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June 15, 2011

The purpose of ‘What makes us tick’ was to bring together people who are passionate about making a difference in the communities they live and work in and who are open to the new possibilities that can be created when we learn from each other.

‘What makes us tick’ was an opportunity for people to share what’s important to them, their own ideas and aspirations. We shared learning from the direct personal experience of people telling their own stories. The participants included inspiring community activists and voluntary and commercial organisations who are working in Kirklees, and people from further afield.

Through our discussions we explored two ideas in particular.

Instead of starting with problems and trying to fix them, we started with what we have and what’s important to us, and we tried to build on that first. So we started with the idea that:

“We don’t know what we need if we don’t know what we have”.

Secondly, instead of seeing some people as the volunteers and others as needy, or some of us as delivering services to customers with nothing to offer of interest except money, we tried to share and develop the opportunities that we can create for all of us to contribute and benefit – by exploring the principle of giving and taking. 

We also shared our experience of the tools and methods we’ve used to collaborate and coordinate activities at a neighbourhood level, including Community Forums, Timebanking and the emerging use of local Social Media.

The event was hosted by Newsome Ward Community Forum, United Response and the membership of Newsome Ward Timebanking. It was sponsored by the Yorkshire and Humber Joint Improvement Partnership.

As well as inspiring community activists, the participants included people from business and social enterprise backgrounds, from education, local authorities and the NHS, Church communities, housing organisations and timebanking schemes from across the country.

This report has been co-produced by the participants.

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