2.3(c) Community support


To strengthen the group’s connections and alliances.

You need

Your community map and activity sheet 16 and about an hour.

What to do

You have used the sailing activity to think about who and what in the community might help or hinder you to get the changes you want. But how well do you know these people and what they do? What do you need from them? The next community meeting is only a few days away. But there will be other opportunities to gain allies and influence people. Reflect on your priorities for action and the key people you identified as being for you and those most likely to be against. What about those who simply know little or nothing about the group? Cultivating your supporters and telling people about what you do can be as important in the long haul of a campaign as winning over a few enemies. Using the chart below (activity sheet 16), consider the who, why and how questions for each group of people.

  • Who knows about you and supports what you do?
    • Why do they support you?
    • How can you cultivate their interest and support?
  • Who knows little about you and needs to know more?
    • Why don’t they know much about you?
    • How can you help them to find out more?
  • Who is not supportive of the group?
    • Why are they not supportive?
    • How can you influence them positively?

When completing the How column, consider a range of techniques, including

  • Displays
  • Phone calls
  • E-mail
  • Invitations to one of your meetings
  • Website
  • Visiting the councillors or MP
Community support
List the people concerned Why do they support us? How can the group influence them? When does this need to be done? Who’s going to lead on this?
People who support us
People who don’t know about us
People who may not support us

What do you think?

Discuss your findings. It may be quite easy to build contacts with people who are on your side to start with. Perhaps the council has a youth champion, or there is a youth forum which is really keen to establish links. But if your key issue is the useless bus fares or that the local shops bar more than one young person at a time, while they may be of help to you, who else will you need on your side? We also all carry our own assumptions, prejudices and stereotypes. Are there people you think will be hostile to you? Doubt your doubts and give them a call too. You may be surprised. What about journalists? Often newspapers have reporters who cover local and community news. You may not need them now, but it is well worth building up contact with them. You will come back and build on this in the units that follow.


Wiki Tools