4.1 Partnership and participation
Sharing power implies enabling citizens to participate in the shaping of their community. In the next activity, you will explore one approach to enabling community participation.
Activity 3 Community mobilisers
Watch this video from the Community Mobiliser Team from Community Action: MK, in Milton Keynes, in which they talk about their work to mobilise citizens to contribute to the shaping of their communities.
As you watch, ask yourself the following questions, noting your answers down in your learning journal:
- How do the mobilisers enable citizens to influence the way in which their community develops?
- How might the work of the mobiliser team influence the council and other public sector organisations?
- To what extent do you recognise the work of ‘mobilising’ as leadership as defined in Week 1 of this course? Copy this definition of leadership − ‘Leadership is a collaborative, political and democratic practice that provides direction, energy and critical’ − to your learning journal. Make notes about the key words from this definition that you recognise in the mobilisers’ accounts of practice.
The community mobilisers may not describe themselves as leaders, but you can recognise leadership in their practice. They provide energy and engagement on issues that are important to local citizens. Their practice engages citizens with the political process, ensuring their voices are heard, as well as supporting citizens to shape their own community through the creation of residents’ associations, community activities, and support groups. They influence which issues emerge in the local area and those which remain unexplored.