What happens at BCM’s face-to-face sessions?

Peer-to-peer support for people setting up and running community groups in Birmingham

Birmingham Community Matters helps people who want to start or develop small community and voluntary groups in Birmingham, working for the benefit of people in our wonderful city.

We call BCM a peer-to-peer learning network.

Our motto is:
Everyone has something to learn and everyone has something to teach.

Before the pandemic, most of our work was face to face. We are excited about making a careful, considerate return to seeing people in person again. 

Notebook with handwriting: what happens at a BCM surgery?
We used to call our face-to-face sessions 'surgeries' and our Community Matters Helpers 'surgeons'. But we decided this was too formal.

At our face-to-face sessions, which we hold in various venues around Birmingham, people with experience of running community groups and projects are on hand to answer your questions about starting up, running or developing your community group.

We call these people Community Matters Helpers.

Community Matters Helpers

Our Helpers are volunteers with lots of relevant experience, which they may have acquired through running community groups themselves, or in a professional capacity. They’re not there to be ‘experts’, or to give you formal advice. Rather, they will listen to your challenges and ideas, and help you to decide on some next steps to take. 

Our sessions are free to attend, and informal. To say we sit around eating cake and drinking tea would belie the valuable conversations and exciting ideas we hear at them! But a smiley greeting and refreshments are very much part of our welcoming ethos.

Anyone is welcome to come along and talk about the kind of support they need. Perhaps yours is related to setting up a group, deciding on a structure, buying equipment, working with volunteers, or accessing grants and other funding. A BCM face-to-face session is also a great opportunity to meet other people involved in community activity in Birmingham.

If you come along, we will listen to your initial queries and aim to match you with the Helper who is best placed to support you. Then you can work through questions and ideas together. There are no formal talks, agenda or presentations.

Keeping in touch

We’ll aim to keep in touch with you afterwards, so we can follow up with further support, and hear the outcomes of your ventures. We hope you will be able to pass on your experience and knowledge down the line – and help others on their way to success.

Come and see for yourself what we do.  Our forthcoming events are listed on Eventbrite. We do need you to register in advance so we can manage numbers and keep people safe. Also follow us on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for email updates.