ABCD Europe

Asset-based community development in action, all over Europe.

Check out Jubilant Stories-a great initiative in Gloucestershire

Gathering stories of a time when people like you came together to make a difference is about the best way to promote citizen led action. Check out how it's being done in Gloucestershire:

http://jubilantstories.ning.com/

On their website they say:

'We think there are lots of amazing people, like you, living in Gloucestershire.

We want to invite you to join us on a treasure hunt to unearth the county's hidden stories of people coming together in their communities to make life better. Not only that, we also want to hear how communities have been able to build bridges between isolated people, so they are at the centre of community life.  

These stories have gone unnoticed for too long, so it's about time we celebrated community life by recognising how local people use their skills, talents and enthusiasm to make a difference where they live and work - and beyond.'

Terrific ABCD initiative, truly grounded in practice, and citizen led, not a consultant in sight:)  

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Comment by Lorna Prescott on August 28, 2012 at 8:43

Thanks Cormac, I hadn't realised you were pointing to the stories - in fact I hadn't even spotted them on the site as there isn't a menu button at the top to navigate to them. I've found them now, they are wonderful stories. 

It has made me reflect on the balancing act you refer to, and wonder about where energy, time and financial investment is going in order to unearth community assets (such as this great example in Glos), connect community assets (such as the Community Building in Manchester) and change the ways that people in organisations which driver services and decision-makers think about communities and need (also recognising assets - perhaps the various activities around co-production are examples of this). Do you think this is as whole as it should be in order to significantly change things? What should we be mindful of if we embark on one or more of these kinds of activities? I think this links back to something you've said elsewhere (or I've read elsewhere) about organisations thinking in asset ways. It feels crucial if we are to use the investment being made in the most sustainable way.

Comment by Cormac Russell on August 27, 2012 at 18:42
Interesting take on what I was endeavouring to communicate. i think i understand where you are coming from. I was pointing to the stories really. The intent of the project is completely citizen led, with professionals in a servant leadership role. A balancing act i know. The steering group are also citizens and are endeavouring to lead by stepping back so that the voice of the citizens with less of a voice can be centre stage. The principle of leading by stepping back is important here I think because it means everyone even consultants and Trust can contribute to citizen led mobisation.

This initiative is only part funded by Barnwood the rest is funded by NHS Glos. no part of the funding for this initiative goes to consultants and that includes me i hasten to add it pays for the salary of the coordinator and for convening and curation of stories of citizen led action.

Hope the clarifies things.
Comment by Lorna Prescott on August 27, 2012 at 18:06

Thanks for sharing this, it looks like a great initiative and I've joined the site so that I can keep up on what treasures are unearthed in Gloucestershire.

I am left wondering though why you suggest it is citizen led. None of the people on the steering group for the initiative are listed as 'citizen' or 'resident' or similar, they seem to be involved because of the office or position they hold in the public sector or public sector partnerships, or their involvement in infrastructure, or charities working in Gloucs. The Barnwood Trust have £millions (if not tens of £millions in assets) And I spotted at least one consultant (aka CEO of Nuture Development)!!! .... which all leaves me wondering ... can asset approaches in the ways that they are discussed in this forum be citizen-led? There often seems to be at least one (often reasonably sized) organisation behind such work, if not a number of them. I'm not saying that's a bad thing - I work for an organisation and am using asset approaches. Maybe I should start a thread on this, it feels interesting ...

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