HAPPY NEW YEAR EAST MIDLAND COMMUNITY ORGANISERS!!!

We have an URGENT request – at the bottom of this report, but without first some Data!!

In 15 months we have hosted 12 meet ups and 2 facilitator training events

We have travelled around the region!

We have hosted 2 meet up in Lincoln

3 in North Nottinghamshire

2 in South Nottinghamshire

And 5 in Nottingham City

Firstly, as a network, we rely on the Social Action Hubs based in Sneinton and Lincoln and the training that Steve, Joanna, Stevie, Alice, Michele deliver so well.  Thanks to them, and the National Team, for getting this network off the ground and their continued support 🙂

So here are some brief highlights off the top of my head regarding the 14 events we have put on…

Beeston Oct 2017

Yemmie and Sue co-hosted the first meet up very well.  The 21 or so who attended enjoyed the like-minded company and also the formats (World Cafe and Open Space, and Circles).  Laura and Sheila especially commented on this and so in the spirit of “going where the energy is” or going with the flow, at the end of the this meet up we decided that Laura and Sheila were going to co-host the next meet up.

We started a tradition of having a nice hot lunch all sitting around one big table!  The caterer was local social enterprise Pulp Friction

Edwinstowe Nov 2017

Laura Alvarez and Sheila Norton (from Edwinstowe united) facilitated in a very nice independent leisure centre in Edwinstowe, and we met some very interesting people from the local area – Councillors and artists included.  We also did an Open Space where there were 4 or so tables, each with lots of energy – themes emerged like “Communication between ourselves”, the “Elderly and isolation”, “Integration and the difficulties and barriers between people mixing in a mutual beneficial way due to cultural difference”.

Sneinton Dec 2017

Brilliant event – four hosts were Florette. Gina, Victoria and Katie  – We focused on celebration and creativity. We had art and games and, by the end, a real festive feeling including everyone up and dancing! – people came from North, Central and South Notts as well as 4 coming over from Lincoln.  Stevie Doig did the lunch which was fantastic (as his food always is!)

Here are some photos of the event

Lincoln Jan 2018

Nine people from Derby and Nottingham got the train over and joined sixteen people from Lincoln at the Imps football stadium in Sincil Bank.  

Community Organisers want to take action, and this meet-up doubled as a first meeting to plan and propose a summer event – “Sincil bank by sea”.

See report here 

Well done to Keiran, Alice and Joanna for hosting!

Mansfield March 2018

Fantastic location, nice food, and a good exercise called “river of life” – we all agreed to revisit this exercise in the future, so maybe this March is suitable, a year on!

This one stands out as being so smoothly facilitated by Stevie and Rob!  And it also marks the start of our blog reports from these events (thanks to Sue for creating and maintaining the blog site!) Click here to view the Mansfield blog.

Facilitators Day April 2018

15 people joined Jose Barco – an experienced facilitator and community organiser from Bristol to learn how to facilitate the meet-ups.

And the very next day Kevin and Mia were able to put this into practice straight away.  We discovered that Mia has some great graphical recording skills (visual harvesting!)

Sneinton April 2018

Kevin and Mia created such a creative event :).  I, like many others, nursed my sunflower all summer, after planting it at this event with everyone!  Mia’s plasticine modeling threw up great ideas, showing our perfect community visions! Love the Robin Hood Army idea.  It links us all together Lincoln, North Notts and Nottingham City! See them at this link.

Bulwell May 2018

This stands out due the quality of the hosting with Kevin, Michele, Leonie and Mellonie all working so hard to plan and prepared the event! It tackled some touch issues and included for the first time a good representation of young people from the Sankofa project!

Nottingham June 2018

This was our first joint event – it was at Loxley house and doubled as a certificate award day for over 15 people for doing the Intro Course in Community Organising.  Steve, Michele, Gina, Stevie, and Sara did a great job in hosting and we were visited by the CEO of the National Programme Nick Gardem. He asked us what we thought our definition of a Community Organiser was and some of the answers were so unique but spot on!

Facilitator training July 2018

This was a high quality training by Jose and the Community Colab team – Fausto, Georgina and Paulette.   The connections made with this team led to the Future Conversation pilot coming to the Nottingham area.

See the day one and day two reports

Beeston July 2018  

On a very hot day Sue and Gina hosted back in the middle street resource centre

They were able to use the tools they learnt at the facilitators training day! They delivered a great World Cafe and Open Space.  Have a look at the brilliant report here from Sue

Lincoln Aug 2018  

Mia and Keiran hosted in Lincoln (“finding your Community“) and it was memorable because of a very creative exercise whereby we were asked to think about the community groups we were involved with and try to link them all together based on some share value, or programmes or location.

This sharing is something we could take forward soon more widely across our network soon to help us take collective action!

Sneinton Oct 2018  

Paul Smithurst invited us into a joint event – re: hate crime awareness – we able to do a conversation circle “in the wild” for the first time, as the event was open to members of the public (around 100 people were there!).  Hopefully this practice of hosting in public spaces and events is something we can develop in the future.

Perlethorpe Dec 2018

A fantastic way to the end the year, over 20 community organisers from across the region were welcomed to Perlethorpe Community Centre by Sheila, Pauline and Emma (and Emma’s Mum 🙂 Great food, company, a walk round the village and a fun Frog race at the end! Have a look a the final between Rob and Joanna.  Well done Joanna to deserved victory with a steely concentration!

Great picture thanks to Nick Rawsthorne here

So the URGENT request is that we are looking for ideas for the next meet up to be held sometime toward the end of Feb this year… Can you host, who with and where?…
PART 2 is coming up soon, and is a report on the year based on the Community Organiser Framework!  How as a network have we reached, Listened, connected, Organised ourselves, developed our Leadership and power, Strategised, Acted and made lasting Change?

David Jones

Community Organisers – East Midlands Network Coordinator

Sneinton Alchemy CIC

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/Community.Organising.Notts

Blog: https://nottinghamshirecommunityorganisers.wordpress.com/

07738 729828

A Community Organiser is someone who supports others to improve their community

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