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Rod Laird Library

Community involvement

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Measuring the impact of lots of small projects at the same time: one of your trickiest problems solved (12 Sep 2017)

Here’s an ingenious but highly simple technique to help you map the outcomes for a number of projects

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Project charters (01 Sep 2017)

Here’s a wonderfully simple way to manage your projects better

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What to do when people talk too much or too little (18 Aug 2017)

Group sessions are not that easy to run - and there are several reasons why.

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A step by step approach to using a logic model to solve a community problem (08 Aug 2017)

Logic models – an ideal tool for anyone working in the community

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The quiet ones: simple ways to ensure they contribute, too (06 Aug 2017)

How to handle tricky situations in public meetings

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6 ways of dealing with a loudmouth (05 Aug 2017)

If you feel someone is dominating your public meeting and it is causing a problem for you or the meeting, you really must act

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10 marketing tips for consulting with the community (20 Jul 2017)

Genuine community involvement starts with effective communication - and that starts with good marketing

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20 ways to know in advance if your partnership will succeed (10 Mar 2017)

Success or failure – it all comes down to being able to work with others – and research proves how best to go about it

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Rod’s Reflections – 13 things to help you manage a tricky consultation meeting – big or small (11 Nov 2016)

It’s a nightmare – and it’s your nightmare.

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Impact maps: A beginners guide (16 Apr 2016)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your projects better

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Statistics for people in real situations to solve real problems (13 Apr 2016)

You don’t need me to tell you social landlords face more challenges than ever before

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9 things to look for when assembling a community research team (01 Apr 2016)

What use is data if it doesn’t lead to action?

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11 measures of effective listening (22 Feb 2016)

How do you rate? Spend a few minutes finding out.

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Why some young people might find it difficult to get involved in your projects – and what you can do about it (In house course) (08 Feb 2016)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Conduct Disorder (CD) – Two conditions that community workers usually know little about but should know a lot more

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What it feels like being in debt – some personal thoughts (03 Feb 2016)

Being in debt is just horrible and it’s a deep, dark, miserable hole to get out of once you are in it.

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8 home truths to remember when you write to someone to give you money (18 Dec 2015)

“Pockets are the most sensitive part of a human being: that’s why we need to touch hearts and minds first”. President Lula da Silva of Brazil

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What to do and what NOT to do - when you (or anyone else) writes to get funds or help (07 Dec 2015)

This simple check-list will give you a far better chance of success in these dire times

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How to pitch for a project (09 Sep 2015)

How attention to detail, being enthusiastic and paying attention to your audience can make your bid a rip roaring success

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Everything you need to set up a social enterprise (05 Aug 2015)

All the materials you need, for absolutely nothing

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Here is a surprising new place to get your message across to older people (12 Jun 2015)

Try your local cinema foyer – the results might surprise you

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How do you prove your claims are true? (08 Jun 2015)

That’s where review sites, independent figures and testimonials come in

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Three simple rules to follow when consulting teenagers (21 Apr 2015)

Do YOU remember those tricky, bewildering “in-between” years? Teenagers are not children and they are not adults. So how should you go about getting them to talk?

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How to use body language to get quiet people talking (10 Apr 2015)

The quiet ones: simple ways to ensure they contribute, too

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Social enterprise explained (03 Mar 2015)

Here’s a wonderfully useful guide to help you manage your social enterprise projects

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How to set up a social enterprise – without getting swamped (19 Feb 2015)

Ten things that worry people about setting up a social enterprise

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A 10 point check list to help you manage your volunteers safely (08 Oct 2014)

Have you got it right?

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Why you should use more stories in your work (05 Oct 2014)

“It is easy to forget how mysterious and mighty stories are.”

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12 values to base your impact assessments and evaluations on (25 Sep 2014)

This checklist of critical criteria reveals what best to look out for

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(28 Aug 2014)

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9 things to bear in mind when managing a project (28 Aug 2014)

Frankly, there’s no area of your work that won’t benefit from project management

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A step by step guide to developing a strategy (11 Aug 2014)

Now, at last, a way to develop a strategy that has a greater chance of success

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10 do’s and don’ts of making sense of stories (24 Apr 2014)

"Universities learn by studies, institutions learn by reports and communities learn by stories.”

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What concerns your colleagues about Measuring Social Return on Investment ? (26 Feb 2014)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when I recently asked for their thoughts on using SROI in their work

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10 tips for accidental evaluators (02 Feb 2014)

Oh! So YOU have to find out if it’s working

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Whatever you do in the hurly-burly of working in the community you mustn’t forget yourself. (14 Jan 2014)

Simple, but good advice

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How to manage tenant participation and community development successfully (13 Jan 2014)

Here’s help with some of your trickiest problems

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31 things that adults should and shouldn’t do when working with young people (09 Jan 2014)

How do you get young people genuinely involved and motivated?

