Our Society

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All Blog Posts (79)

Localism and the web: a new era for democracy?

copy  of original article posted on Opendemocracy.net 12 February 2011.


Local democracy in England is in a troubled state. Swingeing cuts to local government, voter apathy and declining civic involvement all suggest a parlous state of affairs and with no let up in the economic gloom, the prospect of double dip recession…


Added by Gavin on February 12, 2012 at 20:35 — No Comments

Charity rebranding on less than a shoe string

The chances are you’ve never heard of NAAPS UK, which for almost 20 years had been the national network for an equally under-appreciated form of social care which used to be known as Adult Placement (the ‘AP’ in NAAPS), but more recently as ‘Shared Lives’. (In Shared Lives, an adult in need of support is matched with a compatible registered Shared Lives carer, and they share family and community life, in relationships which…


Added by Alex Fox on January 27, 2012 at 10:54 — No Comments

A Great week for the old CV!

 A Great week for the old CV! 

New leaflet for local community cafe! 
New branding/website for area's Gala! 
Elected chair of local community centre! 
...And it's only Wednesday! :i) 

Added by Pol Steele on January 26, 2012 at 0:30 — No Comments

The Case For Digital Education Workers

While a number of organisations have been developing groundbreaking programmes to enable older people to access and make best use of the web for many years now, recent governmental initiatives have greatly increased the number of new Internet users of all ages.

To date, digital inclusion strategies have largely focused on encouraging people to access the web. However, as more people get online it is becoming increasingly important that community organisations and social resources at…


Added by Pol Steele on January 16, 2012 at 20:18 — No Comments

About Me (Pol Steele)

Originally from the west coast of Scotland I moved to Edinburgh in 1983 at the age of 19 to continue my chosen career as a community worker with the elderly.

A self-taught artist with a growing interest in the arts I was also keen to investigate the strange phenomenon I had heard of called the Edinburgh Festival.

I first became aware of the Internet during a prolonged period of ill health in the late 1990’s - which included several years during which I was almost totally…


Added by Pol Steele on January 16, 2012 at 20:00 — No Comments

'Beyond the Big Society - Psychological Foundations of Active Citizenship' - new report published

The RSA has just published a new report - titled 'Beyond the Big Society - Psychological Foundations of Active Citizenship' - which I co-authored.

Here's a blog post about the report, which includes a link to the report itself:…


Added by Matthew on January 9, 2012 at 23:12 — 2 Comments

Free conference "People making change: sharing approaches that work"

The UK policy context is perhaps more supportive than ever for initiatives to support people making change in their communities and organisations, yet the practical challenges are perhaps more daunting than ever.

Join us at ICA:UK's free annual conference and AGM, in Manchester on 21 January 2012, to…


Added by Martin Gilbraith on December 7, 2011 at 12:22 — No Comments

Ideas from an exploration of People Powered Change

Over the past three months John Popham, Drew Mackie and I have working with the Big Lottery Fund to help develop ideas around People Powered Change - an initiative that BIG launched in March this year. You can see earlier discussion in the group here. I've just posted this update…


Added by David Wilcox on November 28, 2011 at 11:13 — 1 Comment

Transition gives us the best of ingredients for networking

I've just posted this over on socialreporters.net, where John Popham and I are helping the Big Lottery Fund explore the future of their People Powered Change initiative as a networked space for local projects and national partners to share experience and learn from each other.

Among networks that help local projects share experience, with support but not dominance from…


Added by David Wilcox on October 27, 2011 at 16:27 — 1 Comment

NALC campaigns for local London councils

It's a good time to talk about local democracy - whether the type you vote for, the type you get involved in, or both - and so I'm looking forward to the Create a Council event in London tomorrow evening.

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) - which represents parish and town councils - argues that that "if local people are elected by their community to influence and make… Continue

Added by David Wilcox on October 24, 2011 at 12:51 — No Comments

Enabling a self-sufficient, digitally inclusive community


I've recently moved up to Derby.  Although I don't know the area well, I've being coming to Derby quite often over the past ten years to see friends.  Ironically, they moved away last year so I'm working hard at the moment trying to connect myself with people, local initiatives, etc.

