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Where to Start: What Do You See?

Updated: Nov 27

In this series, Danny and I want to share some of our toolkit, so you get can get started with transforming your community. Get in touch if you want to find out more.


Our purpose is to support people who want to impact their local area, and to see their local community transformed. Most of the time, they know that they want to do something, but don’t quite know where to start. So we walk with them.


When you decide that you want to catalyse change, it starts with intentionally looking at everything differently. To start to really notice what is going on.


When we begin to work with an organisation, one of the first things we do, is to help them to see what is really happening in their area.


Why?


Because observation leads to inspiration. What can you discover that will make a difference to your community? It might be easier said than done, but it is usually the first step.


Here are a few ideas to get you started.


1. Get out. Walk. Notice what is going on around you. Go at different times of the day.Take a different route. Slow down.


2. Start by talking with your own community. What do they see happening? What do they feel inspired by? Maybe even do your own survey. Listen to the people that you want to serve. What do they need? What would make their life better? Listen without assumption. Hear about what is good, as well as what could be changed!


3. Go to Google.


What are some of the general trends in the area? For info on housing, demographics, culture, education and employment, try looking at some of the following tools:


- Streetcheck.co.uk

- Church Urban Fund (https://cuf.org.uk/lookup-tool)

- Official Labour Market Statistics (https://www.nomisweb.co.uk/)


4. Check out organisations that are already working in this area? Maybe you could partner with one of them.


This doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as noticing the bus stop where young people spend their time after school; noticing that parents in your community are struggling to provide food for their families; noticing that statistics are showing increases in child poverty in your ward, or lower educational achievement in your local authority. This is the first step towards being inspired to do something, and we have begun to see organisations respond to these exact things.


We would love to speak with you if you want to be inspired to create change in your community. We would love to walk with you as you notice these things, and then work with you towards building practicle solutions.

Sparkworks is a Project of the DGO Foundation.

DGO Foundation is Registered with Charity Commission for Northern Ireland,

Charity no. 104689, Company no. 604372, Registered Address 19 Culcavy Road, BT26 6JD

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