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Welcome to COF

Image Alt Tag The Citizen Organising Foundation (COF) is a registered charity whose mission is to create a network of competent, informed and organised citizens who act responsibly in the public life of their communities and are able to influence, for the common good, decisions which impact on their communities.

For the COF members of staff please click here.

To achieve our mission, COF has established an Institute that runs regular training seminars for community leaders and seeks
professional organisers to help build broad-based citizens' organisations (BBOs).

COF acts as the national umbrella organisation of the broad-based organising movement in Britain and Ireland.

It is the focal point for an increasingly diverse alliance of congregations, community groups and labour organisations.

Broad Based Organisations

BBOs are made up of smaller local civil society organisations, such as congregations, union branches, schools, local associations - which affiliate to COF on payment of dues.

These BBOs engage in a series of campaigns at local, regional and occasionally national level on issues which their members have identified as being important to their communities.

Organising for Justice

Image Alt Tag COF works closely with four broad based citizens organising networks in the UK. Three of these form the London Citizens network - TELCO East London Citizens, South London Citizens, and West London Citizens. COF also assists Birmingham Citizens.

London Citizens have been organising for change and social justice for over ten years. An impressive campaign record includes recent wins on ethical guarantees for the 2012 Olympics, the Living Wage Campaign, and a searching commission of enquiry into service provision by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate at Lunar House.

For more information on the London Citizens networks and their campaigns, click the links at the top of the page, and visit their respective web sites.

Training Leaders

Image Alt Tag COF offers a schedule of two and five-day training courses aimed at developing communication, personal leadership and team building skills.

The training develops the skills necessary to be an effective community leader, and is suited to people who are new to community organising as well as those with many years of experience. The course syllabus includes:

New leadership techniques:
How to connect faith and values to practical action
the role that power and self-interest play in holding a group together and making the world work
An introduction to a campaigning methodology that helps strengthen your organisation and gain recognition and dignity for you, your family and community.
Learning is through role play, formal lectures, video, and group discussion. The tutors are all experienced community organisers working in different parts of the city.
Previous attendees have been of various ages, from teenagers to pensioners. They include people from Muslim, Christian, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu congregations, and from local trade union branches, student groups, tenants organisations, and community centres. The diversity of attendees makes the training even more valuable.