One of my recent pursuits led to a fortunate meeting with Mark, the current chair of the BCS (British Computer Society) Derby and Nottingham area.  Mark was looking for volunteers for the BCS's…


Added by Aidan Kelly on October 18, 2011 at 22:30 — 4 Comments

Add your views and ideas on how to strength communities

Next week there's another chance to engage with researchers looking into how community groups and activists can achieve their aims in today's hard times. 

The Third Sector Research Centre is running a live online discussion in the evening of October 19 with a panel from our sister online community, the National Community Activists Network. There's a summary of an earlier online discussion…


Added by David Wilcox on October 14, 2011 at 17:48 — 4 Comments

illusory work programme


I am compelled to post my increasing concern over the local roll out of the Single Work Programme.

I will be honest with you from the outset in that whilst I support the need for more concerted intervention to reduce Worklessness I do not believe the programme fit for purpose since it is ill-conceived and is predicated upon levels of available work evenly distributed across the country neither of which is true. I also believe that punitive approaches to behaviour change…


Added by Anthony Woods-Waters on October 14, 2011 at 12:43 — 1 Comment

Exploring Community Resilience - a new handbook from Carnegie UK Trust / 'Fiery Spirits' Community of Practice

Community Resilience – a handbook based on global experience

The Fiery Spirits Community of Practice has launched a new handbook packed with inspiring stories about how communities are preparing for and coping through difficult times.  Beginning with Cumbria’s experience from the floods of November 2009, the book…

Added by Nick Wilding on August 19, 2011 at 13:17 — 1 Comment

Could we move beyond gatekeeping in social care?

Giving individuals the option to control the money which is spent on meeting their needs feels to me to be self-evidently a good thing. There is great – and massively undervalued – expertise in the social work profession, but social care is not like, say, heart surgery, where I would probably be happy for most decisions about my care to be taken by the experts. Social care is more ambitious than heart surgery. It doesn’t just want to help your body function, it wants to be a route you can…


Added by Alex Fox on July 5, 2011 at 12:55 — 1 Comment

Wake up! The big society cavalry aren't coming

Anyone familiar withTolkien’s The Lord of the Rings will recall the scene. Whether you’ve read the book, seen the film or both, there are few things more stirring than the Riders of Rohan storming to the rescue of the besieged forces of Gondor.

Tolkien does it on an epic scale, with thousands of horsemen galloping around the shoulder of the mountain to bring hope to the beleaguered forces of goodness and justice. But it’s a…


Added by julian dobson on July 4, 2011 at 6:45 — 4 Comments

Helping people to understand localism and the Big Society

Hi everyone

To quote briefly from the first attachment:

"Localism and the Big Society are among the leading political themes of the moment. Yet despite endless discussion, both concepts remain hard to pin down.The approach taken here is to offer a set of options to compare and contrast. This note offers five models for how local authorities are responding to the Localism and the Big Society agendas."

The note contains the five models, on the second page.

I intend…


Added by Perry Walker on June 17, 2011 at 11:39 — 3 Comments

We need to raise awareness of Shared Lives

Shared Lives is where a trained and approved Shared Lives carer and their family agrees to include an older or disabled person in their family life, often on a long term basis. There are around 10,000 SL carers in the UK, of which 3,800 are NAAPS members. There are around 10,000 SL carers in the UK, of which 3,800 are NAAPS members. Shared Lives is a great example of an approach to meeting people's support and accommodation needs, which is based on people forming relationships, a household…


Added by Alex Fox on June 16, 2011 at 17:26 — No Comments

Our new guide to personalisation

We have launched a new guide on personalisation - see www.naaps.org.uk and click News. Meanwhile, as reported in Community Care, Unison have surveyed social workers on personalisation with depressing,results. For too many front line staff, personalisation is still seen as a new set of processes and forms to introduce, rather than as a culture change. Respondents…


Added by Alex Fox on June 16, 2011 at 17:22 — No Comments

New Appreciating Assets guide from Carnegie UK Trust/IACD - might help?

Hello - writing my first blog into this great oursociety space to say that Carnegie UK Trust with the International Association for Community Development (IACD) have just published a new guide to asset based development - designed to be practically helpful for activists/practitioners, as well as to help shape up some of the critical questions that are useful when people start considering unleashing local assets of all kinds...

We've a discussion space dedicated to feedback on the…


Added by Nick Wilding on June 7, 2011 at 11:00 — No Comments

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