We are trying to define a particular space in the wide area of volunteering/’third sector’ activity related to finding and bringing together active citizens who are particularly focused on making their town or place feel like it is thriving because it has kept and is using the civic qualities that make it distinctive, not struggling because it has lost them.
In 2018 we are holding gatherings in Wigan, Bexhill and Somerset to discuss the concept further.
Courtesy of hotel proprietor Antony Brunt, the first of these will be at the Yarn Market Hotel, Dunster, Somerset on Sun 11th and Mon 12th February. The programme will comprise a workshop meeting on the Sunday late afternoon/evening, followed by dinner, and then on the Monday morning an action plan meeting followed by an exploration of Dunster & Minehead.
We are extending the invitation to people with experience in civic activism, who take a broad strategic outlook, are happy to work across boundaries, and are also diverse in terms of geography, gender, etc.
Having reached out to the REconomy project, members of Devon Convergence, we were pointed to Somerset Convergence, and it looks like you are closely complementary with lots of overlaps and lots of positive potential synergy. We are equally interested in reaching out those active citizens who are focused on generally improving their town or delivering a particular civic project (as a random example, say, a civic group to buy & renovate the town pier so as to keep it open to the public), as well as those who see such activity as one way in to wider radical change in the way our economy and politics works.
You are warmly invited to all or any of the get-together programme. With a cast of experienced do-ers, I am confident the get-together will be congenial and informal, and very productive. The Yarn Market Hotel has kindly offered a special rate for dinner bed & breakfast for the Sunday and Monday nights of £60 for one night, £100 for 2 nights.
If you are interested in the concept but can’t make those dates, do let me know. We will also be attending the Ctrl-Shift summit in Wigan on 27-29 March; we will meet Devon Convergence there and maybe also yourselves!