Community Development: Our Inspired Examples
All of B3st’s students have their internship placements in Seville thanks to their places on the Level 3 award in European Community Development. The course is designed to equip professionals starting out on a career in the third sector with the knowledge necessary to work as effective members of a community development group. The course runs alongside their work placements, so they can learn the theoretical principles of community development practice whilst gaining practical skills and experience to bring that knowledge to life.
As part of their course, each student has chosen a successful community development group to use a case study. They found these groups so inspirational that we decided to put together a blog post to share their stories and their work!
IRMO (Indoamerican Refugee and Migrant Organization)
IRMO is an organisation based in London that aims to provide across-the-board services for Latin American immigrants and refugees in the UK. They were first formed in 1974 in reaction to the 1973 coup d’etat in Chile, which prompted 3000 Chilian refugees to seek shelter in Britain. Since then it has grown to serve the needs of all Latin American immigrants and refugees struggling to make a life in the UK; it helps them to access welfare support, gain job skills, find employment and carve a path beyond minimum wage/entry-level jobs; it provides English classes and a women’s support network; it runs on-going youth projects and educational services to support children and teenagers waiting for school placements, to minimise impact on their education and to help young make positive life-choices. They also campaign for human rights causes, and run events and festivals to keep Latin American culture relevant in the wider community.
Galgael is a social enterprise in the form of a wood workshop in Govan, Glasgow. For over 20 years the organisation has provided a creative space where people can find real community, purpose and meaningful work. It provides a welcoming, supportive and productive environment for people who have had a rough start or a tough time in life, where they can come together to support each other in individual and group projects, and have the satisfaction of seeing the physical results of their hard work and putting them to use! They produce all sorts of handcrafted woodwork products, but the biggest results of their labours are probably the 21 boats that they’ve made and sailed on. Galgael enables people to gain true work satisfaction and build a genuine sense of self-worth from what they do and create.
St Werburghs City Farm
St Werburgh’s City Farm is a green space in the heart of St Werburghs – a district in the north-east of Bristol – that has livestock, gardens and allotment spaces. It’s aligned with the St Werburgh’s Centre: a community-run centre for the district and surrounding area. The Farm as a community organisation has expanded over the years to encompass numerous other green spaces in nearby districts, all with the aim of providing a collective space for local people to come together through outreach projects, educational schemes, local campaigns… and simply enjoying the gardens, horticulture and wildlife. They have a wide range of youth, disability, voluntary and development training schemes that anyone can take advantage of, to help local people achieve personal growth and development, and support the community to become stronger as a force for positive local change.
Tramaollol is a shared cooperative space in Seville. It aims to provide a shared, affordable and supportive community for people working in creative or ecological fields where financial security is difficult to find. They try to keep their space open for self-organising groups to use, as a place where they can share resources, ideas and space with like-minded groups, in order to afford a working space that will encourage them and give them the resources to grow, to face outwards to the city, to engage in social and political debate, and to influence. Alongside the affordable space, they run free or low cost activities, events, and courses – for professional development, for acquiring new skills, for showcasing users’ work, and sharing food and gastronomy.
Cooperacion Internacional is an NGO in Spain that works towards social justice alnd any work associated with the valuing of all human life as equal. They started in 1993 as a community-minded association, and they now run multiple projects throughout Spain and beyond in social action and tackling social disadvantage, enagaging hundreds of volunteers each year, and providing training for personal and professional development for volunteers who wish to undertake it. They work on projects fighting issues of homelessness, social exclusion, projects in education and tackling poverty with food banks and other enterprises.
St Werburgh's Farm: http://www.swcityfarm.co.uk
Cooperacion Internacional: Brighton Third Sector Training placement photos