Community Organising with Into The Mix & Starting Point
Munji has written this week's blog, sharing news about the great start our Into the Mix students have made:
The last few weeks have been an exciting start to our Into the Mix Programmes at All Saints, Hyde, Rayner Stephens and Longdendale secondary schools! Myself & Beth have been working alongside Chloe and Mike from Starting Point Community Learning Partnership to deliver community organising training to groups of students before they begin their social action projects. The all-day sessions were expertly planned and resourced by Starting Point who are specialists in all things community engagement!
Into the Mix is one of our longest running programmes, funded by Co-Op Foundations & #iwill, with some of the participating schools in their third year. Students develop invaluable skills during the process of creating their social action projects including essential soft skills such as communicating with others, teamwork and creativity, whilst also developing more technical skills such as budgeting, creating a brand and strategic thinking in terms of marketing.
Mike and Chloe focused on listening skills, storytelling and creating a campaign – really preparing students to plan, create and deliver a successful social action project - all before Christmas! They used their real-life experiences of community organising in Woodley to engage the students, get them to tackle issues with creativity, whilst also being practical. At the end of the day the students were able to successfully present a litter campaign – dragon’s den style! It’s safe to say the most challenging part of the day was definitely deciding the winners!
‘We have had an amazing time delivering Community Organising training in local high schools across Tameside. We have met some really inspiring students who will hopefully go on to be leaders within their own communities. The students have really engaged in the sessions and have hopefully learned some life skills that they can take with them through the rest of their time in school and into their work lives. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Beth and Munji who have the expertise of working with schools. They have worked with us to make the training activities come to life and have real life meaning to the students.’
Thank you to Mike, Chloe and Starting Point for the thoughtfully planned activities and discussions with our young people. I cannot wait to get stuck into their projects!