Learn about a week in the fun filled, varied life of a Locality Development Officer from Cassandra, who works in Yorkshire.

As a Development Officer, no one week is the same. My work spans Locality’s national programmes, membership support and specialist consultancy delivery. I work with organisations of all sizes – small groups of neighbours with great ideas right up to large community anchors with £1m+ turnover. Here is a snapshot of my diary from November 2020 to give you an idea of what the role entails.

To note, my work is currently all online but in ‘normal’ times’ I would be going out to deliver workshop sessions, 1:1 support and attending meetings/events all over the country.

Monday

After a quick catch up on my emails and my to do list, I had a team meeting with Locality staff in my region. 10 of us all discussed the work we’re doing and if we needed help from each other. It’s a really good forum for using the ‘collective brain’ on projects, and helps us feel the support of the team even if we work remotely.

I then had a quick information and training session about a new support programme Locality is delivering with a national funder and partners.

In the afternoon I had a meeting with a group I am supporting through the Bright Ideas Fund who are setting up a community hub. In this workshop, we focussed on the viability of business models and income generation ideas.

Tuesday

Started with a Neighbourhood Planning grant assessment ahead of the grant decision panel on Wednesday.

Then on to delivering a strategic planning session with a community organisation who is doing amazing things to keep local people healthy and connected during lockdown – in the session we reviewed their service delivery and identified opportunities to enhance what they do, and how they can demonstrate their impact.

In the afternoon, I caught up with my colleagues in the Policy team about the community asset ownership programme I am managing. The Policy team will be turning all the work we’ve done into a report, so we have regular meetings to monitor progress and plan the final outputs. Being able to feed into our Policy work is a part of my job I really value, as it helps us advocate for community organisations with funders as well as national and local government.

Wednesday

Spent the morning finalising and submitting a bid to a local authority to work with them on how they collaborate with community anchor organisations in their district, it is a joint bid with a local social enterprise support organisation. My role involves lots of conversations with colleagues, partners and community organisation, and lots of collaboration!

In the afternoon I had a workshop with a group I am supporting to deliver community led housing. I have worked with them over the last 10 months with governance support and training, business planning and fundraising work. In the workshop we discussed governance, community engagement and community shares.

At the end of the day I had a national Locality team meeting – we meet fortnightly online to check in with everyone, hear the latest updates from our national and local policy and programmes work and share good news. Like the smaller team meetings, it’s great to connect with others and get help and support and remind ourselves of all the great work Locality does nationally for members.

Image: Zoom meeting (we learnt how to make them fun!).

Thursday

Morning spent doing some team training on how to support community organisations in crisis – this was delivered by my colleagues and was incredibly helpful to identify the best ways we can support our members and organisations we work with.

In the afternoon I did some funding work for a community organisation who wants to build a new community hub – this included searching for suitable funding sources and creating a document for them to use to monitor their fundraising plans.

At the end of the day I had a meeting with contacts at our partners, Power to ChangeNew Economics Foundation, a local social enterprise consultancy, a Locality member, and a local funder. Since COVID-19, we have started an informal network meeting online to connect about local issues and to ensure we continue to link all the work we are doing.

Friday

I spent the morning delivering work as part of the community assets programme. This includes advising groups about community asset transfer, funding for capital projects and advising the council on how best to work with the community sector.

At lunch, I co-hosted a local members’ regional meeting with colleagues from our membership team – this is an informal catch up meeting, a chance for people to say hi, share what they’ve been doing and seek advice from others who might be facing similar challenges. We talked about great staff, innovative ideas to keep people connected during lockdown, funding, and the multiple innovative ways Locality members are supporting local people.

I finished the day off with my admin – reviewing my programme delivery work for our national programmes on Community Assets and Keep it Local. Not forgetting the important timesheets, emails and planning my diary for next week!

Image: one of our workshops before the pandemic started.

If you think Cassandra’s work sounds interesting, why not find out why you should work at Locality?

Working at Locality