Community engagement & volunteers
Engaging local communities is a central part of why makes community energy is unique and brings so many benefits. Encouraging and facilitating participation from local residents and stakeholders is vital when developing your project - see this How To page.
Once your organisation is up and running or you've completed a project, community engagement shouldn't stop - it's important to continue the impact your organisation can have and helping generate the momentum you'll need to create and implement new projects.
Behaviour change is an important part of getting people involved. Understanding individual and group motivations and drivers is essential for developing strategies to encourage participation.
Several toolkits and resources are available to help groups engage and educate communities:
- MyCommunity - lots of resources about community engagement.
- Plunkett Foundation - various community engagement resources.
- Manor House Development Trust - toolkit of resources to help aid discussions and a facilitation guide to help you run and administer your group.
- The South West Diocese of the Church of England - Carbon Fast 40 day challenge resources to support churches wanting to engage their congregations on climate change action.
- Transition Town Totnes - 'Transition Streets' approach to peer group support on behaviour change.
- EVALOC project - content on behaviour change activity through community projects (quite academic).
- Rob Hopkins' Imagination Sundial to help people imagine a different future.
- Westmill Sustainable Energy Trust - educational resources to use with schools.
- Energy Sparks - an online, school-specific energy analysis tool and energy education programme.
- NCVO - extensive resources about volunteering and coronavirus.
- CAG Oxfordshire have put together a shared document to support community groups with their response to the pandemic
- Community energy organisations wanting to engage with community support can find their local COVID-19 mutual aid groups here
- Alongside use of social media there are apps (e.g. https://nextdoor.co.uk/) that you can use to engage with your local community and encourage others to support vulnerable people in your local area