Peer Power and User Led Organisations

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From the Concluding Chapter ....

"Citizen groups committed to mutual self-help flow naturally into:

  • championing positive change
  • Advocating for people’s rights
  • developing business opportunities
  • Building wider networks

Several patterns of development emerge for ULOs, and it is important to maintain some balance between each:

1. Self-help - this can become stronger - although as it grows it may need to change shape and develop a more cellular structure.

2. System advocacy - helping society and public bodies to imagine a better system for everyone.

3. Direct advocacy - ensuring people get what they are entitled to, challenging bad practice and helping people stick up for themselves.

4. Business development - reaching out to community, looking for opportunities to people to produce solutions together, bringing together people with the same needs.

5. Network building - creating broader alliances for change, both within and beyond any initial community. If statutory authorities and welfare-service provision agencies are going to move away from their current patronising, wasteful and institutional approaches then they will need to really respect their own communities:

  • stop talking about tendering and procurement - start building real partnerships
  • stop undermining local citizens - start respecting and celebrating local


  • stop wasting money - start reforming their own services in partnership with

local people

  • stop consulting people - start shifting real power and control to people"