The UK Community Partner Network (UKCPN) was officially launched in November 2013. We are on a mission to:
- Build community partner capacity
- Influence local university practice
- Inform Higher Education policy and funding
We’re made up of several parts – our network, our associates and our hosts.
The Network is of and for its members – there is a little bit of infrastructure support, but ultimately it’s about all of us sharing what we’ve learned through our own experience of working in partnership with universities. Basically, the more we all put in, the more we’ll each get out of it.
We think community partners must have a say in how partnerships happen. We know there are issues that can make working together problematic, however, we believe it’s worth creating the conditions necessary for all those involved to benefit. Different types of partnerships suit different situations, or sometimes a partnership is not what’s needed. Community organisations and universities work together in a myriad of ways and we want to learn from the range of practices happening across the UK.
This network is about celebrating the successes, discussing the worries and considering the possibility of new ways of working to develop and improve practice. So please, share things you think could be useful to others. As the network develops we want to have a positive impact on the challenges community university partnership working can raise. In the long term, we are aiming to add the voice of community partners to the Higher Education decision making process.
Three associates were appointed for a 12 month period in April 2014 to help carry forward the work of the original working group. This was made possible by the allocation of a small amount of funding from the NCCPE. Their role is to:
- Provide advice to the NCCPE to inform the development of the UKCPN
- Develop community partner capacity for working with universities
- Raise the profile of the network to community based organisations across the UK
- Kim Aumann, Boing Boing CIC and Amaze Brighton
- Susanne Martikke, Greater Manchester Council for Voluntary Organisation
- Mandy Naylor, Shared Future CIC
L-R: Susanne Martikke, Kim Aumann, Sophie Duncan and Mandy Naylor
The UK Community Partner Network (UKCPN) is supported by the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), who have been involved with the UKCPN since its early days. It has committed funding and staff time to support the network in its development. Sophie Duncan and Becci Feltham are the NCCPE contacts for the network.
The NCCPE mission is to support universities to increase the quality and impact of their public engagement activity.
If you’re just starting out, you may simply want to access our resources, or if you have some experience under your belt, please share what you’ve learned with the rest of us – see our 'Connect with us' section for ways to do this.