Diocese backs community organising groups bid for Big Society funding

Westminster Diocese has given its backing to a bid by two community organising groups which involve many Catholic parishes, for Big Society funding.

During the election campaign David Cameron announced his intention to train 5,000 community organisers, now the specification for this work through the National Community Organisers programme has been published.

Citizens UK has announced that it together with Re-generate will be putting in a bid to do the work. Citizens UK will deliver training in rural areas, teaching organising based on Saul Alinksy model alreadly seen operational in the capital with London Citizens. London Citizens presently has 25 organisers in the capital.

Citizens UK will deliver 75 per cent of the programme in cities like Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, London. Nottingham, Newcastle and Bristol.

Re-generate will deliver  training in rural areas and small towns with organising based on the model of Paul Freire. Re-generate will deliver 25 per cent of the total training.

The Young Foundation is acting as bid co-ordinator and consultant.

Father Martin Hayes, secretary to Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster said: "The Government is keen for local initiatives to help build a greater sense of community life with communities taking a greater responsibility. The Church has a great opportunity because of its ability in and experience of connecting people and could make a real contribution to the revitalisation of ailing civic institutions through the Government's community organisation contract."

“At present this bid is being led by 'RE-generate' and 'London Citizens'  two organisations that recognise the standing of religious institutions as the 'bricks and mortar' of the 'Big Society' and the central importance of places of worship as hubs for community activity.  The Church has a considerable presence in 'Citizens' as it stands.  Over 45 per cent of member communities in London Citizens are Catholic parishes or schools."

Share this story