For positive social change to happen, we believe that communities need real power. Sometimes this power is handed out by governments, and sometimes communities come together to gain power on their own accord and on their own terms.
Our Building Local Activism programme, supported by the BIG Lottery Fund, focussed on the latter: how communities can empower themselves through community organising, asset- based community development and digital activism.
For the digital activism strand, we worked with communities that wanted to use digital tools to campaign on issues that matter to them. This included activities with older people to make Leeds city centre more accessible, working with a women’s group in the West Midlands to encourage retailers to display lads’ mags on the top shelf, and helping Hackney Citizens Advice Bureau map the impact of cuts to housing benefit.
We also helped two organisations that do Saul Alinsky-style community organising to grow their work into new cities: Church Action on Poverty in Salford and Middlesbrough, and Citizens UK in Birmingham and Nottingham.