Learning about Active Citizens

Post date 25 August 2016


Up Our Street has been busy promoting our new Active Citizens programme over the past few weeks. Tamsin, our freelance communications specialist, explains a more about what’s been going on behind the scenes:

“Celia and I have just got back from a five day International Facilitator Development Workshop or IFDW for short, with the British Council (the British Council does love its acronyms). We joined a group of 40 facilitators from around the world, representing organisations from ten different countries, including Pakistan, Ukraine and Brazil. It was great to meet other organisations working in very different communities and hear about the challenges they have overcome. Some themes are unfortunately common to all communities, and we wouldn’t be Up Our Street without some chat about flytipping!

Throughout the week we took part in activities from the Active Citizens course, which helped us gain a really good understanding of how we would run the course back in Easton and Lawrence Hill. The course is focussed around non-formal learning, so is very different from sitting in a classroom and listening to a lecture. Some organisations had already run Active Citizens in their community and it was inspiring to hear how the creative techniques could be adapted for very diverse groups.

We then moved on to facilitation practice in small groups, taking it in turns to facilitate a session and receive feedback from the group. I particularly enjoyed a session with my group identifying who has power in our communities, on local, national and global levels, which provoked a good discussion about the power of the media.

We both came back from our time away full of enthusiasm for Active Citizens and can’t wait to get started in our neighbourhood. We have started to receive applications already and we are really looking forward to meeting our own diverse group of Active Citizens at the end of September. We know how many community-minded people there are in Easton and Lawrence Hill, and this is such a good opportunity to bring you together!”

There is still time to apply for Active Citizens. Closing date for applications is 9 September and you can apply online here: Active Citizens online application