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Community participation and social inclusion: The work of Community Mobilisers in Milton Keynes

Investigating how the MK Community Mobilisers service aims to prevent social exclusion through the development of local participation and through engagement with local communities.
January 2005 - December 2012

Investigators: Deb Drake (Lecturer, OU Faculty of Social Sciences), Kate Smith (Curriculum Manager, OU Faculty of Social Sciences), Katy Simmons (OU Faculty of Education and Language Studies)

The emphasis of the MK Community Mobilisers service is on long term, sustainable change, owned by local people, rather than on ‘quick wins’. The basic premise of the CM service is that those who use the service are the experts on what they need and want.  Those responsible for the creation of this service and its continued management have engaged in an on-going research and consultative relationship with academics in the OU. 

From 2005-2008 Martin Woodhead, Katy Simmons and Anna Laerke in the OU Faculty of Education and Language Studies carried out an in-depth qualitative evaluation of the service, funded by the Children’s Fund, and produced four detailed reports which were in themselves influential in shaping the service. 

In 2011, Katy Simmons, Deb Drake and Kate Smith carried out a small-scale follow up study of the service, funded by MK Council, which is currently providing the spring board on which a further three-year study is being devised.

Image: IMGP5719 by Matt Buck, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Learn more about the research programme: Intimate Relationships