This month’s edition includes:
- New Beginnings
- Principles in practice – a new Locality report
- Job vacancies
- And much more…
A note from Nick
Hello to you and thank you for reading this month’s newsletter. As always thanks to Rachel Tait for putting it together so beautifully. Sadly, that’s the last time I’ll say that as we’ll be saying goodbye to Rachel next month as she moves into an exciting new role with a local council. I would like to thank Rachel for everything she’s done for Local Area Coordination during her time with us. She has been a real rock for the Network, kept us all going and brought her abundance of creative talents into our work too. Good luck Rachel in your next steps, I am sure you will do brilliantly.
This month I’ve been with the Surrey Local Area Coordination team supporting in the community recruitment of their fourth Local Area Coordinator. Nine candidates joined a host of community members in an area of Camberley for “speed conversations”. This was followed by group community deliberation as to who goes forward for final interviews next week. It was wonderful to be in community with local people as they determined the qualities, skills and behaviours they sought in their Local Area Coordinator. I find this type of co-recruitment so rare in community facing roles, but it’s fundamental in my opinion as the perspectives and opinions of local people are so unique and important. Such a process offers an opportunity for collaboration and co-producing a decision together that would otherwise happen behind closed doors, made by a handful of people with more limited perspectives. The most powerful aspect for me though is when the successful Local Area Coordinator does eventually start, they already have a relationship with several members of that local community who feel a sense of ownership and connection with Local Area Coordination and its purpose. It’s all about doing with people not doing to people.
The day after the Surrey visit, I went to visit Shaheen, Luton’s first Local Area Coordinator, in the Leagrave area of the town. Shaheen introduced me to many of the people she’s alongside who kindly welcomed me into their homes and shared their stories and reflections on life and Local Area Coordination. With Shaheen alongside them, it was evident the people I met were moving closer towards their own vision of a good life whilst also reigniting and building relationships in their local area too, sharing their abundance of talents, gifts, and ideas with others and building community. It was the true essence of Local Area Coordination in action and it was really reaffirming and at times very moving to be part of.
Both my Surrey and Luton visits were very inspiring experiences in their own way, but they reminded of something really important (to me) that is easily forgotten; Where there are people there is life. Where there is life there is community. Where there is community there is hope.
Enjoy the newsletter