About RE:generate

RE:generate (Action to Regenerate Community Trust) is an enterprising social action charity. We train and support individuals, multi agency teams, community and voluntary sector teams and organisations to deliver a dynamic and empowering process designed to tackle the root causes of poverty and disadvantage.

Action to Re:generate Community Trust has worked in the UK for over 22 years. The Trust has also worked in Zambia since 2001, and our trainers have delivered the DELTA project in Kosovo and Bosnia over the last 10 years. On extremely limited resource we have developed our work, process and strategy organically – informed by DELTA-Training for Transformation as delivered in many countries of the world. Our work and our process has also been influenced by the philosophy, methods and approaches developed by educators and community activists such as Paulo Freire and Saul Alinsky in the Americas.

The experience base for RE:generate’s process

Root Solution – ‘Listening Matters’ is a holistic process and strategy conceived and developed by Action to Regenerate Community Trust – a social action charity founded by Stephen Kearney and Julia Olsen, social entrepreneurs with first hand experience of individual and community disempowerment. They developed their approach and process while working with communities in towns, villages and cities throughout the UK. In the mid nineties, after training with USA Community Organisers Ed Chambers and Ernie Cortez and Partners Ireland, they incorporated aspects of Freire’s and Alinsky’s work and teaching. The working model for transformation has been tested in major cities, large towns, market towns, villages, disadvantaged estates and mixed communities and Root Solution –‘Listening Matters’ is now highly effective development tool that supports people to act and transform their lives and communities.

RE:generate has continually worked to develop, adapt and use organising techniques, participatory training methodologies and transformation training in very complex environments. To date thousands of people have been listened to in the UK, many have been trained in local and national programmes and thousands have directly engaged in activities and developments that have changed their lives and communities. This work has linked people’s personal growth to local action and institutions which has in turn impacted on the wider society.

In transforming communities, we are guided by shared values and principles that bind us in common purpose.Re:generate believes that

• A healthy community is a living democracy where people work together to address issues that matter to them.

• As citizens, we have a duty to shape the basic conditions that affect our lives with others.

• If we are to get to the root causes of problems, power must be more effectively shared: local communities must have access to tools, support and opportunities to engage powerfully, voluntarily and appropriately in designing, shaping and delivering public services effectively.

• The country needs to embrace approaches like Root Solution that can support communities to unearth and unleash hidden skills and talents to be stronger socially, economically, politically, culturally and environmentally

Our organising strategy and process involves building trust, respect and relationships within and between individuals and communities at every level.

Root Solution – Listening Matters fosters forms of participatory leadership that enable individuals and communities to grow in trust, openness and confidence; to identify and empower them to act purposefully on their hopes and synergies; to facilitate processes of analysis of root causes of issues or problems; and to plan for solutions and policies with people’s active participation; to build connections between community members and with relevant institutions. We will train people in all walks of life to build trust, relationships and active networks in communities.

Change Outcomes

The achievement of power balance – shifting and sharing power intelligently and responsibly between the individual citizen and accountable local and community institutions – is the central tenet and purpose of the process. RE:generate’s work ensures that shifts in a balance of power are appropriately facilitated.

Root Solution-Listening Matters wakes people up to their potential. It encourages and catalyses individuals to take creative and enterprising networked action to seek, find and develop collaborative solutions to deep seated problems. It supports people to make positive changes happen in their communities and their lives. Individuals, communities, agencies and authorities experience transformed working relationships that deliver better public services.

The Coalition Government’s aims and objectives in relation to supporting the development of community animators and organisers in England are welcome. At every level and in whatever role citizens need to reflect on the part we play in the continuation of poverty and disadvantage – and the part we could play in finding solutions.

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