Locality to ‘mobilise a million’ for local change

Locality to ‘mobilise a million’ for local change

200 practitioners and supporters of community-led renewal will gather today at the House of Lords to celebrate the launch of Locality, the organisation created through the merger of bassac and the DTA. During the launch, Locality will unveil five key pledges to help communities flourish, including a pledge to ‘mobilise a million’ people to drive forward positive local change.

Locality was created through the merger of the British Association of Settlements and Social Action Centres (bassac) and the Development Trusts Association (DTA), two leading nationwide networks of development trusts, settlements, social action centres and community enterprises. Members of both networks decided to merge in November, creating a single organisation that will champion social justice, support community enterprise and serve a growing community based membership.

Joanna Holmes, chair of Locality’s board, and chief executive of Barton Hill Settlement said:

“Locality will build on our 100 year-long legacy of social action and self-reliance through community enterprise and common ownership. Our shared vision for the movement is for every community to be a place of possibility, and to achieve this we will grow a nationwide network of resilient, independent, self-directed and confident communities that are ambitious for local change”.

There are already over 600 local organisations in Locality membership. They work in some of the most deprived areas in the UK, often with the hardest to reach communities, and their work is making a positive difference to the lives of thousands of people every week.

In his speech today, Steve Wyler, Chief Executive of Locality, will announce five pledges, which he will say will “build on the inspirational work of Locality’s members and allow the passion and ambition of communities everywhere to flourish”. The five pledges are:

1. To speak truth to power (“At a time when cuts are falling disproportionately on the poorest communities, we will tell it as it is”)
2. To take on the blockers and the bureaucrats (“All too often communities achieve things despite those who control resources and decisions – we aim to change that for good”)
3. To forge a big alliance (“No single organisation can by itself achieve the community transformation we are aiming for – we will build mutuality within our movement, and alliances with others in the third sector, private sector, and government” )
4. To build community capability (“We are determined to build resilient organisations that are here to stay, founded on asset ownership, enterprising business models, and high-impact social action”)
5. To mobilise a million (“Through local campaigns, community organising, and timebanking, we will help our members mobilise a million people over the next three years”)

Locality will encourage and support members to share knowledge and expertise through a variety of approaches including peer-to-peer exchange and mentoring. The support available will be in a number of areas including community asset development, community enterprise, collaboration, bidding for contracts and procurement, strengthening community voice and influence; and community led action on environmental sustainability and renewable energy. For more information about Locality visit www.locality.org.uk.