"croydon networking groups"
Croydon Community Network TERMS OF REFERENCE 1. PURPOSE The Croydon Community Network exists to be a collective voice for communities in Croydon. It serves as a network of networks representing communities of interest, geography and expertise. Its members work collaboratively and strategically to improve Croydon for Croydon people. The Network acts as the platform to raise the needs of communities to policy makers and other agencies (statutory and voluntary) to improve engagement and awareness. Through this, the Network works collectively to highlight common agendas and campaign for positive change. The Croydon Community Network will do this through awareness raising, education, campaigning, networking and participating in active decision making on a local, regional and national level. The Croydon Community Network will also work with individual members to support empowerment, and equip them with the skills and knowledge to advocate for communities to bring about positive change. 2. AIMS Croydon Community Network will: Provide an environment for open discussion, learning and development amongst the wider community by sharing research and information Serve as a platform for raising issues of concern to Croydon Community Network members on a local, regional and national level Provide an opportunity for members to take an active role in influencing local decisions engaging in strategic and themed partnerships Provide a support network to facilitate the collective aims of Croydon Community Network members Support the development of and exchange of dialogue between Croydon Community Network members and others Promote partnership working between Croydon Community Network members and other voluntary and statutory agencies Gain consensus and facilitate development of campaigns on issues as collectively agreed by Croydon Community Network Provide positive opportunities for community organisations to be better aware of each other and work closely with others in the voluntary sector Enhance the understanding of different community perspectives throughout the borough of Croydon Promote and support an ongoing dialogue between Croydon Community Network members, associate member groups, service providers and statutory representatives Represent and protect the best interests of Croydon Community Network members at all times within the constraints and limitations of the network 3. VALUES Croydon Community Network will work to Community Development Values: CVA/CCN/TOR/2008 1 Social Justice – enabling people to claim their human rights, meet their needs and have greater control over the decision-making processes, which affect their lives. Participation – facilitating democratic involvement by people in the issues, which affect their lives, based on full citizenship, autonomy, and shared power, skills, knowledge and experience. Equality – challenging the attitudes of individuals, and the practices of institutions and society, which discriminate against and marginalise people. Learning – recognising the skills, knowledge and expertise that people contribute and develop by taking action to tackle social, economic, political and environmental problems. Co-operation – working together to identify and implement action, based on mutual respect of diverse cultures and contributions. 4. MEMBERSHIP & REPRESENTATION 4.1 Croydon Community Network Membership will: Comprise of members that are living and/or working in Croydon connected to a Croydon voluntary/community group or network/forum Be reflective of the diverse population in Croydon including: women; black and minority ethnic communities; gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender; and people with disabilities Reflect all sections of the formal and informal voluntary sector and communities including individuals and groups 4.2 Statutory sector partners (Council, Health, Police etc) participate through invitation 4.3 Croydon Community Network Elected Representatives will: Be elected by majority vote every two years with interim representatives co-opted when posts are unfilled Participate in the Croydon Community Network steering group while holding the position of Croydon Community Network representative Be elected to attend Partnership (PG) meetings and other committees and sub groups relevant to the work of the Croydon Community Network Provide feedback to the Network and feed Network member’s views to the Partnership Be offered training and support in their roles Be reflective of the diversity of the Network Sit as representatives for the Croydon Community Network on no more than two Partnership Groups Be co-opted as required onto Partnerships for specific meetings, dependent on the agenda 4.4 Steering Group will: Be made up of Croydon Community Network elected representatives and Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) staff. Guide the development and planning of the Croydon Community Network Be supported by CVA 5. OPERATION The Network will aim to operate as follows: CVA/CCN/TOR/2008 2 5.1 Ground Rules All members will: Be committed to work towards meeting the aims of the Croydon Community Network Be committed to the present and future development of the Croydon Community Network Endeavour to protect and act in the best interests of the Croydon Community Network Adhere to the community development values Actively promote and practice freedom of speech Respect difference of opinion Listen to one another Acknowledge and respect cultural difference Make member decisions collectively Be considerate towards others Respect confidentiality Respect time constraints Respect that no one or more individual is to dominate any meeting 5.2 Facilitation Croydon Voluntary Action (CVA) will provide administrative support and facilitation for the Croydon Community Network The facilitator will ensure that all members are able to fully and equally contribute CVA will support the Croydon Community Network Steering Group 5.3 Meetings Work to agreed ground rules Hold Network meetings quarterly Hold 6 steering group meetings a year Hold all Network meetings in accessible venues Hold meetings at venues and times democratically agreed by members Hold meetings that are informal, friendly and interactive 5.4 Agenda & Notes of Meetings Agenda planned ahead and sent out seven (7) days prior to Network Agenda to address specific themes Agenda to be written in clear and jargon-free way Agenda to be circulated widely Members are encouraged to add agenda items with a deadline for submission Agenda to include sufficient comfort breaks Notes of key points and action agreed at meetings to be circulated to Network members and those in attendance within one month of Network meetings Feedback to be provided at each steering group and Network meeting on progress 5.5 Communication To acknowledge that communication may embrace rich and diverse forms To establish a medium for communicating feedback, concerns or anxieties To explore methods to improve barriers to communication CVA/CCN/TOR/2008 3 To publicise the Croydon Community Network via varied mediums of communication To ensure absent members contributions are taken into consideration in decision making To make use of online communication tools Contact: Croydon Voluntary Action, 97 High Street, Thornton Heath, Croydon, CR7 8RY 020 8684 3862 CVA/CCN/TOR/2008 4