Taking Action Personally

Bodily action

Give Blood

Register as an organ donor – use info on British Organ Donor Society website.

Use your resources wisely

Be an Ethical Consumer

Specific consumer issues

  • Clean Clothes Campaigns aim at improving working conditions in the garment industry, world-wide.
  • Ethical pension funds From July 2000, pension fund trustees are required by law to state if and how they incorporate social, environmental and ethical considerations in their investment policies. Amnesty International UK has a free advice pack Pensions: Protecting your future… and theirs?.
  • Breakdown services from a responsible motoring organisation, Environmental Transport Association.

Use the online charity merchandise stores or other online services which generate money for charities, listed on our pages.

See our Social Economy links section for alternatives ways of trading services and goods. Ethical investments: see our Resource Extra which focuses on facilities for organisations, but many of the links will be relevant for individuals too. Also try Ethical Money.

Use a Social Firm, ‘a business created for the employment of people with a disability, or other disadvantage on the labour market’.

Environmental slant

Reduce energy consumption – go to the Energy Saving Trust.

Sustainable/responsible timber extraction: Forest Stewardship Council. Climate Care takes the global warming out of your consumption by calculating the CO2 cost and uses this to fund projects such as renewable energy, energy efficiency or forest restoration. Reduce the impact of car use through a car club, or car (or bike!) sharing – see Carplus/bikeplus website.

Look at Friends of the Earth or WWF sites for other practical personal environmental action.

Global concern

Tourism Concern Sustainable tourism etc. Centre for Environmentally Responsible Tourism (CERT) signs up Tour Operator Members but web site disappeared, Sept 05.

Don’t buy endangered species products when travelling abroad – CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species).

Visit Global Ideas Bank for others suggestions on how to improve the world, or add your own.



Change your life

Reduce your demands on the Earth’s resources, and improve your life, by looking at alternative ways of working links on our Employment Issues page. Resurgence is a magazine worth looking at, if a bit spiritual for some.

Active citizen

Volunteer for causes you believe in – see our Volunteer Opportunities page for a range of agencies and options.

Wrongdoing at Work – get advice on whistleblowing from Public Concern at Work.

Check out MySociety’s various sites, such as FixMyStreet (FixMyTransport and PledgeBank are being retired in 2015).

Our Areas of Concern front page Find an issue which you identify with, and follow it up.

You want to take action against shoddy dealings? Check our regulatory bodies page for where to start with a complaint.

Giving

We prefer not to repeat info easily available elsewhere, so check out Charities Aid Foundation’s info on tax effective giving in its Personal Giving pages.

ShareGift is for those with small shareholdings not worth trading in – donate to charity instead. They can arrange larger donations of shares too.

Give by clicking: generate money for charities just by visiting. Visit The Hunger Site, The Rainforest Site (both American).

(Initial list for this page came from Guardian Weekend, Jan 2000.)

Areas of Concern

Useful links for issue areas: intro, activism, democracy, media, civil society, conflict.

Every voluntary organisation is concerned with some issue or another, whether they are providing services to members, campaigning or working with the disadvantaged. We can’t possibly list every useful contact and idea for the wide spectrum covered by the sector. So we try to give an idea of good places to start, concentrating on web sites with a range of useful info. Their contact details should only be a click away.

We have used the following groupings:

Topic Reviews for more in-depth coverage of

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Direct Action/Web Activism

  • Avaaz.org “Using the latest technology, Avaaz.org empowers ordinary people from every corner of the globe to directly contact key global decision-makers, corporations and the media.”
  • Urban75 ‘one of the UK’s busiest independent websites featuring direct action, rave, drug info, unpublished stories, photos, rants and more’. Look up An Activists’ Guide to Exploiting the Media, by George Monbiot if it is still there.
  • Reclaim the Streets – website not responding at late 2013.
  • Free Range Activism Free Range Practice Guide 4 is ‘A guide to the procedures and legal pitfalls of demonstrating or taking action in support of campaigns’.
  • Getup! Oz example, of a “community advocacy organisation giving everyday Australians opportunities to get involved and hold politicians accountable on important issues”.

World Trade/Capitalism Protests

See Campaign Resources for some other sites on web-based activism.

Government, democracy, media

See Lobbying page too (esp. Freedom of Information, Lobbying and PR issues). Alternative/progressive media are listed on Getting your message across.



(International) Civil Society

  • CIVICUS is an international alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to strengthening civil society.
  • CONGO Conference of NGOs in consultative status with the UN.
  • NGO UN Community, in conjunction with Execom, the Executive Committee of NGOs associated with the UN Dept of Public Information.
  • Union of International Associations A clearing house for information on over 40,000 international organisations, and produces a Yearbook reference on these.
  • WANGO# (World Association of Non-Governmental Organizations) ‘uniting NGOs worldwide in the cause of advancing peace and well-being’.

Conflict and Peace

Community Groups Resources

Support bodies, research and other resources for community-based organisations.

Help in taking action locally, working with communities, social action, community development, etc.

