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Community Organising via a Facebook Group

Andy Griffiths explains a bit about Community Organising via a local Facebook Group. " In Chelmsford, some of us have been practising our community organising skills in a local facebook group, launched in late March.  We asked people for stories and what they cared about, and we ended up with 4,500 members, loads of stories (some heartbreaking), lots of silly poems and memes and “where can I find formula” and coordination of volunteering, and 55(!) actionable issues. 

Through a kind of democratic world cup group structure, we democratically boiled the issues down to the top 7  – things like making sure volunteering was still possible during lockdown, sorting out parking at a local Hospital and increasing numbers of cycle lanes. In all, there were over 500 votes cast and a high level of engagement. 

The whole thing took a surprising turn when someone from the NHS trust claimed the parking problems at the hospital were the City Council’s fault, and suddenly the Leader of Chelmsford City Council appeared in the group and started negotiating via the comments function. 

Now Chelmsford residents are “taking the pledge” at www.citizenspledge.carrd.co


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