FCDL Day Conference and AGM
BVSC, Digbeth, Birmingham, Friday 25 November 2011
Your Role in Community Development Learning:
Learning, Practice and Change in the World
We were delighted to hold another successful and lively Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Day Conference, with lots of new and familiar faces.
During the introductory part of the day, we were able to start share real examples of “how Community Development Learning are linked and challenge government initiatives”. The examples were many and echoed the important work that is already happening in communities and through FCDL’s members and allies. It was felt that more time could be utilised to further explore these elements. However, FCDL have contact details of participants and will be able to go back for further follow up.
FCDL’s AGM covered the usual business. Most of the current FCDL Management Group were elected for 3 years last year and all are continuing to contribute their commitment and expertise. The AGM re-elected Dave Evans and also elected John Stevens, he was formerly the reciprocal co-optee from CDX. Lynn Brook was re-elected as FCDL treasurer. We did not receive any new nominations for the few available spaces, but are confident that FCDL has a very strong, pro-active and skilled group of Management Group members.
The annual review was presented by Janice Marks, Head of Agency. The first achievement is that we are still all meeting up here today, In the five years that FCDL has not received any strategic funding, we have developed and built on our work and learning through mainly project funding, and a few contracts, which have made it possible to continue to work around our key objectives. We have worked in partnership with our members to develop, promote and deliver good quality community development learning at all levels, in particular supporting small and emerging community groups to identify and direct their own learning and development needs. However, we are always walking a tightrope with limited resources–we may feel our project work is going really well and then realise we are about to miss something on the strategic level, or we haven’t been communicating enough with our members. It is the ongoing commitment of Federation members, staff, Management Group and allies that enables FCDL to do so much excellent work.
Presentation and acceptance of Financial Reports 2010 –11, was presented by Janice, as Lynn Brook (treasurer) had to give apologies for the day. FCDL’s main income during 2010-2011 has been various project funding and we have also used some of our reserves. FCDL needs to secure more income in this year – if we don’t we will still be standing here next year, but it will be very challenging. The financial situation is difficult – the FCDL staff team has reduced our hours in order to try and keep the team together and secure FCDL’s future, and we have implemented this as far as it is practicable.
Part of the FCDL AGM also covered “Presentation of FCDL Business Plan 2011-14 and the way forward”, presented by Jonathan Hyams.
FCDL Management Group felt it was important to put a Business Plan together in light of the changes that are currently happening and to ensure that FCDL continues to be an advocate for good quality practice and continues to work towards our strategic aims. The plan sets out what FCDL is, what Community Development Learning is, FCDL’s mission and objectives, why FCDL is needed, FCDL’s achievements.
The context of the Business Plan:
To support Campaign for Community Development, funding applications, for bids and offers – evidence of what FCDL has achieved and the overall context of the business plan, which includes five strands:
- Strategic & political issues
- Funding and finance
- Communications and marketing
- Membership and membership development
- CD learning and qualifications
These are all interlinked.
A different Management Group member will keep an overview of each of the 5 strands and its implementation will depend on staff and management group members working together.
The monitoring and evaluation of the plan will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. The plan is not set in stone – it is flexible and will be adaptable to the changing context
A summary copy of the Business Plan is available upon request and will be on the FCDL website.
Dave Beck, FCDL Management Group member and lecturer at Glasgow University, got the rest of the day off to an inspiring and challenging start with a presentation on “Learning, Practice and Change in the World” which was a blast of fresh air against all the weariness of ‘third sector politics’ and ‘community engagements’. The presentation is available in two formats:
The presentation was followed by lunch and market stalls, which provided an opportunity to network and participate in brief, focused and informative sessions around issues and resources around Community Development Learning:
- (Methods for) Creating Community Development Learning Tools - using examples from the Creating Changes and other projects and giving participants a chance to have a go themselves.
- Community Development Learning and Qualifications – providing information on the current situation around the CD qualifications, explaining the Community Development Recognition Scheme and exploring the next steps for Community Development Apprenticeships.
- Community Development and Evaluation – evaluating the quality of CD and evidencing its impact is often a challenge, introducing the newly developed CD Evaluation Framework and sharing experiences and ideas for evaluating.
- Campaign for Community Development – taking the CD Campaign forward, making connections with other campaigns and exploring potential links with community organisers
Finally the day was pulled together in a summing up and planning action session, where key points from the day were shared and different action points were identified. The action points will be taken forward as part of FCDL’s Business Plan. Thanks to everyone who participated in the AGM & Conference and thanks to all who are committed and dedicated to the work of FCDL and Community Development Learning and Practice. We look forward to continuing to work together.