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17 active group work techniques to enthuse and involve young people (08 Jan 2014)

How can you genuinely enthuse and involve young people - and make it fun in a controlled way that gets real results?

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Step by step guide to measuring costs, benefits and true value of your work in the community (05 Dec 2013)

How much do you community initiatives really achieve? Your only answer comes through accurate measurement

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Why tenant involvement and community development work is no cakewalk (04 Dec 2013)

You know, I am sure, that work in tenant participation and community development is far from easy - and often downright frustrating.

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What the law says about tenant involvement – and what it means for you and your residents (02 Dec 2013)

Get things wrong and you, your residents and your organisation could be in a lot of hot water. Get it right and everybody is protected

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How to prevent boys and girls joining anti social gangs (01 Dec 2013)

Why do boys and girls join gangs? Can you prevent it? Or how do you work with it?

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20 things to think about when involving volunteers (14 Nov 2013)

A checklist of 20 things to run through before you set up a volunteer project. Think about them in advance and everybody will benefit.

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Want to cut through apathy and get your residents really involved? You must first understand what stops them - then remove some of the obstacles (10 Nov 2013)

How do you motivate them to join in? Find out here

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It’s a nightmare – and it’s your nightmare. Your community meeting goes off the rails and people become very difficult. How can you stop it ever happening? And what do you do if it does? (09 Nov 2013)

How to manage tricky tenant meetings – big or small

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How to make sure your partnerships work - To make a partnership work you first have to understand what makes for success (08 Nov 2013)

9 questions to ask about your partnerships

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A step by step guide to using project outcome data (07 Nov 2013)

Does this sound like you? Not enough money, greater accountability and they want better results!

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Make sure you control your projects - not the other way round (07 Nov 2013)

How to manage absolutely any project successfully: The absolute essentials for tenant participation and community development officers

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Enrich your evaluations with stories – which reveal in a way other methods cannot. You’ll learn a surprising amount (01 Nov 2013)

How to use one of the oldest, most powerful means of communication: stories

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Music works when more traditional methods don’t – in unexpected ways - with people you might not otherwise motivate (29 Oct 2013)

How to use music to develop community involvement

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Introducing a new, highly effective technique to help you achieve better results (11 Oct 2013)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your projects better

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You can’t do your job all yourself. So why not get others to help you? Here’s how: (07 Oct 2013)

But you’ll need some skills along the way. Here’s where to get them

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Logic models (19 Sep 2013)

Here’s an ingenious but wonderfully simple new way to design, manage and monitor your projects better

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How to make partnerships work (18 Sep 2013)

To make a partnership work you first have to understand what makes for success

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10 tips for young people on how to keep their friends (09 Sep 2013)

How to work successfully with difficult young people - and enlist their help in your initiatives

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Why spending on adaptions now can save you a fortune down the track – what the research shows (09 Sep 2013)

Adaptations to Older People's Housing Saves Millions

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How low-cost research helps community and residents groups learn - and build a convincing case for change (06 Sep 2013)

Community groups need facts based on persuasive evidence if they are to effect real change. Intuition, however sound, is rarely convincing enough

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15 common mistakes made when managing projects (14 Aug 2013)

Frankly, there’s no area of your work that won’t benefit from project management skills.

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What the laws says about raffles and competitions and what it means for community workers and residents (06 Aug 2013)

Get things wrong and you, your residents and your organisation could be in a lot of hot water. Get it right and everybody is protected

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Challenging consultation meetings – How to prevent them getting out of control (26 Jul 2013)

Nobody looks forward to a meeting that looks like being tricky or downright acrimonious, but there are quite a few things you can do to make your life easier.

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Icebreakers and how best to use them (23 Jul 2013)

You mustn't over use icebreakers, or people will get fed up before you have even started

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How to ensure your evaluations involve people, empower them - and get action (21 Jul 2013)

How to evaluate for change

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What the laws says about risk assessment – and what it means for community workers and residents (19 Jul 2013)

Get things wrong and you, your residents and your organisation could be in a lot of hot water. Get it right and everybody is protected

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12 principles for building effective communities (14 Jul 2013)

As the need for strong communities become more important, so it becomes more vital that you know what makes them flourish

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How to make an evaluation a less than positive experience for all concerned.. (02 Jul 2013)

Evaluation reminds you where you are going, why - and how you’re doing. It clarifies things for you. But there are simple rules to follow.

