Team: terms of reference


From now on, strategic direction and significant decisions will be taken by an executive Campaign Team. In order to draw on the full diversity of talents and experience available, this Campaign Team will be made up of equal parts community leaders rooted in their areas and representatives of national organisations.

We expect that the Campaign Team will be made up of 12-14 people – 6-7 community leaders and 6-7 representatives of national organisations. All significant decisions will be taken by the Campaign Team. At the first meeting, the Campaign Team will appoint a Chair to facilitate meetings and provide overall strategic leadership. This Chair will be a community leader and not a representative of a national organisation.

From w/c 20th September, the Campaign Team will meet once every fortnight for between 60 and 120 minutes. At times of more intense campaigning activity, meetings may increase to once a week; similarly at other less busy times in the year they may decrease to once every 3-4 weeks. Beyond this, there would be no further expectation of time commitment from members of the Campaign Team. However there will be continual opportunities for members of the Campaign Team to contribute to the campaign beyond attending the official meetings should they wish – appearing in the media, developing ideas and materials, building up networks of support, meeting ministers and MPs, etc.

For community leaders, membership of the Campaign Team will be remunerated at £200 per calendar month. The campaign is currently funded until the end of 2021 but with the expectation of raising funds for the next calendar year. The budget for the campaign will be renewed annually from January 2022.

Call for participation


We would like to invite community leaders from around the UK to put themselves forward to be members of the Campaign Team. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of what we believe will be an agenda-setting campaign that seeks to shape the political and media debate at the highest level. It will afford all sorts of development opportunities – including working with media, public speaking, influencing decision-makers, campaigning and stakeholder engagement skills. Above all, it means working with a truly inspiring group of people on an important mission to shift power towards communities.

This is an open call to anyone with experience in taking action in their communities to join our Campaign Team. Expressions of interest should take the form of a short (200-300 word) explanation of why you would like to take on this role. These will be assessed by the national organisations involved in convening the campaign, and the Campaign Team will be announced in early September.

If you would like to put yourself forward, please fill out THIS FORM. And if you have any questions and would like to talk about this opportunity please contact Will Brett (will@willbrett.info / 07979 696 265).

For this campaign to be a success, our Campaign Team needs community leaders with passion and commitment to the cause, and with the ability to articulate to various audiences (journalists, politicians, senior decision-makers and members of the public) why it matters. As well as convincing communicators, we need strategic and creative thinkers able to see the big picture and generate ideas for how to build up a long-term campaigning infrastructure that advances the community power agenda. And we need leaders from a diverse range of communities to ensure we are drawing on all our talents and demonstrating the breadth of the movement.

If you think that might be you, we would love to hear from you. Or if you know someone who fits the bill, please encourage them to put themselves forward. The form for submitting expressions of interest is HERE.

Core narrative


“Local people should have more power to shape the places where they live”

The pandemic has shown us that a sense of community isn’t just a nice thing to have. Across the country, local businesses and organisations went out of their way to support the vulnerable and brighten up our days, while neighbours reached out and were there for each other through the worst of times. Without that local stepping up, many would have slipped through the net. Instead, people pulled together and reminded us all what our communities can do.

Those with long experience of taking action to support, empower and unite their local communities have always known how essential their efforts are. Community groups, local entrepreneurs and charities are doing amazing work to improve their areas and to help tackle some of the big problems of our time – such as inequality, climate change and social division. But even after lockdown, when so many more people noticed the power of community, making a meaningful difference locally is still an uphill struggle.

That’s because we’re stuck in a system which isn’t working anymore. The government, local councils and the other large institutions which have power over our towns, cities and villages weren’t set up to let local people decide the future of the place they call home. They’ve been designed to do things to communities and not with them. People working in centres of power often don’t know what your area needs in the way that real community leaders, you and your neighbours, do.

Those who have power tend to treat active communities as a problem to solve, rather than partners in the vital work of building better places. That has to change.

If we are going to create a fairer country, where prosperity is shared rather than concentrated in particular places and among particular people, we have to trust people – those who know and love the places where they live – with the power to shape a better future. If we are to come together as a country, we need to protect and build more of the shared spaces and local institutions which knit us together. If we’re to ensure everybody can feel truly proud of the place where they live, we need to give communities the resources they need to unleash their area’s potential.

Power, wealth and opportunity are not evenly spread. But talent, passion, ingenuity and determination can be found in every neighbourhood. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, is the time to unleash the potential of our communities. We’ve caught a glimpse of a different, better Britain and we’re ready to take a stand for ourselves, for one another and for the places where we live.

Let’s pull together again and build that Britain. Let’s take control of the decisions, services and spaces which shape our local areas. Let’s put more power in the hands of more people.

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The Cares Family is a UK registered company (10236615) and registered charity (no. 1180638). North London Cares is a UK registered company (07737818) and registered charity (1153137). South London Cares is a UK registered company (8757344) and registered charity (1157401). Manchester Cares is a UK registered company (10893107) and registered charity (1176902). Liverpool Cares is a UK registered company (11166325) and registered charity (no. 1177749). East London Cares is a UK registered company (11809555) and registered charity (no. 1186012).