Posted on Friday, November 08, 2002
Community Development in South Wales, Edited by Steve Clarke, Antonina Mendola Byatt, Martin Hoban and Derith Powell. University of Wales Press, 2002, ISBN 0-7083-1734-0
This is a marvellous collection of essays that makes a significant international contribution to community development studies. It is produced at a time when years of persistence by the stalwarts of community development in Wales are paying off in a new and exciting set of government policies and new investment. A new generation of workers is being created in Wales and this book will help them to consider their part in history. This book also has sections proudly written in Welsh and this probably is a first.
Unlike many of the agonised texts about community development this book recognises that community solidarity is a product of working class communities and community development approaches should be linked exclusively to the political struggle to end the poverty and exploitation of those communities. The book puts community wok in its historical context in Wales and shows it as an organic growth from non conformist, socialist and trade union collectivist ideas. The book exemplifies this philosophy by presenting a narrative and series of voices which would not themselves normally e heard and accounts of practical activity are on this occasion genuinely useful.
This is a must have for all youth and community workers in the UK and beyond. In a no nonsense way it provides a clear overview of the field, ests community development in a social and the economic context and offers clear definitions of the work.
Community Development CYMRU.
CYWU was delighted to be able to address the recent Conference of CDC and make friends with CDC’s Executive members and staff, many of whom have now joined the Union.
CDC is the main practitioner led forum for professional support for community development workers in Wales. It is represented on the Wales ETS Committee very firmly and will assist the ETS in rewriting the guidelines to endorsement to take into account more fully the training demands of community development workers. CDC is crystal clear that the renaissance of community development in Wales must be matched by full professional recognition for staff and JNC terms and conditions.
Community Workers Survey Complete.
CYWU has been part of the steering group to produce a report on the nature of community workers and their context. This is the first major national survey since the early eighties.
The report is comprehensive and covers the nature of volunteering, the reasons for involvement in community activism and volunteering, and the role of community worker, and the relationships between paid and unpaid community workers. The majority of community workers who are paid earn less that £25,000 a year for some of the most important and demanding jobs in the country. This says it all and CYWU will renew its efforts to get community work recognised as a profession under the JNC terms and conditions.