What is community organising and how can you use it to create change locally?

Community organising is a way of bringing people together to focus on a common issue in society they want to change, like giving a neighbourhood access to more green spaces, making sure kids get access to free school meals or cleaning up rivers. 

Start with a chat

The best way to start is by talking. Knock on doors, get involved in forums and find out what people care about where you live. You might find people interested in the same social causes as you or discover a whole new area of focus. 

The collective aim, whatever issue you choose to tackle, should be to bring people together with shared interests, to develop their confidence and sense of collective power, to make a difference. However big or small you start, whether you’re organising a lobby or cleaning up a local park, giving people a sense of ownership and agency will help you build a tighter community.  

Get focused

Once you’ve got a core group of people signed up, you can start meeting with a clear focus, and identifying the steps you need to create to make change. You might want to raise awareness of your issue, fundraise for it, create a new community space or launch a big initiative. Remember, you don’t have to do everything at once! Your goal might be reducing air pollution where you live, but nothing happens overnight and there will be lots of little steps that help you get there like rallying your neighbours, organising car free days or getting the support of local businesses. 

Get connected

Organising is about educating and bringing as many people on the journey with you as possible, think about how you can involve already established groups in your community and how you can invite more people into the space you’ve created. You could do this by translating materials into other languages, putting out community meals at your events and linking up with local leaders who can help you reach more people. 

Keep it going

Shout about your successes and keep momentum rolling, once you’ve achieved your goals, think about the ways you could support other people in your community to create change too by teaching others what you’ve learned along the way. People are powerful and you can make a real change where you live today, what are you waiting for? 

Want more support?

Check out our Community Action Guide, for step by step guides and tips for 8 exciting projects you can do in your local area.