Building a social movement and supporting system change
When you’re building social movements, it helps to provide safe spaces for discussion: spaces which allow people from different disciplines and practice areas to come together and share information. These spaces form what is often known as a peer network or Community of Practice. They galvanise and energise leaders and practitioners in their areas of work, helping accelerate social and system change.
So, what are Communities of Practice, why do they work?
Communities of Practice work well in large scale dispersed social movements because they bring practitioners with diverse experiences together around a shared interest. Valuable knowledge is pooled. New knowledge is created, which the members take back out again into their domain. And the experience of being in the Community of Practice strengthens the sense of shared purpose and values between members.
Within my role as Community of Practice Manager in the Children & Young People’s Trauma Informed Care Programme, I have introduced Communities of Practice across Humber & North Yorkshire Health & Care Partnership. We currently have 3 Communities of Practice for 1-1 practitioners and group leads.
Moving forward there will be multiple Communities that will be accessible to all areas and in the next 6 months we will have opened up Communities of Practice for Leaders and ARC Champions. Accessibility will be chosen by each individual community allowing for meetings to be face to face or online and of course the frequency will also be determined by each community, as we all know how precious the resource of time is. We now also have a space on NHS Futures to allow those members to continue communication in-between meetings and to share resources and ideas.
It would be great to hear from anyone else facilitating Communities of Practice to share experiences or from anyone looking to start up Communities of Practice, I would be happy to share my journey with getting these up and running. email@example.com