2.3(a) Community interests


To consider different and similar priorities among community groups.

You need

Flip chart paper, pens, activity sheet 14 and about an hour.

What to do

In Hyson Green Nottingham, the neighbourhood-run Partnership Council brings together many different and often competing groups and views in the community to influence each other and the big players. There are a number of groups or forums, including those for:

  • Children and young people
  • Business
  • Adult residents
  • Voluntary groups
  • City council
  • Social services, police and health (what’s called the statutory sector)

From your own community mapping, add in a few other groups or forums that might represent different needs in a community, or change some on the list above.

When you look back at your community map, remember to think about the groups that have specific impacts on the environment: both good and bad. These companies, groups or organisations maybe located in your local or wider community and could include:

  • Energy companies
  • Supermarkets
  • Farmers
  • Greenpeace
  • Friends of the Earth
  • People & Planet
  • UK Youth Climate Coalition

You might want to check out www.oneclimate.net which is an online mapping tool which allows you to search what groups are doing what in your local area.

a) Imagine a community-planning day is taking place, when many different groups get to have their say. You can simply talk through the activity below or add some spice by role-playing it. Role-play allows you to develop ideas more freely (and wildly) and can often help our learning together. You may wish to appoint a chair for the meeting. They can get quite heated!

b) Get into small groups and each take on the role of one of these community groups. Talk together about what your group’s three main priorities might be. Of course, you may want to use the community planning material you developed in 2.2 Mapping communities to inform the priorities you devise. Rehearse the arguments about why these are your priorities and why people should support you.

c) Come back together as a whole community meeting. Each group in turn presents its priorities, with passion and commitment. Have one of the group record the priorities using a chart like the one below, or activity sheet 14.

Community planning day
Community groups 1st Priority 2nd Priority 3rd Priority
Children and young people
Adult residents
Voluntary groups
City council
Social services, police and health
Shared community priorities

What do you think?

d) If using role-play, the Chair asks all those at the meeting to look at the whole chart. Otherwise, simply discuss this in the group. Are some priorities similar? If they are, link them up. Use wool or string and Blu-Tack; this works better than drawing lines, because you can move them if you want to during the discussion. Are there any surprises? For example, though perhaps for different reasons, adult residents and young people may both want more leisure facilities for young people, or cheaper and more accessible transport. While a community is likely to have many different voices, sometimes change can happen quickly when they come together on a shared concern. Identify and list the three main priorities that might attract the widest support across the various community groups. Are there any surprises? Why do you think these may be the priorities?


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