Community Sector Tales
As you know, Urban Forum's work is based on gathering the views and experience of our members from the grass roots to inform policy and practice. We use surveys, interviews and discussion groups to find out what our members think and that way of working serves us well.
However, we recognise that it is hard to capture the amazing work our members do in their communities in the answer to a few questions. We have, for some time, been interested in finding ways to find ways to present information in a more visual way and make better use of the growing number of members that are using video, photographs and sound to showcase their work.
That's why we are inviting members to share their experience and views of life in the local community sector today.
We'd really like to know what things are like in the community sector today:
• How are you responding to the changes that are going on all around us?
• What differences are policy and funding changes having on your work?
• How are you responding to the challenges and are you finding that there are opportunities too?
By gathering people's answers to these questions, we hope to build up a good picture of life at the grass roots and the frontline of the community sector.
Bringing things to life
But rather than ask people to write a few words or give us a quote, we want to invite people to share with us a wider range of formats. We want members to share with us their photos, videoclips, audio, drawings and written words to help us to create a montage of content depicting the community sector today.
With Urban Forum's 900 members engaged in such a wide range of exciting and valuable work to improve local communities across England, we also think these stories and images will help build connections and inspire us to learn and share across the sector.
How do I get involved?
We know many of you will already have fantastic pictures, video, drawings and speech online - whether on your website, on Flickr, Facebook, YouTube or elsewhere. If so, all you need to do is share the link with us so we can find them and add them to the collection of ‘community sector tales'.
We will be using the hashtag #VCSTales to collect and curate content from across the web. So if you simply add that tag to your content or include it in a tweet or Facebook post we should be able to pick it up.
We'd like to include our picture of community sector life in the report we've been commissioned to produce by the Office of Civil Society on what Big Society and Localism means for our members.
This project will only work if enough members contribute to it. But we know there are so many fantastic things going on - even amidst the challenges we face - and the creative solutions local groups are finding to achieving positive social change.
They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words'. Well, what must 1,000 pictures be worth? With over 900 members of Urban Forum, let's see if we can find out!
Here's an early sample, although we're not expecting everything to be as slickly put together as this great video!