We are working alongside

We are working alongside

Kirklees Council, our partners and citizens are working together to make the local places where we live, work and play better.

Why we’re working alongside

We believe that we all have something to offer in helping the places where we live, work and play to thrive and be successful. To make this happen we need to draw on the talents of all. We also know that the way we do things is important. The working alongside approach has been developed with a wide range of people, from different organisations. It includes our shared values and principles about how we work together.

Our shared values will influence how we work together in communities and help guide the action to make our places thrive. This includes how we recruit staff and support volunteers, how we fund and organise things, how we share our skills and knowledge, and how we make decisions about what happens in our local places. If we each put these values into action, it will change the way we do things. We will be working not separately in our own organisations, groups or services, but with and alongside each other in our local places, everyday.

The way we do things around here

We are coming from a different place

We’re working with and alongside each other in our local places. We know that our local places, and each of us, are unique. We know that people who are closer to things are best placed to know what will work. If we have our feet on the ground, we can see and value what we have. We’re meeting each other where we are – in our lives, in our work and in our neighbourhoods – so that we can work together to make our local places even better. This is where the links between local organisations and local citizens are the strongest. So this is where we will begin. 

We are learning by doing

We’re acting on people’s ideas and testing things out together in our local places. We are prepared to start and not know what we’ll end up with. We want to create more opportunities for action, and fewer hoops for people to jump through. We will keep learning from what we’re already doing and supporting each other to do new things. We will not be frightened of getting things wrong sometimes. 

We are working on trust

We’re getting to know each other and to trust one another. We trust that everyone wants to achieve the best. Nobody is here to trip each other up. Our relationships are strong enough that we can be open about how one person or organisation affects another. We will create more opportunities for people to get to know each other better.

We are growing confidence

We’re working out who is best placed to do something. We know that there are brilliant people in our local places. We know who to ask to get things done. We feel confident to step back when we aren’t needed and to step up when we can help. We understand each other’s constraints and are patient with each other. We give people time and space to grow the small things that can go a long way.

We are taking courage from kindness

We’re being kinder to each other. We are creating stronger relationships and making new connections, so that we collaborate more and compete less. We are thinking about what’s really important to us. We will focus on what people value and have the courage to do the less obvious. We will look for ways to bottle the kindness that we show to one another so that it doesn’t get lost.  

We are sharing with each other

We’re thinking imaginatively about how we can share. By working together, we’re finding practical ways to share people’s time, skills and knowledge. We recognise the importance of our social connections for everyone’s wellbeing. We are here for each other and will actively connect people with others. 

We are listening with curiosity

We’re interested in what people have to say. We want people to feel able to ask the questions they’ve always wanted to. We’re keen to listen to others, especially people who aren’t often heard. We are curious to know what people feel right now about where they live. We go into conversations with an open mind, listening without an agenda. We are putting citizens’ voices first. 

We are open and honest

We’re open with each other and open to new ideas. We encourage other people to share their ideas and to be honest and open. We will have honest conversations about what’s possible. We will tell each other the truth. We will talk about what didn’t go so well, so that we can learn from it. 

We are involving others early

We’re thinking, designing and doing things together. We all have a role in making our local places even better. When we do something, we want to be clear where we’re starting from, so we need to start together. We’ll start the conversation early and keep it going. We know that thinking of others first, not as an afterthought, is how we’ll get to where we want to be. 

We are recognising everyone

We’re here to help everyone become an active citizen and be part of our local democracy and civic life. We want people to have a say in what happens in our local places and to feel that getting involved makes a difference. We value the contribution that each of us makes, in whatever way we want to be involved. We recognise that it’s harder for some people to get involved. We will find ways to include everyone. Together we are doing what we believe in our hearts will make our local places even better. We are making it happen by working alongside.

Working alongside

Share your story

We know there is lots of great work happening already. So we’d like to ask for your help in sharing examples of this approach in action, to help inspire others. We’re looking for stories of how two or more people (from different organisations in Kirklees) are working alongside each other well, using one or more of these shared values. We’ll talk with you about your experiences and share your story online.

Interested in taking part? Please email us at: Democracy@Kirklees.gov.uk