Community organisers wanted in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

Community-minded individuals are being sought to help carry out the government's Big Society concept at a local level.

The Thetford-based Keystone Development Trust was chosen earlier this year as one of 11 'kickstarter' organisations to pilot the national Community Organisers scheme which the government hopes will allow people to shape services which matter to them.

It is now starting the hunt for community organisers in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, who it hopes will work within local communities to bring people together, listen to ideas, build networks and support people to tackle local issues which are important to them.

Keystone Development Trust, which runs projects supporting vulnerable adults, migrant workers and young parents around the town, was selected by Locality, the organisation chosen by the government to deliver the scheme, as one of the 11 organisations which together will recruit and host the first 30 community organisers.

Chief executive Neil Stott said: 'We're really pleased that Norfolk is going to be one of the first pilot areas for the Community Organisers scheme.


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'There are so many people out there who are dedicated, motivated and really care about making their neighbourhood a better place to be. We're very much looking forward to getting the recruitment process under way to identify Norfolk's community talent.

'We're looking for resourceful, outgoing people with the ability to empathise and encourage and who have a wide range of practical skills, from one-to-one listening, to organising public meetings.'

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The Big Society concept centres around community groups which would be able to run various local services such as post offices, libraries, transport services and help shape housing projects.

Across the country up to 500 senior organisers will be trained over the next four years, with cash granted to help them through their initial 12 months.

They will be supported by another 4,500 part-time workers and volunteers.

It comes as councils slash funding from charities and voluntary sector partnerships, to cope with cuts in their budgets.

Jess Steele, who leads the Community Organisers programme at Locality said: 'Keystone Development Trust is a major organisation, the biggest development trust in the East of England.

'It provides a wide range of social projects and generates income which is ploughed back into the region and has much experience and huge expertise to share with the community organisers.'

Keystone will choose five community organisers from the area and will host them while they undergo their training with Locality's national training partner Re:generate.

The community organisers will then work in a neighbourhood chosen by their kickstarter in consultation with local partners, where they will put their training into practice and develop their skills.

The recruitment process begins today (Wednesday) and anyone interested in applying can download an application pack from www.keystonetrust.org.uk or call to request one from Maria on 01842 766018.

Once the application pack has been received anyone with further questions should contact Sadie Harvey on 01842 768 369.

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