It was great to see the Neighbourhood Challenge projects taking part in the Manchester workshop we held last week.

The theme of the day was ‘involving and inspiring new people’, and activities were a mix of peer-to-peer exchange along with facilitated workshops on specialist aspects of engagement.

NCVO facilitated the morning session and opened up the day by asking everyone to share their own experiences of getting involved in community led action. We found that there were a huge number of different  motivations for involvement even in our small group.

Understanding  how and why people become involved in community action is crucial when you’re trying to involve people who have different backgrounds and motivations from your own.
One strong message I took away from our group discussions was just how important it is to go through this process of understanding and trialling new approaches to engagement. Simply ‘seeing it from others point of view’ or ‘taking a walk in their shoes’ is the simplest way to start.
The research project Pathways Through Participation from IVAR, NVCO and Involve is a great resource for those looking to understand these experiences and drivers in more detail.