2.1(c) Community: get me out of here!


To explore the good and bad of communities and how the group relates to other community groups.

You need

Some flipchart paper, activity sheets 11 and 12 and about an hour.

What to do

Cartoon illustrating topic The last activity showed how we are all part of a range of networks and groups, some of which overlap with others in the group and some that don’t. This helps us see that ‘the community’ is rarely as cosy and united as it sounds and is often made up of lots of different and sometimes competing interests. And to be effective in community action, you need to be strong enough together as a group with shared values and purpose, but not so exclusive that you are cut off from other people and have no allies. This activity helps you explore this further.

a) First, take ten minutes or so as a whole group to think about what is good and bad about being part of a community. Divide a sheet of flipchart down the middle and put the positives on the left and the negatives on the right. How do they compare with some of the ideas below?

The good and the bad of being part of a community
The good things The bad things
Feeling safe Trapped
Belonging Not appreciated for who I am
Loyalty Cut off from other people
Joint action Labelled

b) Second, using a technique called SWOT, consider how your group works as part of the community. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. What are your strengths? What do you feel are the group’s weaknesses? Are you well known and respected? Do you include a range of young people, or are you a very tight knit circle that would prefer to stay as you are and keep out newcomers? What are the opportunities for the group? Are there any threats to the group that these new openings or actions might bring? Discuss each of these headings and fill in the SWOT chart, activity sheet 11.

Group SWOT
Strengths Weaknesses
Opportunities Threats

What next?

You have now built up a picture of the range of connections you have together and thought about various other groups that you are not linked with. Looking at the SWOT chart you have done, how might you build on the strength and opportunities for the group and tackle the weaknesses and threats? Using activity sheet 12, a similar grid to that in the first unit, make a checklist of actions to strengthen your group and its position in the community. Who is going to do what by when? Remember to return to this at a future meeting to check progress and set new targets.

Strengthening our group’s links in the community
Who Now Soon Later
By us
With others
By others


Wiki Tools