The Take Part Approach

Take Part

The Take Part Approach

The Take Part approach uses flexible, community-based learning to develop the capacity of individuals and communities to become more involved in civil and civic life.


Take Part learning is a distinctive and proven approach that enables people to make a difference in their community by focusing on:

  • community-based learning to build the skills, confidence and experience needed to tackle local political, social and technical challenges
  • an informal, practical approach that gives people an understanding of how power works and how they can learn to influence decisions and policies
  • open dialogue and reflection as key learning tools, recognising that change in a community emerges from individuals working together

Communities and Local Government has funded a Take Part Programme (2008-2011) to support the use of the Take Part approach. The Take Part Programme comprises the Take Part Pathfinders and the Take Part National Support Programme (see below).

The Take Part Pathfinders

The 18 Take Part Pathfinders are built on the established Take Part approach to learning. Each local pathfinder is a partnership between local authorities, third sector bodies and educational institutions, coordinated by one lead organisation. [Open a PDF list of Take Part Pathfinders] (Opens in a new window).

A Pathfinder has responsibility for providing learning using the Take Part approach in their local area through an action plan that includes the following strands:

  • learning opportunities that build skills and confidence
  • community leadership development offering tailored support leading to civic activism and/or lay governance roles
  • information about the availability of opportunities for influence and lay governance involvement across the public sector in the locality, and support for greater mobility between such roles
  • access to accreditation for citizenship learning and skills development where it is required.

The Take Part directory enables you to filter using the above strands, under "Take Part strand of work."

The Take Part Pathfinders are developing approaches that help to meet the government's objectives for improving public services through improvements in the following indicators

  • People feeling that they can influence decisions in their locality (Indicator 4 of Public Service Agreement 21)
  • Narrowing the civic participation gaps between disadvantaged groups and others in society (Indicator 3 of Public Service Agreement 15)


The Take Part National Support programme

There is also a national element to the Take Part Programme which aims to promote and develop the Take Part approach across the country. The activities within the National Support Programme are there to support a whole range of different organisations in using Take Part (not just the existing Take Part Pathfinders). The National Support Programme is made up of:

  • 'Train the Trainers' courses so that more people will have the skills to provide practical support, leading to more people trained in areas outside (as well as inside) the pathfinder areas.
  • The development of new materials and resources to respond to current gaps in learning provision, such as trainers packs and "how to" guides.
  • Initiatives and events to share best practice and learning between different organisations using Take Part.

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