AboutOur work

Organising and movement building

Druids Heath library closure protest

NEF believes that having ideas isn’t enough. In order to change how our society and economy work, people need power and the ability to take action. The organising and movement building team at NEF works to create and support grassroots groups, campaigns and organisations who are fighting to change the rules.

Organising is a practice developed over decades, which focuses on redistributing power and developing leaders. Organising values relationships between us above all else, and so develops people power, usually to work against the type of power held by governments and people or businesses with large amounts of money. 

There are many different schools of thought and methods of organising. NEF organisers don’t subscribe to one in particular. We help groups and movements by:

  • Working with local groups to help them run campaigns and increase their impact
  • Bringing localised groups together to give them national focus and mutual support
  • Providing training in organising and campaigning methods and strategy
  • Mentoring and developing individual leaders
  • Bringing groups from across movements together to help them learn from each other, and broaden their reach.
  • Supporting people to apply for and attend specific trainings run by our colleagues or other organisations, for example media training

We have a particular focus on working with groups whose success would help fundamentally alter the balance of power in their communities, workplaces or nationally. In the past we’ve worked with energy democracy groups, anti-fracking campaigners, community land trust groups, air pollution campaigners, trade unions and private renters. We aim to support groups in a way that means they can become, or remain, self-reliant and independent after our support ends.

Groups we’re supporting and projects we’re running include:

Fossetts for the People

NEF has campaigned against the public land sale for a number of years. The government is selling off vast swathes of land, belonging to all of us, to private developers who build very little genuinely affordable housing. As a result, house prices and rents continue to increase and local communities become increasingly fragmented.

NEF campaigns nationally but also works locally with groups fighting this. We helped found the Fossetts For The People campaign in Southend-on-Sea, where locals are campaigning for a large piece of ex-NHS land to be used to provide 100% social housing.

Insecure work in London

London is one of the most unequal cities in Europe. In a city which produces 22% of the UK’s GDP there has been over a tenfold increase in the number of zero hours contracts in the city in the past five years and thousands of workers aren’t paid a living wage, sick pay or holiday pay. Bullying and discrimination is widespread in retail and hospitality sectors. Women and migrant workers suffer particular exploitation. 

NEF is working with a number of unions in London to address some of these issues. Unions have struggled in recent years to recruit and protect low-paid and insecure workers, so the project convenes these workers and those organising them. Through training, research and facilitation we hope to help strengthen the workers’ abilities to take action to improve their pay and conditions and take their demands to employers and government. We also help them put effective practices and methods in place in their own unions, so more workers can grow their power.

The Druids Heath and Monyhull Forum

Social housing in the UK is under attack, both from right-to-buy policies and from estate regenerations that are closer to demolition programmes. NEF works with groups across the UK fighting for social housing.

We have been working with Druids residents since 2018. We have helped them register as a neighbourhood forum, grow their group and start negotiations with the council. They have already succeeded in securing a promise that residents can return to their estate, and won a pause on the regeneration scheme so the council can go back to the drawing board” with more consultation and resident involvement. The forum continue to campaign for no loss of social housing and a fully resident-led regeneration.

Photo: Druids Heath and Monyhull Forum