7 – How to Get Started

Maybe after reading this far, you are thinking “It will never happen, people wouldn’t be interested.” People already are interested… If you visit the Transition Culture website, you’ll see that people all over the UK, Ireland and other countries worldwide are jumping at the chance to be involved in changing our lives for the benefit of all of us. You can find people who want to make a positive change to their lives. Even if you can only find a few at first, positive ideas will always catch on. Marks & Spencer began with two young men selling various objects for a penny in a Leeds market. Look how Facebook started…

Basically, you need to get out there.

There are at least two approaches to this as I have found out for myself. The first one is to do it yourself. I contacted a local charity to ask if they wanted me to give tutorials on making simple things and also built them a vertical garden from scrap materials. For more information on this, read the blog page. I also found out about other people and groups who were interested in developing community projects. This helped form a good list of contacts who were all very supportive and from leading by example and talking with others who could help out with certain things, like finding people with specific knowledge or who already do similar things, the impact I was having got greater and greater over a short period of time.

In order for this to happen, you need to be passionate about what you want to see happen and it all has to follow the principles you have just read about. That way, people will know that you mean business and will do what they can to help out.

 

The second way is to find other people who would also like to be involved in a similar thing. This is not always easy but if you already know someone, make a plan of what you’re both (or all) going to do to get something moving. It’s hard to explain all the steps you’ll need as obviously it depends on the project you want to undertake. You will need to do your research and contact different people and places but a lot of the time, if your project idea is seen to be beneficial to others, there’s a good chance you’ll get some support from existing groups.

The most important thing to be aware of is that it will probably be a long hard slog. That’s what I’ve found with some aspects of what I’m doing but you have to be patient and persistent. If you believe in what you want to do, stick with it. People are often adverse to change and you’ll probably not find many people who want to commit to helping out but there are people who are supportive so keep working at it.

Another approach is to screen a film that is relevant to what you want to do in a local pub or community centre, put some posters around and plan a discussion that you can have afterwards. If the film is about some people who wanted to improve the environment in their neighbourhood and that’s the kind of thing you want to do, for example, it will be a way of getting people talking as they will have seen real examples of what others have done. (Make sure you know if you can publicly screen the film and that you are not showing it illegally.)

You might then find from the discussions that there are one or two people who want to either join in with your project or they can link you up with someone they know who could help.

Networking is a really good way of getting support as you want to meet like-minded people so attend as many events as you can that are relevant in some way. There will be lots of people there who could either offer support or share ideas. This is something that I do a lot and I have made connections with many people, which can be very useful.

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