At the beginning of Covid-19 lockdown, Open Source Arts worked closely with Kirklees Council.
We helped design and implement a new system which facilitated the requests of help for people who needed support during this time with the offers to help others. This system helped the Council support residents and volunteers who were spontaneously organising, rather than seeking to replace or control them.
Supporting the Community
People in communities were given the opportunity to directly talk with Council Officers, and through this process learnt how they can support them and vice versa. This created a culture of listening to and working well together, as a collaborative team.
Working together and building trust
‘I feel that the council and the community are working effectively together and playing to our strengths. I have really began to trust the Council and feel that Mutual Aid Groups and the Council really are working as a team. I feel really valued and that we have managed to build up a trusting relationship, that has helped to develop a genuine sense of community, collaboration and teamwork. We have developed a better relationship with Kirklees Council.’
Constructive online meetings
By facilitating excellent, constructive online meetings Open Source Arts helped Kirklees listen deeply to residents and begin moving deliberately towards a shared future where residents are actively participating in decision making.
These facilitated connections between the Council and the local community saw a better relationship develop between them. Residents realised that the Council has a good grasp of what is needed in communities. More trusting relationships developed as everyone realised that they had a shared purpose and could better work towards this in good relationship.
Clarity and action
‘Thank you for the independence and clarity you brought and stepping into chaotic spaces and holding them really well. You bought the focus clearly down to tangible, concrete action which really made a difference to people really quickly. You helped us all respond quickly to the emergency without lowering standards or compromising on the focus on building community and strengthening the place based working approach.’
There’s a wonderful story on the Kirklees Community Response Blog where a Mutual Aid Group Admin shares their experience of working within the system, and explores a real feel of togetherness.
Find out more about what some of the amazing volunteers got up to in their communities, with this inspiring story from the Golcar Mutual Aid Group.
Listen to the podcast below for the Local Area Co-ordination Network, where Phil (Director, Open Source Arts) shares the story of what can be done when people commit to collaborating and listening well to each other.