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9 things that put donors off from giving you money (22 Jun 2013)

Here is the one thing you should never do. Don’t try to make the reader feel guilty. It kills interest immediately. Nobody likes feeling bad

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Delphi techniques – a different way of involving stakeholders (20 Jun 2013)

If you are tired of traditional committee meetings this might interest you

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Social return on investment jargon made simple (18 Jun 2013)

Like any other specialisation, social return on investment has its own technical terms. This short glossary explains some of them in simple language

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7 reasons to measure the outcomes of your projects (17 Jun 2013)

It’s easy to show you’ve done things - but how do you prove they were worthwhile?

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How can you genuinely enthuse and involve young people in what you seek to achieve – and avoid boring the pants off them? (12 Jun 2013)

These 12 tips might just help

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20 things community development officers want to know about their work in the community (06 Jun 2013)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say

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Six things everyone working with volunteers should know the answer to (17 Feb 2013)

How do you rate? Spend a minute finding out

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How to spot the signs of financial abuse in a person with dementia (08 Feb 2013)

Door step, mail and telephone scams - and how they prey on vulnerable tenants

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What’s concerning your colleagues about measuring the return on their work in the community? (05 Feb 2013)

Who knows what you're up against better than your colleagues?

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7 ways to encourage residents to volunteer (12 Jan 2013)

Simple, but good advice from someone who knows

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Getting your volunteer training accredited (26 Nov 2012)

Priceless advice on a highly relevant topic

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MORE thoughts on incentives and volunteering (21 Nov 2012)

....and how can you attract more volunteers anyway?

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A dozen thoughts on making your events more accessible (18 Nov 2012)

How attention to detail, being aware of the obvious and thinking ahead can make it possible for everyone to attend your event

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Everything you need to know about Safeguarding - with examples (12 Nov 2012)

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13 ways in which volunteers are involved in supported housing (07 Nov 2012)

Some surprising, some not – in any case you should be aware of the varied contribution volunteers can make

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A quick run down on potential problems with incentives for volunteering (05 Nov 2012)

Priceless advice from a top expert

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Eight things to think about when measuring the satisfaction of your volunteers (22 Oct 2012)

Volunteering rates are stagnating and in some areas declining – so you ignore their happiness at your peril

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What to do when someone doesn’t find your event easy to attend (16 Oct 2012)

Events are a hugely important way of bringing people together – but are you making yours accessible to everyone?

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How good marketing kills apathy, gets bums on seats and makes sure community groups get off to a flying start (17 Sep 2012)

Get it wrong and no one shows up, heads lower and people moan about no one wanting to get involved. It can be terribly dispiriting

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10 dopey things people working in the community should never, ever do (12 Sep 2012)

If no one turned up at your last event maybe it’s because you didn’t interest them

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How to use body language to defuse difficult situations in residents meetings (12 Sep 2012)

It’s a nightmare – and it’s your nightmare

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Everything you need to set up and start a SROI project (11 Sep 2012)

All the essential topics covered in just one day

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SROI and an analysis of the benefits of your community development work (06 Sep 2012)

How you measure the impact of lots of small community projects at the same time: A six step guide

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7 money saving tips for accidental researchers that improve the quality of your research (31 Aug 2012)

If you suddenly find yourself charged with conducting research you have joined the ranks of the Accidental Researchers. Don’t panic – it doesn’t have to cost the earth and you can do a good job

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How to make your community meetings more lively - and productive (28 Aug 2012)

You have to have meetings to gain agreement – without it you’d get nothing done. But the word meeting conjures up dire images, doesn’t it?

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"Tweeting" a useful service for anyone working in the community (02 Aug 2012)

Twitter - Life moves pretty fast - and so does Twitter - so you need to keep up

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Want to start using SROI in your work? First have a look at this list of what it is and isn’t (03 Jul 2012)

That way you will have a far clearer idea of what’s ahead of you if you do decide to use it

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Want to know how well you are really doing? Try SROI (08 Jun 2012)

Six things you can learn about your services that you might not already know

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5 common concerns about volunteering that you CAN solve (29 May 2012)

A hugely valuable resource but how many social landlords are using volunteers?

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5 ways in which SROI can help you involve the community AND solve a tricky problem (23 May 2012)

A hugely valuable tool but how many people are using it in their work?

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What's worrying your colleagues about Social Return on Investment? (23 May 2012)

Your colleagues probably know better than anyone - so I am sure you can relate to what they had to say when I recently asked for their thoughts on measuring social return on investment

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Eight questions which everyone working in the community should know the answer to (11 May 2012)

How do you rate? Spend a few minutes finding out

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Some things to help you and your volunteers (11 May 2012)

Desperately seeking ideas?

