The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. The Essential Guide to Doing Transition. - Page 55

Project Support

Rather than every theme group needing

its own:

• Website

• Bank account

• Office

• Newsletter

• Twitter/Facebook accounts

• Events diary … and so on

The Initiating Group can evolve into a Project Support group that provides that project support to the wider project. That group, let’s call them ‘Project Support’, can hold a number of roles. They can:

• Hold and manage relationships with key

local organisations

• Pull together funding applications

• Support the wellbeing and good running

of the wider organisation.

To be able to support larger and more impactful projects, they will also need to take care of legal requirements, including:

• Financial responsibilities

• Insurance

• Health and safety

• Child protection

• Personal liability

• Other legal responsibilities

While this work might not be quite as “sexy” as making the on-the-ground projects happen, it is just as vitally important, and some people love doing that kind of thing!

55

Shifting to the

next generation

What would happen if your founder members were to all be run over by a bus, and their collective knowledge of the project were to be lost? Carrying all that organisational know-how in just a few people is a big risk for the project. While the energy of founders is vital at the outset of Transition, over time it can prevent new people getting involved, and can come to dominate the group. New members can find themselves feeling frustrated by trying to make new things happen in the shadows of more established members.

For the founders, it is important to recognise that for the project to become self-sustaining in such a way that it no longer needs them is actually a huge sign of success. Although it can be the toughest move to make in a project, the move to step out of it, it can also be the most important in terms of the group being able to develop and evolve.

One thing that can really help here is for the group to make the space to tell and honour its history, to dedicate some time to capturing the story of how the group came to be, who came in when, and how it unfolded (like Transition Town Totnes did here). If people feel they are recognised in the group’s story, it can really help them to start thinking about how they might step out.

When this happens, sometimes it can be a smooth transition, or it can lead to a bit of a power struggle as the group reimagines its vision and its purpose. It needs to be done though, when the time is right, and you’ll most likely find that the project really thrives as a result. Inviting an external facilitator in to support this process can be very helpful.