Locality Working

  • refers to partners working together with the community to identify local solutions to local priorities
  • seeks to encourage open and constructive conversations between communities and their representatives and public services, where they can influence what happens in their communities and how it happens.
LOCALITY are a national network of inspiring, ambitious and dedicated community-led organisations and associate members in England. The team comprises community-sector professionals working to support members and the communities they serve. The aim is to inspire local communities to change and improve.
  • help people to set up locally owned and led organisations
  • support organisations to exchange ideas and best practice on community asset ownership, community enterprise and social action
  • work to influence government and others at national and local level to build support and investment for the movement
  • run major national programmes to support and empower local communities

My Community Network

Community Rights

The  ‘Community Rights Sixth Report of Session 2014–15’ focuses on four community rights:

  • the Community Right to Bid;
  • the Community Right to Build;
  • the Community Right to Challenge; and
  • the Community Right to Reclaim Land.

The first three rights were included in the Localism Act 2011 and came into operation between April and September 2012.

The Community Right to Reclaim Land is based on the Public Request to Order Disposal process, which dates from 1980. It has been referred to as a community right since 2011.

Community Organising

‘Community organising’ is the work of building relationships and networks in communities to activate people and create social and political change through collective action.

“The community organising process involves identifying what people care strongly about in a community through 1-2-1 conversations, building relationships and networks that are strong enough to support a long struggle for change, developing community leaders and mobilising people to take collective action to achieve a shift of power and significant social change.” …”We believe that community organising has the potential to establish a new and much healthier social contract between people and power. Community organising, grounded at local level, provides the means for people – above all those who are most excluded from the inner circles of power and privilege – to combine and be counted, to discover their ability to identify those changes which will mean most to them and, on their own terms, take action to tackle vested interests. Through community organising the realisation of individual potential and the creation of self-determining communities go hand in hand.” (Extracted from the Locality bid to run the CO Programme) (LOCALITY)

Among those who have shaped the concept of community organising are Saul Alinsky and Paulo Freire.

Alinksy began organising in 1930s Chicago and spent much his career criss-crossing the US working with poor and dispossessed communities. He wrote two books Reveille for radicals and Rules for radicals that describe his approach to community organising.

In his famous book ‘Pedagogy of the Oppressed,’ Paulo Freire  argues that the ignorance and lethargy of the poor are the direct result of economic, social and political domination. Freire suggests that in some countries the oppressors use the system to maintain a “culture of silence”. Through the right kind of education, he suggests, avoiding authoritarian teacher-pupil models and based on the actual experiences of students and on continual shared investigation, every human being, no matter how impoverished or illiterate, can develop a new awareness of self, and the right to be heard.

Citizens UK believe that “Community organising is democracy in action: winning victories that change lives and transform communities.”

Goals are:

  • to organise communities to act together for power, social justice and the common good.
  • to develop the leadership capacity of its members so they can hold politicians and other decision-makers to account on the issues that matter to them.

Our Place

This approach seeks to develop and implement local innovative action-learning interventions based upon leadership development, community enterprise development and social change for the benefit of the community.

Report: A Place to call Home

LOCALITY’S ‘A Place to Call Home’ report highlights the need for Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to be supported to take over community buildings to ensure they can meet the needs of their neighbourhoods for generations to come.

Our Place: Case Study

The Our Place Bradford (Crag Road) project aimed to address issues of social isolation, mental health, alcohol / drug dependency and joblessness in a deprived community in Bradford, Yorkshire.

It did this through a community designed and centred approach. Crag Road residents, service providers, community groups and organisations formed a Steering Group to develop the project. They used Our Place funding to rent a flat within the community to provide a local space for drop-in services, activities and training. Three residents were hired and trained to provide peer support and signpost the community to relevant services. The initiative aimed to increase access to needed services, reduce police call-outs and reduce the number of people in rent arrears or moving out of the community.

Film: New Wortley, Leeds ‘Our Place Partnership’

The above film is a celebration of the strong Our Place partnership in New Wortley where services and local people are working together to transform their neighbourhood.

Implication for Locality Post-Brexit

The following has been drawn from a post Brexit Webinvar organised by LOCALITY to try to understand implications for community post-BREXIT

  • if no Parliamentary vote immigration prioritised over access to the single market
  • foreign workers monitored
  • public spending may be affected
  • uncertainty over EU funding (secured signed off funding will be safe)
  • emphasis on social mobility and suggestion of more control for people. LOCALITY have been working with others on
    • opportunities for young people
    • tackling poverty
    • common ownership of assets
    • transfer of power down to local level
    • economic growth focussing on social economy and neighbourhood issues
  • LOCALITY/community sector priorities to include:
    • lots of unknowns but LOCALITY needs to work with partners to flesh out what BREXIT means for communities. Focus on three broad areas:
      • community cohesion integration, migration and race equality
      • community engagement, involvement and accountability
      • economic resilience and development for ‘left behind’ communities
  • LOCALITY want to build a profile of what members/people want. To this end they are surveying members and asking the following question:
    • ‘How do you feel about the future for your community post-EU Referendum?  Optimistic/Pessimistic/Neither

Community Grants & Funding

Some community grants and funding currently available to Locality members and other groups to cover core costs and and support community projects.

Here is a list of Big Lottery funding programmes 


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