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2,000th Learner to enrol in training as part of the Community Organisers Expansion Programme

Community Organisers and The National Academy of Community Organising are delighted to announce the 2,000th Learner to enrol in training as part of the Community Organisers Expansion Programme. Over the past few years, community organising has emerged as a vibrant and powerful movement; building collective power within communities; enabling people to overcome social injusticeby taking action around their common concerns.

It is such a popular movement that organisations as diverse as the Nationwide Building Society, Airbnb, and Bristol City Council are all employing community organisers. It’s a success that is reflected in the membership of the national body – known simply as ‘Community Organisers’ – which has grown from hundreds to thousands of members in less than two years; inspiring people up and down the country to join a growing band of active citizens who are transforming their neighbourhoods for good.

The impact of that transformation is acknowledged in the Government’s Civil Society Strategy, which states: “We know that where Community Organisers are at work, people feel a stronger sense of belonging to their neighbourhood, they feel more valued, and they become more likely to team up and improve their area.” Last week, amid this growth in community organising and surge in social action – and just over a year since its inception on Charities Day 2017 –The National Academy of Community Organising registered its 2,000th learner: Tyler England from Islington in London.

18-year-old Tyler –who currently volunteers with the Islington Food Bank and is part of the Creative Opportunities project – said that he was inspired to take part in the ‘Introduction to Community Organising’ training because he would like to “represent the Constituency one day as an MP.” Going on to say that the course gave him the opportunity to understand his local community’s interests and concerns – and that community organising would enable him to have: “empathy and up-to-date knowledge of where I live, and how to organise movements.”

Nick Gardham, CEO of Community Organisers and a founder of the National Academy, said he was thrilled at the 2,000th learner achievement, explaining that “When people are organised, communities get heard and power begins to shift creating real change, that’s why community organisers reach out and listen, connect, and motivate people to build their collective power; bringing people together to take action around their common concerns and overcome social injustice.”

In 2017, Community Organisers secured a major £4.2m contract from the Office for Civil Society, part of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), to expand the network of people involved with community organising by a target of 3,500. This ambitious expansion programme is increasing the number of people engaged in community organising across England; enabling them to take greater control of their neighbourhoods and create strong, resilient communities that work for everyone. A major part of the expansion programme is the National Academy of Community Organising, which provides quality assured training courses and qualifications in community organising. The National Academy is formed by a network of organisations affiliated to Community Organisers, known as Social Action Hubs.

There are currently 20 Social Action Hubs across England, including the Selby Trust in North London.

They are locally rooted organisations committed to community organising who train and support people to develop their understanding and practice of community organising and to get involved in social action. Anyone who is interested in getting training in community organising so they can ignite social action in their community should get in touch with Community Organisers.

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