Exit plan and future direction

This has come up a few times but we haven’t yet dedicated any serious thought to the question of what our exit plan will be for coronavirus, and what projects we want to be taking on as we transition into a post-COVID world. We won’t be delivering meals forever, but we also need to plan the transition so we can build on the organisation we have put together, and act justly towards people who may be relying on us at the moment.

I can think of a scenario where we continue the food rights angle but take on features of a consumer cooperative, supplying perhaps cheap rather than free food supplies and perhaps cooking skill support… this has parallels with some of the things The Active Wellbeing Society gets into.

Birmingham Community Solidarity are apparently thinking more about longer term infrastructural concerns; this is a good step in the right direction so I think we need to be considering how we can begin to work with them and other similar groups in a way that goes beyond activist networking.

ACORN are doing some upcoming training things that might be of interest / benefit to people who are having perhaps their first experience of community organising via CB: tenants’ rights training is due soon (housing will definitely become a more severe social issue in the months to come) and a revised version of the very successful member defence training that some of us have done already. Also they are doing some kind of community street rep programme that sounds interesting, I’m trying to find out more info about that.

I don’t have the time to go into it now but there is also the question of legal form. Currently we are pretty ad hoc and have no official legal form, which is operationally fine apart from the fact it limits some funding options, makes banking (etc) more difficult and also can expose individual members to liability for things. The most appropriate form which immediately comes to mind is a Community Benefit Society (https://communityshares.org.uk/resources/handbook/community-benefit-societies) but I’m sure there are other options.

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