Sunday, January 30, 2011


Critical Citizenship and Community Influence - a whole area approach


Empowering ways of working are at the heart of three innovative frameworks which are being used to great effect together within wider approaches to community engagement in Wolverhampton, Dudley and Birmingham.

Critical citizen development

Over 150 individuals have been attracted to the seven critical citizenship learning programmes which have run since early 2009 in the Black Country and Birmingham. Courses are now being delivered by alumni of the first programmes, who have also passed through intensive facilitator training. The learning is based on content and an approach which has been developed over the last 13 years in Birmingham and the Black Country and is reflected in the national Take Part framework.

Community influence

Experienced facilitators have been trained to work with community groups and networks using Voice, a framework developed in Dudley which to helps groups to identify the actions that they need to take to influence decisions. Yet more facilitators have been trained to use a complimentary framework called echo, which was developed with public sector officers in the West Midlands. echo supports local authorities and public bodies to become more open to influence from communities and service users.

Whole area approaches to community engagement

Wolverhampton Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) runs a Community Engagement Learning Programme which encourages partners to 'do community engagement the Wolverhampton way!'. They have core modules to embed a shared approach, and a range of further learning opportunities which include Voice and echo facilitator training sessions.

Dudley LSP have developed a partnership-wide empowering approach to engaging communities, called in it together. This includes a training and support programme including introductory sessions on understanding engagement and an empowering approach, and highly successful networking events for practitioners to meet one another, network across teams and organisations and find out ways to improve their engagement activities. Voice has been in use in Dudley for over 4 years, and echo has been used twice to date.

Agencies in Birmingham have been bringing together those leading citizenship learning, Voice and echo use in their capacity as a Regional Take Part Champion.

Join us on 26 March to find out what these frameworks and approaches can offer together, hear from those who have benefited from them, and see how joined up empowering approaches are needed if individual citizens and groups of people are to be supported and enabled; have real and regular influence and become capable of creating change in their communities.

Link to booking info to be added


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