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What's bothering your colleagues about volunteering? (02 May 2012)

Sometimes it helps to know that others are struggling as well

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Slides from How to evaluate the impact of volunteering webinar (24 Mar 2012)

Download the slides now by logging in on the right hand side panel where it says Log in. If you don't yet have a password to log in which is the most likely case you will need to first register. You can do this either in the right hand panel where it says New? or you can do it at the bottom of this page where it says "Like to have access to this and hundreds of other articles like it. Register now!" Once you have registered return here by using the back button on the toolbar and if necessary refresh the page. Any problems please email enquiries@rodlaird.co.uk

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Make sure you control your projects - not the other way round (07 Nov 2011)

How to manage absolutely any project successfully: The absolute essentials for tenant participation and community development officers

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10 simple ways to save energy (26 Oct 2011)

These practical and easy ways to save money are grossly underused. Why?

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10 important things to think about when measuring the impact of your volunteer projects (03 Oct 2011)

There’s a host of things to think about, so the clearer you are at the beginning the better off everybody will be

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27 tips for leading effective residents’ meetings (11 Aug 2009)

Open meetings with tenants and residents can be pretty tricky. Partly that’s because there are so many things to bear in mind - starting with controlling your nerves!

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10 things to think about when you run a meeting (04 Jun 2009)

Your tenants’ meeting goes off the rails and people become very difficult. How could you have stopped it from happening? And what do you do if it does?

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Some important things about the law you should know when working with residents’ groups (02 Jun 2009)

Get these things wrong and you, your residents and your organisation could be in a lot of hot water. Get them right and everybody is protected

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What research shows: How to prevent gang and weapon violence (25 Apr 2009)

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Neighbourhood agreements – A recipe for peace and quiet (25 Jan 2009)

Something very simple but highly effective. So why aren’t there more of them?

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Here’s one of the toughest marketing challenges you’ll ever face – promoting community involvement. What can you do? (20 Nov 2008)

How do you promote an environmental event to young people without boring the pants off them - and when you don’t even have their names?

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10 simple, practical tips for community and tenant participation workers on preparing and managing a budget (27 Aug 2008)

Here are the absolute essentials about the absolute essential - money

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10 top tips in getting results with “difficult” and “defiant” children (22 Apr 2008)

They’re a great challenge – but so rewarding when you succeed – and here are some suggestions

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What your colleagues have learned about involving people from ethnic minority communities – some helpful tips (18 Feb 2008)

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How to manage projects successfully – without going crazy (23 Oct 2007)

At least half your success as a tenant involvement officer depends on this one vital skill

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Here’s a surprise! Hairdressers and beauticians are often perfectly suited for work in the community (25 Sep 2007)

Here are 10 reasons why (not including belly dancing skills) – and something worth reflecting upon

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Cherishing “the usual suspects” (10 Jul 2007)

The sad fact is that there is no phantom army of ‘real people’ out there who are dying to be involved in your latest initiative

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Seven favourite ice breaking activities for working with tenants’ and community groups (15 Jun 2007)

Get everybody to say something in the first few minutes and everything will flow so much better

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How a slightly different team for community focus groups may yield better results (08 May 2007)

Why the traditional approach may not always be ideal – with some intelligent ways to vary it

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Difficult residents’ meetings - How to plan, anticipate and prevent them getting out of hand (27 Mar 2007)

Prepare, prepare, prepare - then prepare some more.

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How to show you’ve made a difference (05 Mar 2007)

It’s easy to show you’ve done things - but how do you prove they were worthwhile?

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Monthly Award Winning Story: Neighbourhood management. How a simple approach in Great Lever, Bolton, brings huge, measurable benefits to residents (10 Oct 2006)

Congratulations to this month’s winner - Julie Lawrence, Assistant Neighbourhood Manager - Bolton Metropolitan Council

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Why you need to take a much broader approach to tackling nuisance issues (05 Sep 2006)

Don’t just use the usual statutory suspects – you must involve everybody who is affected- even indirectly - to get solutions that really work

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Is your partnership working? (10 Jun 2006)

"If you can't measure it, you can't manage it"

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How a few young people with cameras brought a dying community project back to life (27 May 2006)

Case study from Melbourne, Australia

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Community development and regeneration: two encouraging examples (15 May 2006)

It’s not enough to know what you’re doing. You have to know how to manage what you’re doing.

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How to make partnerships work (10 May 2006)

Can’t do it alone? Maybe you can do it with a partner

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You may have all the statistics - but what about the people? (07 May 2006)

Often, statistical data is not enough for effective community evaluations. That’s where qualitative research comes in

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Meetings that get results! (01 Mar 2006)

How to make your meetings more lively - and productive

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