Why set up a residents’ group or association?
A group can be formed for various reasons. It can be a way of getting to know your neighbours, a way of sharing ideas, local information, and becoming more involved by having a greater say about decisions relating to your home and neighbourhood.
Some associations come together to address one specific issue while others hope to address a wider spectrum of matters. A few British residents' associations have registered as locality-based political parties to enable them to participate in local elections at county, district, and county council level.
It’s an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills or update your skills, and gain confidence in dealing with local and community issues. You can find out more about how to improve your neighbourhood.
- You will need to see who is interested so talk to residents in your area and see who would like to get involved.
- You will need to find a venue for meetings. See if you can find a local hall or room to hire.
- You will need to advertise your meetings. You can make posters, flyers or advertise by word of mouth. We can also help with this.
To set up a formal group
If you have been meeting for a while as an informal group, you may want to get more serious and form a proper committee. You will need to elect a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer and committee members. You will also need to adopt a Constitution. This is not as difficult as it seems; it just means setting out your aims, stating that you are open to all residents. You need a minimum of five people to form a group although you can make a start with just three and invite others to join you.
Planning a Meeting (see also Holding Meetings)
Firstly, be clear about why the meeting is being held, what it aims to accomplish and what other people may be expect from it. The meeting could have been called for any number of reasons such as to:
1. pass on or obtain information
2. test ideas or reactions to ideas
3. pool views and experiences on a particular subject
4. improve understanding of differing points of view
5. agree decisions arrived at by a majority
5. develop joint problem solving strategies
7. build partnerships between groups / organisations
8. build trust and morale among members / member groups
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