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Introducing the voluntary sector
Introducing the voluntary sector

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6 Summary

This week covered a range of issues relating to power and empowerment. Empowerment does not take place in isolation from the wider environment; for example, government policy can encourage (or perhaps, hinder) it. Whatever your organisation’s intentions, there are forces, constraints and uses of power in your external environment that may limit any empowerment towards which you may be working. However, the examples this week – and your own work reflecting on your organisation’s attempts at empowering beneficiaries – should help you in understanding the possibilities for real involvement and empowerment, which go beyond tokenism.

In Week 6 you have learned:

  • what power is and whether it is a ‘good’ thing
  • how to distinguish between different sources of power
  • to explore who has power – and how it is used – in an organisation you are familiar with
  • how to identify the beneficiaries of a voluntary organisation – including your own
  • what the different methods of empowerment are
  • what the challenges are in empowering service users.

You can now go to Week 7 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .