Friday, 15 July 2011

Birmingham Settlement launches search for community organisers in Birmingham

Birmingham Settlement is one of only 11 ‘kickstarter’ organisations chosen to pilot the national Community Organisers Scheme, a programme created by the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office (OCS), and a key element of the Government’s Big Society agenda.

The first step of launching the scheme in Birmingham involves the recruitment community organisers who will help create a better local society. They will be initially working in the areas of Aston, Lozells, East Handsworth, Ladywood, Nechells, Erdington, Kingstanding, Washwood Heath, Bordesley Green, Hodge Hill and Shard End.

The national Community Organisers Scheme is a government funded project which aims to train 5,000 ‘community organisers’- individuals who will work in local communities around the country to bring people together, listen to ideas, build networks and support people to tackle the local issues which are important to them.

Birmingham Settlement was selected by Locality, the organisation chosen by the government to deliver the scheme because of their established networks and existing structures within the local community.

Martin Holcombe, CEO of Birmingham Settlement, said: “We’re really pleased that Birmingham is going to be one of the first pilot areas for the Community Organisers Scheme. There are so many people out there who are dedicated, motivated and really care about making their neighbourhood a better place to be. We’re very much looking forward to getting the recruitment process underway to identify Birmingham’s community talent.

“We’re looking for resourceful, outgoing people with the ability to empathise and encourage and who have a wide range of practical skills – from one-to-one listening, to organising public meetings.”

Jess Steele, who leads the Community Organisers programme at Locality said: “Birmingham Settlement has worked for over 100 years in some of the most deprived communities in Birmingham. We selected them as a kickstarter because of their unparalleled experience, the strong relationships they have built up across their local community and their innovative, flexible approach. We know they’ll choose some excellent community organisers for Birmingham and offer them the best possible support.”

Birmingham Settlement will choose two or three trainee community organisers from the area and will host them while they undergo their training with Locality’s national training partner Re:generate. The community organisers will then work in a neighbourhood chosen by their kickstarter in consultation with local partners, where they will put their training into practice and develop their skills.

The recruitment process has started and anyone interested in applying or finding out more should contact 0121 250 3000 or visit http://www.birminghamsettlement.org.uk/

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