THE SO TOOLKIT
03. VALUES & NAMES
WHAT ARE YOUR GROUP VALUES?
It was agreed that we wanted to come across in a positive, enabling, empowering, upbeat, non-political, non-judgemental, non-critical and inclusive way. We did not want to depress people or scare them about climate change, but to encourage them to realise that every person doing just a few things differently makes a difference, and together we make a big difference. This was important as we needed to appeal to everyone in the community.
We adopted the “big rules” from Ashton Hayes village as we felt these were a good reflection of what we wanted to achieve. We agreed that we would be a democratic organisation, with key issues debated and a consensus agreed, and that everyone’s voice was important. We would respect each other, we can still debate and disagree, or lobby, but in a constructive way. We also wanted to be seen as a contemporary, upbeat organisation, non-judgemental or critical of anyone else, just happy if people choose to make even a couple of small changes. We were open about the fact that we were not experts, or there to tell other people what to do, and that we would in all likelihood make mistakes, but learn from them. We wanted to come across as friendly and approachable. These empowering values are reflected in our Sustainable Overton brand. While we agreed to keep this non-political and positive, that is not to say that there is no scope for positive lobbying or communication with your local MP, Councils, or even Ministers if appropriate. Some group members may be activists, and want the group to support various causes. We try to tread a middle path, and be inclusive: we prefer to try to understand others’ positions and work together for positive change. Ultimately, we are part of a parish council, so anything we do must fit with them, and be representative of the views of the community.
The name was agreed to be Sustainable Overton, after a democratic suggestions and short list, and a vote. We also considered other names such as Low Waste Overton, Zero Overton. Sustainability was thought to fit best with what we were trying to achieve.