A Friends of the Earth local group had been on hold for around a year when several interested people got in touch with the local contact through the website, who referred them onto me. Previous attempts at a relaunch had foundered on the fact that members of the group had primary commitments elsewhere or had demanding personal lives.
This – on the other hand – was an opportunity. :-)
- I became de facto coordinator for several months in the absence of a local person who could step in.
- We brought the new volunteers together with those from the old group able and willing to help and collaborated on an initial trial action – a colourful Valentine's-themed stall which went down very well.
- We then discussed a campaign for the coming year and decided on The Bee Cause, which the new volunteers in particular were very keen on.
- I suggested that the group host and help me with a training day on The Bee Cause for locals and nearby local groups.
- They agreed, and the new volunteers worked with me in a number of ways (venue, facilitation, publicity) to organise a fabulous event.
- Planning and delivering the Bee Cause day also became a springboard to empower them. It gave them skills, confidence, allies and a vision of what the group was for.
- It also found them new volunteers and creating a basis for future action on the campaign over the course of the year.
- In parallel with this we supported the handover of the coordinator role to one of the new volunteers with the strong support of the others.