Developing Our Voice and Story

The POP team are currently working on how we tell our story (see here if you’re interested everything below is simply my thoughts after the start of the conversation.

There is the big picture

Economically and socially we see year after year the same groups of people being badly affected – and most adversely affected by economic and global crises such as COVID & the Ukrainian war. Environmentally we are already seeing the impact of climate changes on our food chains, living costs and future prospects.

What is clear is that the longer we wait, the number of people who are worst off will continue to grow. It is also clear that there is not one single ‘solution’ that sorts everything out. We have to reimagine how we work, what we value, our responsibilities and ways of organising society. It can be hard to know how to start.

This is why POP is working on the hidden rules that define how we come together. We know amazing stuff happens when we work together, which is why we are concentrating on the barriers that get in the way.

These barriers are:

  • Funding – we continue to need funding to get deeper into communities and support rather than undermine collaboration.
  • Community ownership – we need assets to be owned and held in the community so all our efforts don’t simply increase the wealth of the few (and we make a bit of income along the way).
  • We talk collaboration, but don’t really do it – I’m constantly reminded that competing priorities, time and capacity, funders requirements, putting our egos aside all act against us genuinely collaborating.

POPs role in this is twofold

First and foremost we help grassroots sector to thrive and develop. The grassroots are small, democratic groups run by ordinary people. They glue local communities together through collaboration and forming networks. They have diverse styles and set their own goals. For the grassroots to have a voice and influence change so their community thrives, we need this sector to collaborate well, interact well and be listened to within decision making.

Secondly we take a leadership role – the big picture will not happen without effort and we need it to happen so that our work becomes redundant. So we take a leadership role to try and achieve this.

What are we doing?

SUPPORTING AND ADVISING – we help and support grassroots groups across the city.

FUNDING – we experiment with money, finding ways to promote collaboration and grassroots activity.

BUILDING NETWORKS – we connect groups up.

GRASSROOTS DATA – we publish our data about the grassroots sector making the invisible, visible.

BELONG IN PLYMOUTH – a large programme of work looking at how citizen voice can generate collaboration that delivers better public services.

How can you help?

  1. The easiest way is just to get in CONTACT. Tell us what you think.
  2. Collaborate! CONNECT resources, SHARE passions, GIVE generously.
  3. Encourage your peers to become a MEMBER.
  4. Join the conversations about the big barriers HERE.
  5. Help us create strong neighbourhoods by joining or starting a NEIGHBOURHOOD NETWORK.

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