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First Mersey "Community Organiser" post

Logo of the Community Organisers programmeFirst Merseyside host organisation for trainee Community Organiser

Congratulations to Granby Toxteth Development Trust, the first organisation in Merseyside to be selected as host organisation for a trainee Community Organiser.

The Community Organiser recruitment programme is organised for the Cabinet Office by the charity Locality , which says that  "Community organisers will work in local communities to encourage dialogue and create trust, respect and networks to help communities develop their collective power to act together for the common good. Their support will enable people to take action on their own behalf to tackle the issues which are important to them."

By 2015 it is planned to have 500 full-time Community Organisers nationally, plus another 4,500 part-time volunteers. Host organisations like Granby Toxteth are selected to support the Community Organiser during 12 months training, and to work with them to make the job sustainable after the training.

There have been concerns that Community Organisers will be linked with geographical communities of local neighbourhoods, but not so involved with groups that are not area-based: for example those "communities of interest" such as disabled people. (Only geographically-based organisations can host the Community Organisers, not communities of interest.) The North West Infrastructure Partnership has been worried that the after initial government support for training COs will just be additional costs for local areas already short of funds for the voluntary sector: in short, they will be just "more mouths to feed".

"Community organisers will listen to residents in their homes, on the street and where they gather, and they will listen to public service and third sector workers, small businesses and local institutions to help develop their collective power to act together for the common good, as identified locally", says Locality

"The work of the community organisers will enable people to take action on their own behalf and have the power and confidence to tackle the issues which are important to them. It will also enable them to make the most of new local community rights and opportunities to achieve their own aspirations.