Monthly Archives: December, 2011

Dudley Arts Council hears about Our Society

Joanne Weston and I were really pleased to be  invited to speak at Dudley Arts Council‘s AGM on Wednesday evening. Joe shared highlights from Dudley’s new Cultural Strategy, Making Culture Count, and I introduced members to Our Society (presentation below).

We took the opportunity to find out what arts clubs and societies contribute to Our Society, and where they would find it helpful to work with others and get support.  Here is the write up from the discussion.



Community First update

As posted previouslyCommunity First is an £80m government-funded initiative that will run for four years, until March 2015.

Photo of Jim Diers

Jim Diers

There are some new posts over on Dudley’s Community First site. One is about Jim Diers, the inspiration behind the government’s Community First programme. Another is feedback from a Community First briefing for elected members. Slides from the briefing have been shared on the resources page.

Our Society: A Guide

I’ve been working with Donna Roberts from Dudley MBC and Keeley Wright, a volunteer with Dudley CVS to review lots of different reports and notes from local activities to draw out ideas about how we could improve the ways that people and communities can have influence in response to changes in the public sector (such as the NHS and the council).

We would like to bring this together into a practical guide for colleagues, and have invited members of the online Our Society network to help us to do this.  It’s free and simple to join the Our Society network, so if you’d like to get involved, here is the group for the development of the Guide (you will need to join the network and then the group in order to add comments).

Our Society: A Guide for Dudley is likely to include the following chapters:

  1. Introduction – policy context and drivers, local activity etc. and articulation of a vision and an approach
  2. Changing roles – describing new and emerging roles, skills required to undertake them, support which might be needed and practical steps to move forward
  3. Rethinking structures as networks and systems – evidence of this shift, local examples, online examples … and practical steps to shifting thinking
  4. Identifying existing and new social assets – approaches to recognising and mapping assets (by which we mean people and skills as well as bricks and mortar), examples, practical support and advice
  5. Methods – toolkits, frameworks, knowledge hub, and more
  6. Practical steps which Dudley can take towards an empowering response to public service reform, localism, ‘big society’ etc.

Please feel free to post comments and ideas here as well as to the Our Society network.

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