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The influence an organisation achieves through the effective use of its voice can be crucial to its overall success or failure.

Voice work can encompass many activities:

  • Representing the rights and needs of local individuals and groups at a neighbourhood level (with local policy decision-makers and funders). Our Inspiring Democracy programme can help you make your voice heard by the local authority.
  • Encouraging individuals and groups to represent themselves
  • Developing a community’s capacity to speak for itself to get what it wants and needs
  • Advocating to the appropriate bodies on behalf of individuals to resolve situations and find solutions to problems
  • Campaigning for local issues of importance
  • Cultivating an independent voice for social justice
  • Representing the community and voluntary sector within partnerships and networks
  • Articulating and lobbying for their own needs eg. to obtain funding, to deliver services

Locality offers expertise and ongoing support to groups and individuals to help them assess the extent of their voice and influence and to provide practical ideas for improvement. We run workshops and seminars around the country and have produced a range of useful resources:

Voice (Axis of Influence) workshops: ‘Voice’ is a discussion tool which enables community organisations to assess how influential they are and take steps to improve their levels of influence.  It’s a one day workshop which can be delivered to an open group, or in-house and is delivered in association with Changes.

Finding your Voice (influencing with integrity) self assessment workbook: This workbook is designed to help members and others to map, plan and implement Voice work.  Follow-up workshops are also available eg. helping local networks to look at ‘Voice in Partnership’.

Raising your Voice (reclaiming the radical) resource companion workbook: This offers practical tips and support to individuals and organisations to become more effective communicators, influencers and negotiators.

The importance of having a strong and consistent voice cannot be overestimated, but it is important to understand that success is not about who can shout the loudest. It’s about getting your ideas and opinions heard by the right people in a constructive and effective way. It’s a vital step towards making changes on behalf of your community and to challenging those in power.

For more information about Voice please contact