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Rural Community Organising in England (James Derounian)

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Rural Community Organising in England (James Derounian)

Rural Community Organising in England (James Derounian)


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  • 1. Rural Community Organising in England James Derounian
  • 2. About James  33 years in (rural) community development  NCVO – RCC – RDP - CA  Central involvement in Winchcombe NP & Examiner  CLP: Skeffington - RWP2000 - Localism Act 2011  Continuing community-based trajectory
  • 3. James
  • 4. Where are we?
  • 5. From organizing to Organising Importance of faith-based support for CO CofE “financial support since 1990 for the development of Community Organising in several English cities” Furbey (et al, 1997: 141) Ashington CDT; Gloucestershire RCC; Keystone Development Trust (E. England); Cambridgeshire Community Foundation; Kirkgate Arts – Cumbria social enterprise & Penwith CDT, Cornwall
  • 6. 54 7 (13%) considered rural in base, coverage or activities
  • 7. The approach  Literature Review – practice, academic, blogs etc.  Feedback: 20+ key stakeholders incl. COs & agencies supporting/hosting  Contacted by ‘snowballing’
  • 8. Findings & discussion  Rural England = 13,000 Christian churches (Farnell et al, 2010); little evidence of proselytising, exclusion or discrimination  Links and cross-fertilisation urban-rural CO  US – UK CO  Neighbourhoods = urban = where community organisers operate  CD Experience/ expertise (colonial origins) of promoting self help  CO: C19th US reformers & e.g. Southern Tenant Farmworker Union
  • 9. Reinforcement: what CO & CD can learn from each other “Across the UK there are…about 20,000 CD workers, including many who use a CD approach as part of another job” (CLG, 2006: 4) Parish & Town Councils: 1894, rural-urban crossover Paulo Freire: education for community action "can never be neutral: its political function is to liberate or domesticate” (Ledwith, 2005: 53)
  • 10. Findings & discussion II  CD + CO represent different approaches to gain similar results. Coexisting on a ‘messy’, diverse and overlapping spectrum  Blight of short-termism & other issues/ possibilities  CO + CD = mutual reinforcement in pursuit of community action  Continuing community-based arc, though detail may change: Big Soc  Localism (2011 Act) and localism
  • 11. Engaging a
  • 12. Questions questions… What can CD learn from CO in rural contexts and vice versa? What are the key challenges for organising in & with rural communities? What are the ways forward for rural CD and Organising?