Co-operative Futures are working with several partners within West Birmingham and Smethwick to undertake community development work. This is through a low-entry community participatory model, similar to those used by Dudley CoLab and the Every One Every Day project in Barking and Dagenham. This work is supported by the USE-IT! programme.
The primary delivery model for this work is the provision of themed workshops to bring members of the community together to consider how they might tackle particular issues in their area. These themes include food, education and provision for young people, and language skills, particularly the provision of English language lessons.
Bringing groups of citizens together to discuss local issues is an effective way to engage with the community and provide the support required to develop co-operative solutions. This is low-entry participation, meaning that it is easy for people to engage without necessarily having to give high levels of commitment to an ongoing project. This has proved to be a successful model in these geographic areas.