General community support

  • Locality, a network for community-led (‘anchor’) organisations. (Was previously bassac and Development Trusts Association).  33 Corsham Street, London, N1 6DR, phone 0845 458 8336. Specialist areas include community asset transfer.
  • Development Trusts Association Scotland still exists as a separate “community-led regeneration network”. Also Development Trusts Association Wales, Development Trusts NI.
  • Scottish Community Development Centre You can join their mailing list, access their Health Network and info on resources for community development at their web site. Plus (new summer 2014) Communities Channel Scotland, which “aims to provide support to local groups and organisations so that they can contribute to a socially and economically sustainable Scotland”.
  • Also see Community Development Alliance Scotland.
  • UK Community Foundations (was Community Foundation Network) provides support and common point of reference for local community foundations throughout the country, and advice for anyone wishing to establish one in a new area. Arena House, 66-68 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HS, phone 020 7713 9326.
  • Community Development Foundation Website covers such areas as Social Inclusion, Regeneration as well as community development and details of its own projects.
  • Community Development Exchange, closed 2012, was a membership organisation ‘supporting people who support communities’.
  • Community Matters has closed – existed to expand support provided to community organisations, and ensure interests are represented locally and nationally, specific expertise in managing community buildings.

Specialist Communities Bodies

  • Federation for Community Development Learning 3rd Floor, The Circle, 33 Rockingham Lane, Sheffield, S1 4FW, phone 0114 253 6770
  • Community Work Education and Training Network (web site disappeared) is/was a Northern Ireland membership body, which promotes good practice in community development through education and training.
  • Responsible Finance. Was Community Development Finance Association – trade association for community development finance institutions.
  • Community Ownership Support Service is a Scottish government funded project to help community-based groups in Scotland to take on land or building assets for their community. It also supports local authorities wishing to transfer a building or land asset.

Other Resources

Also see Social Economy page for Community/co-op businesses. And Rural communities links.

  • The Can Do Guide provides advice for community groups on such matters as dealing with health and safety and managing money. It is based on the experience of a number of Yorkshire groups who were interviewed about the challenges they faced in getting their ideas off the ground and how they overcame them.
  • Just Act aims to provide practical advice for anyone wanting to make a difference and improve their community, anything from running a street party to taking over a core community service. Just Act is managed by Community Development Foundation with support from other organisations and the government’s Communities Department.
  • MyCommunity, launched by Locality in March 2015, helps “communities to take control over their Land & Buildings, Local Services, Neighbourhood Planning and Local Economy through the Community Rights, grants, expert advice and networking”.
  • Community Tool Box aims to “support your work in promoting community health and development”, but much of what they offer could be equally useful to others involved in community settings. Produced by Work Group for Community Health and Development at the University of Kansas. Sample topics: group facilitation, social marketing, community planning, plus there are some trouble-shooting guides. Not sure the categorisation of material always works, but fairly easy to navigate.
  • Collective Action Toolkit is “a set of activities and methods to enable groups of people anywhere to organize, collaborate, and create solutions for problems impacting their community”. We haven’t seen the actual material (registration required), but sounds useful. From Frog Design, with support from Nike Foundation, available in English, Chinese and Spanish, with more languages to come.
  • RunAClub is subscription based, providing support to “set up and manage your own community club or network of clubs”.
  • Neighbourhood Cinema from British Film Institute supports new and established community cinemas all over the UK.
  • Village Halls network from SCVO for anyone involved with village halls and community buildings in Scotland.
  • Community Relations Council in Northern Ireland promotes better community relations and recognition of cultural diversity.
  • Create a Council from NALC – a guide to creating a parish council or town council (where none exists already).
  • Planning Aid (England) offers free, independent and professional advice on town planning matters to community groups and individuals who cannot afford to employ a planning consultant.
  • Community Planning is a site to help people shape their cities, towns and villages. Also see Neighbourhood Planning section of Locality’s Community Knowledge Hub.
  • International Association for Community Development “building a global network of people and organisations working toward social justice through community development”.
  • ARVAC, the sector research body, used to have a Community Research Project to help community groups to undertake research. Still worth checking what training and support is available.
  • There are some research bodies interested in community perspectives – see Research Resources page.


Community Profiling

Software

Two (defunct) programs to help you put together and analyse surveys at a community level:

Compass for Windows was from Policy Research Institute, Leeds Metropolitan University, but seems to have disappeared. 30 day evaluation version, £95 + VAT single user licence for community groups. Phone 0113 283 1749, email: compass@leedsmet.ac.uk

Village Appraisals for Windows from Countryside and Community Research Institute. Launched April ’98, £75 for a complete pack – probably no longer available.

Guidance

Community Impact Bucks (previously Bucks Community Action) had Village and Community Appraisals pages, now removed? Their definition:

a survey of an area carried out by the people who live or work there.
a way of gathering facts and opinions about the community from local people themselves.
can be conducted in a village, parish or urban community.
involves all local people and which benefits the area.
may identify what needs conserving and what needs improving or changing.

Rural Resources is experienced in community consultation – see Consultancy Services.

Also see Achieving Better Community Development – Planning and Monitoring page.