In this meetup we aim to look at the influence of the many community associations that exist in the UK and raise questions about how they can become more effective in the public sphere – and what tools they need to do it especially ones that use social networking.
Civil Society is much more than what we call the voluntary sector or non-government organisations. It is the many thousands of community associations across the country that engage in a variety of different activities.
Often these organisations are considered “below the radar” because they do not register with government, corporations or indeed the larger voluntary associations as equal players in the public sphere. And yet in the UK alone it has been estimated that there are about 600,00 such groups. To help with this discussion we have,.
Matt Scott is the Director of the Community Sector Coalition. Between 1996 and 2008 he worked in a community development role in South East London, including management of the Lewisham Community Empowerment Network. Prior to this he has worked in the North East and Midlands in a number of roles including as an advice worker, volunteer co-ordinator and manager in several workers co-operatives. He is also a Director of the National Coalition for Independent Action, a founder member of the Community Development Network London and an occasional lecturer at Goldsmiths College where he is completing a PhD on the role of communities in the modernising local government agenda
Angus McCabe leads TSRC’s “below the radar” research, exploring the experiences of small community based organisations, BME and refugee/migrant groups. Angus has a background in community development work, both in inner city and settings on peripheral estates. He is a Board Member of the International Community Development Journal, an Associate of the Federation for Community Development Learning and has been involved in training and development work with non-governmental organisations in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
Hugh Flouch is the founder of Networked Neighbourhoods, an organisation working with clients to foster digital society at the local level. Within the scope of this project he established the double-award-winning Harringay Online, one of the UK's most successful citizen-led neighbourhood networks. Networked Neighbourhoods is a collaborative venture between experts in social media, neighbourhood networks and community development.
Their vision is to foster digital society at the local level to increase neighbourhood social capital, grow democratic engagement and build the capacity of communities to work as more active agents in partnership with local councils.
In developing this webinar we are working with TSRC (Third Sector Research Centre), which offers third sector organisations and policy-makers access and input into robust research, aiming to bridge the gap between research and the third sector. They have developed a project around what they term “below the radar groups” the many community associations that form the social glue of our civil society.
You can find more about this on their website here
And also on their Briefing Paper on “Exploring below the radar; issues of theme and focus." This can be found here ...
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