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What Would it Take?

Scarman Trust

The Scarman Trust was founded by the former Law Lord Leslie Scarman following widespread civil disturbances in 1981 when disenfranchised and alienated people took to the streets. Lord Scarman played a key role in making the government listen to its citizens.

We listen to and provide professional support to hundreds of remarkable people who are determined to change their communities for the better.

Can Do democracy

'Can Do - what a brilliant title. I thought I could. I now know I can.'

The Scarman Trust believes in a CAN DO democracy that helps people capitalise on their experience to transform where and how they live.

We share the widespread concern that individuals in many communities feel little sense of connection, or trust, or recognition of the potential contribution they could make.

We listen, provide support and assist in unlocking resources. The Scarman Trust is committed to helping individuals rediscover their power to bring about changes where they live and work. The first step in making democracy real.

Our CAN DO approach to democracy goes further and encourages citizens to play a full and active role at city and national level by forging new alliances with 'doers' in government and other key decision makers.

On your streets

'We have been impressed by the support from the Scarman Trust team helping us through various hiccups. At times when we've thought all was lost, they've advised us of possible solutions and given us new hope.'

Through our People's Millennium or Can Do Awards we are working with 450 projects across 9 regions. In Anglia, the South East, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, the Midlands and the North East we have found individuals and groups who know exactly how to make their communities better places to Iive.

The Millennium Commission and now the Department for Education and Employment are providing start up budgets of £2000. However it is not just about grants to individuals but the passion and enthusiasm of our coordinators in accessing ongoing training and expert support for these projects.

The recipients are as diverse as the projects they initiate and ages range from 16-82 years: Arts projects - Savings clubs - 24-hour helplines - Credit unions - A buffet and luncheon service run by people with learning disabilities - The regeneration of derelict areas - Drop-in centres for stress sufferers - Handyman help for disabled people - Community bus services - Organic food distribution - Community playgroups - Victim support groups - Neighbourhood newsletters - Pensioners' day centres-Lone parent support groups - Electronic village halls linked to the Internet - Clothes recycling centres-Living history projects... The list grows by the day.

In your cities

'The Scarman Trust deserves all the credit it can get for helping to realise the ideas of socially minded individuals.'

To change the bigger picture, The Scarman Trust helps institutions and organisations come together to produce focused and effective action.

Parents, teachers and community leaders in Birmingham City centre are tackling issues of school exclusion and racism. Because of secondary school closures, children were being 'bussed out' to outlying areas. Not only did this deny children a 'neighbourhood' education but it meant that schools were no longer hubs of the community.

The Inner City Education Forum and other programmes are bringing back excluded children and working with those at risk.

In Brighton and Hove, we utilised the power of theatre, devised by people in the community, to identify the social causes of ill health and identify policy changes and community initiatives, which could bring about a positive impact.

Across the country

'The help that we get from the Scarman Trust is not just the money itself, as much as the 'river' of information that can be served to us. We are thirsty for that information.'

We champion the ideas and concerns of people who want to make really positive contributions and we are establishing links with regional and national decision makers to fundamentally change policy and the way organisations work.

What we learn from the Can doers helps us shape strategies to try to influence the way central government, business, the voluntary sector and the media operate nation-wide.

You could say we encourage decision makers to think outside the box, create alliances with communities and adopt new approaches to old problems.

Everything we do or say at national level is informed by our work at grass roots.

In the future

'I realise once again that I am not alone in my endeavour of doing something for the community'

Social internet project

Through the World Wide Web we are helping 450 'Can Doers' to embrace technology, forge links with like-minded people across the globe and access empowering information.

Centre for policy and practice

Many deeply entrenched problems need a completely fresh approach. Our work with Can doers has shown us just how far policy makers often fail to meet people's needs.

This inspired us to set up the Centre for Policy and Practice (CPP), to provide a vital link between the best analytical thinkers, decision makers and people in the community to produce good, practical solutions to old problems.

By working with networks of Can doers on the ground, CPP will steer ideas into small and large scale pilots.

CPP is a powerful new engine for Can doers to bring about change, and many of their ideas could revolutionise economic and political thinking.

Who we are

The staff and Trustees all have strong commitment and solid experience in social action.

The Trust's Executive Director is Matthew Pike, the former Director of the Public Voice International and Assistant Director of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Our staff also bring a remarkable range of talents and experience to their work ranging from managing grants for Comic Relief; organising credit unions in areas where the large banks no longer operated; working for the Industrial Society; social action theatre; BBC; local government; community activism and the civil service.

For further information

Please contact the Scarman Trust offices:

LONDON 16-24 Underwood Street

London N1 7JQ

tel 0171684 3838 fax 0171684 3889

GLASGOW c/o Big Issue

29 College Street Glasgow G1 1QH

tel 0141 552 6300 fax 0141552 9060

MIDLANDS Aston Council House Albert Rd

Aston Birmingham B6 5NQ

tel 01215516640 fax 01215518865

SOUTH EAST Community Base

113 Queen's Rd Brighton BN1 3XG

tel 01273 234854 fax 01273 234 855

LEEDS Cathedral Chambers

Great George Street Leeds LS2 8BD

tel 0113 224 3057 fax 0113 247 8988


60 Duke Street Liverpool L1 5AA

tel 0151707 4310 fax 0151707 4311

CARDIFF 1st Floor

Shand House 2 Fitzalan Place Cardiff CF24 0BE

tel 01222 471384 fax 01222 471384

ANGLIA c/o Community Relations Dept

Anglia TV Anglia House Norwich Norfolk NR1 3JG

tel 01603 752 291 fax 01603 761 245

NORTH EAST c/o ETEC (Sunderland) Ltd

Hudson House 1 Moor Terrace Hendon Sunderland Tyne and Wear SR1 2JH

tel 0191514 6156 fax 0191567 4762