Posts Tagged ‘Tessy Britton’

Community Lover’s Guide to Birmingham – The Launch

Posted on 15th January 2013 by

Tonight we’re at ChangeKitchen  for the launch (as opposed to the non launch) a of the Community Lovers Guide to Birmingham –   It’s an opportunity for us to get some of the contributors together and thank them for volunteering their time and their words towards the book., have a few nibbles and some drinks.

You can buy a copy of the book here –  for those who don’t want an object chapters will soon be online.

Nick started the proceedings thanking everyone and introducing Tessy Britton , as really she is the inspiration for the Community Lovers Guide series after she put together Hand Made.

Also here tonight receiving  their copies of the book are Tom Baker from Loaf in Stirchley, Karen Strunks of the 4amProject which started in Birmingham, and Birgit Kehler of ChangeKitchen.

Other contributors who unfortunately couldn’t be here with us are:

Books are available to order now from Blurb, and every chapter will soon be available to read online. 

 

 

 

 

Social Media Surgery movement wins the Prime Minister’s Big Society Award – hurrah!

Posted on 16th February 2012 by

Big Society Awards 2012 logo looks like a street name plate

I’m very excited to be able to say that the Prime Minister has recognised social media surgeries with a Big Society Award for 2012.

The Big Society Awards were set up by the Prime Minister in November 2010 to acknowledge individuals and organisations across the UK that demonstrate the Big Society in their work or activities. The aim is also to galvanise others to follow.  David Cameron said this about the surgeries:

“This is an excellent initiative – such a simple idea and yet so effective. The popularity of these surgeries and the fact that they have inspired so many others across the country to follow in their footsteps, is testament to its brilliance.

“Congratulations to Nick and all the volunteers who have shared their time and expertise to help so many local groups make the most of the internet to support their community. A great example of the Big Society in action.”

Thank you for such kind words – to which we responded formally with:

“It’s wonderful to have recognition for everyone who has organised a social media surgery or turned up to volunteer their help.  I think the surgeries work because they are simple.  They are very easy to organise, fun to do and not in the least bit intimidating for people who want some help. They give active citizens and community groups the confidence and skills to use social media to campaign, organise and hold power to account.  They’ve grown because of the passion and energy of bloggers and voluntary groups up and down the country.”

Background

The idea of a social media surgery originated with Pete Ashton – who used them with people who were looking for free help from his consultancy supporting arts organisations. We then applied the relaxed approach in a new way, scaling it up and putting together two sets of people – lovely helpers from the Birmingham Bloggers group (started in 2007) with the fab active citizens I’d had met through (more…)

Community Lover’s Guide To The Universe and Birmingham

Posted on 16th June 2011 by

Spines of Community Lover's Guide books arranged on a shelf

Tessy Britton is an inspiration and so is Maurice Specht. Tessy got to me to write a chapter on social media surgeries for Hand Made – her book on new community culture and  militant optimists. Maurice ‘dragged’ me over to Holland to talk about the work we do to government, housing associations and community groups.

From that has emerged the “Community Lover’s Guide To The Universe”  and we’re editing the Birmingham edition.  Sort of like the Grassroots Channel but with better pictures (and a book).  Let Tessy explain:

A few weeks ago Maurice Specht turned to me on the way to Schiphol airport and said ‘So when are we going to bring out a Hand Made for Rotterdam?’.

What a brilliant suggestion!

Since then the idea has really taken off with 12 community enthusiasts already volunteering to edit special local editions – collectively now called the Community Lover’s Guide To The Universe. Since we brought out Hand Made last August the number of people-led projects has continued to grow and we wanted to explore both the common themes, but also the unique cultural ideas and interpretations from all parts of the world.

We also wanted to start to show how places that are buzzing with community activity and projects are amazing places to live, increasingly more amazing than places with cool architecture or luxury shops. Community brings places alive, gives us new and interesting ways to contribute and connect … and there are signs already that people are finding places that have this creativity and excitement going on highly desirable.

Community can’t be mass produced and it can’t be ‘delivered’. But in rising numbers there are a lot of very excitable people just getting on and making and shaping their local communities for themselves. This series of books will create the opportunity for them to tell their stories, which in turn we hope will encourage other people to put aside any hesitations they might have and get more involved in their neighbourhoods.

So I’ll be doing one of my favourite things –  chuntering my way through the wonders of Birmingham, asking for 800 words or so and loveley pics. No one’s getting paid for this, but I hope you’ll join in.

Who should I talk to – where is the new community culture in this city and who are the militants optimists?