Over 120 stories were collected by reporters which contributed to the Your voice / Our vision consultation held by the Big Lottery. These stories supported the development of the new strategic framework. Thanks to the reporters for their contribution. You can see the film here.
Good communication isn’t just about sending out newsletters or being on the other end of the phone but is about ongoing, meaningful dialogue between communities and local government.
NCVO (National Council for Voluntary Organisations) have written a “Best Practice Guide: For Local Authorities and the Voluntary and Community Sector” (.pdf)
The guide sets out how local councils can support voluntary and community organisations in light of the cuts to their budgets. Supporting the sector isn’t just about giving them money for existing projects or contracting them to deliver public services. It can also (as suggested in the report) take the form of in-kind support, skilling up the sector, encouraging partnerships or collaborative budgeting.
The last of the suggestions, and the one that caught my eye, was around enabling communication.
Effective communication is vital at a time when organisations need to know what is happening with public budgets and the delivery of services but you can also extend this into how councils and organisations/ communities work together on an ongoing basis.
The great thing about using technology to communicate is that in financial terms it’s free. The equipment is very low cost – if people don’t have it on their phones already – and the process of listening and responding to these stories is also free. What it does take is a change in attitude and behaviour to make the best use of. That is something that PVM is doing all of the time with its work with public bodies, housing associations and other types of organisations working with communities.
In 2009 we worked with residents in Broughton (a part of Salford) to use community reporting as a way of finding out what residents felt about living in the area. If you watch this video you’ll see that it’s giving a voice to the people that aren’t traditionally heard in consultations, meaning the people commissioning services can deliver something that will really make a difference.
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/gqBEgajVewI width=”480″ height=”294″]
People’s Voice Media and Social Breakfast are pleased to announce a joint partnership. They will be developing products which will support housing associations to improve the voice of tenants and increase digital access.
People’s Voice Media is a community development organisation that uses social media for community engagement and runs the successful Community Reporter programme.
Social Breakfast, part of Accord Group, is an online hub which facilitates effective dialogue between young people (aged 16-24 years) from socially excluded backgrounds and those at the forefront of decision making.
The partnerhip will be launching joint products in these areas soon and welcome opportunities from housing associations to explore these in more detail.
A short video made by Dewsbury Community Reporters based at the d shop in the town. The film looks at innovative initiatives to regenerate the town centre talking to “pop up” restaurant creators, the Town Team, local businesses, D Shop staff and the local people of Dewsbury.
A few folk gathered at the d shop to learn community reporting. This video of ‘Places and Life in Dewsbury’ was our first production. Can you spot the locations? Look out for the Market and the Minster, the statue and the station, the routes into town, the unruly and the underpass.
On Tuesday 9th November, we were extremely pleased to attend a presentation and celebration event in Rotherham Town Hall.
The Mayor was there to present certificates and Community Reporter badges to a group of young people who had completed a course of Community Reporter training and she praised the positive impacts of the course.
The young people had achieved a huge amount throughout their training, including making several films, keeping a blog, and making audio recordings. However, what was praised most on the day was the huge leaps in confidence that the people had gained and how they had really gone on a journey.
Paul Jolley of CTS Training – who placed the young people on the Age Concern funded Community Reporter programme – said: “It’s amazing to actually see the development of the young people that have been on the programme.”
Claudia Garner of Age Concern Rotherham added, “I’m really pleased with the results, not only have we had some really good people but they’ve produced some really good videos.”
We are happy to welcome the Rotherham Reporters to the Community Reporter network and hope to see them at the Christmas party so they can meet other reporters too.
I am really pleased to announce the opening of our new Social Media Centre at the Manchester Communication Academy. The academy offers a full range of subjects and will specialise in communication – speaking and listening, languages, drama, media and presentation skills, and information communication technology. We worked with the academy to develop our young person community reporters programme with 6 primary schools who undertook the consultation with the local community. This lead us to open a new Social Media Centre at the school. We will be offering community reporter courses to the local community at the centre, as well as working with the school to provide placements for their IT and Media diploma students. This is a very exciting time for us and the school and a different way for the 2 organisations to work together. We are hoping that the new Social Media Centre will act as a local communication hub and plan to develop a local community website, internet tv and radio station as well as a local newspaper in partnership with the school and the community reporters. We attended the launch of the school and below is the video of the headteacher Lynne Heath talking about the school.