All Blog Posts (727)


Have a look at this very important website the Encyclopaedia of Informal Education . It is the repository for both the history and theory of Youth and Community work. There are fabulous stories of folk past that have contributed much to the fabric of our civilisation. There is much to be learnt or re-learnt from them! Also the theoretical side of the work is important in order to challenge in a thoughtful way the overriding hegemony of our times.



Added by Bren Cook on December 8, 2011 at 10:22 — No Comments

British white working class

JRF reports published today:

Added by Kate Gordon on November 28, 2011 at 23:02 — 1 Comment


Hi folks,

Sorry I've been AWOL but I've been up to my ears in a number of things, not least of which was becoming a Nonna!

I visited the Outer Hebrides on a Community Development trip focused on coastal erosion and…


Added by Lesley Rodgers on November 27, 2011 at 0:30 — No Comments

"Power shift from Whitehall to communities gets underway"


Am I the only one to feel somewhat underwhelmed? 





Added by Kate Gordon on November 16, 2011 at 23:19 — 5 Comments

Reflections on leaving local government and why it's broken

Reflections on leaving local government and why it's broken.



I've just finished working in a two tier, or more accurately a three tier local authority (if you count the parish councils) after twenty seven years. The last six of them gave me a chance to see the strategic leadership up close and an opportunity to look into the engine room of local government. I'm now reflecting on what I saw and why I think it's…


Added by Bren Cook on November 9, 2011 at 17:52 — 10 Comments

The real Patch Adams and hope for health

Here's a link to the Gesundheit Institute's website. 


Patch Adams & The Gesundheit Institute


The ideas and story behind the life of the real Patch Adams and his day to day of making things happen. He lives community and this website give you access to the inspiration. Enjoy!

Added by Bren Cook on November 7, 2011 at 15:42 — 1 Comment

NATCEN report - "The August Riots in England: Understanding the involvement of young people",%201mb).pdf


On a quick skim read, it seems that young people aren't actually an alien race or breed apart.   Tell me which working adult hasn't taken stationery from work or toiletries from hotel bathrooms because it's there; as…


Added by Kate Gordon on November 4, 2011 at 10:59 — 2 Comments

Looking for a successful "Friends of a park" group

I am looking for a successful group who got together to improve a playground or park, and have achieved results -- with the involvement of children and young people.

I am hoping to form a similar group where I live in Preston, to help improve a neglected playground and park.

A speaker from a successful group could be an inspiring example for people round here.

Andrew Hobbs

Added by Andrew Hobbs on October 10, 2011 at 15:47 — 4 Comments

Principles and political correctness


One of the dilemmas in life is how to challenge bigotry without reinforcing it (by pushing people away from us and our viewpoint) . 

And it’s made even more difficult in an environment where PC is a pariah.

Given PC is a handy button which seems to release jeers every time bigots press it, we’re clearly in a difficult environment when we try to influence people towards social justice and equalities.

Wikipedia’s definition of of PC suggests it…


Added by Nick Beddow on October 5, 2011 at 15:30 — 9 Comments

BIHR workshops

I attended the Birmingham run of the BIHR '16 Cities/Rights/Weeks' today. It was very practical, and well worth attending if you're involved in delivering any kind of public service or provide support to VCOs that do. I think today was their fourth session, so still 12 to go - get to one if you can.  Information is on the Events page. 

Added by Kate Gordon on September 29, 2011 at 20:07 — 1 Comment

YCAN Conference and AGM

Ycan are holding a conference at the St George's Centre Leeds on 12th October.

For full details you will need to search Ycan's own website (It may not be on the YCAN site connected to this Natcan Website), and book as requested.

The event is free and will incorporate the organisations first AGM. If you want to serve on the committee add your name to the list.

NB There are many members who have subscribed to the Ycan Section of the Natcan site who are not otherwise known…


Added by Peter Martin on September 28, 2011 at 18:12 — 1 Comment

Local news: Mike Swain, All Saints Action Network Wolverhampton

It was reported in the local newspaper (Black Country Express & Star) towards the end of last week that Mike Swain, chief exec of ASAN in Wolverhampton, had died of cancer.    I don't know whether he was well known outside of the area, or even in the area by name, but a lot of people locally will have attended events at ASAN over the years.    I first went there quite a long time ago when ASAN was developing its services and products, long before 'social enterprise' was…


Added by Kate Gordon on September 25, 2011 at 21:16 — No Comments

Looking for Reception/Room or Space in Southwark urgent



Greetings All

We would like to put in a request for a meeting space for October 8th 2011 @ 5.00pm.

Our group ileto Caribbean Network are involved with a European Partnership of women's groups, which are Austria Germany, Poland and Turkey. This will be most of the Women's groups first visit to the UK.

But try as we have, we have been unable to access a suitable venue for the kick off event (  the reception) so  I am putting the post here.

We are…


Added by kenyasue Smart on September 24, 2011 at 1:30 — No Comments

University-Community engagement

"Current policy pressures on universities to focus on improving their research excellence and to widen participation make it hard for them to engage meaningfully with excluded communities, according to research funded by…


Added by Kate Gordon on September 19, 2011 at 22:15 — 1 Comment

Pub is the Hub

Your chance to help populate this directory.



The Wolverhampton Express & Star mentioned a recent study which looked at community involvement - quite a depressing picture in the West Midlands.   I emailed asking them to tell me the name of the study.  They haven't replied, but I have since found out it was commissioned by Punch…


Added by Kate Gordon on September 13, 2011 at 7:34 — 1 Comment

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