Witness Seminar: A Place in a Community

Michael Locke (Ex University of East London and Volunteering England)
16 November 2015

Mike Locke reflects on his involvement in community politics in the Notting Hill/ North Kensington area of London in the 1970s and 1980s. He focuses on his part in creating in 1978 a trailblazing comprehensive centre for children under 5 and their parents, Maxilla Nursery Centre (“a famous leader in a very deprived patch” Polly Toynbee, The Guardian 2 June 2015, p27), and engaging as a trustee and activist. He explores his involvement in Maxilla Nursery Centre in the contexts of:

- the history of community organisation in Notting Hill, featuring the importance of a long view of activism from the 1950s to the 1970s and current events, and reflecting on his place in this community;
- the changing relationships between the voluntary organisation and the local authorities, leading the centre’s closure in July 2015.

These explorations hope to contribute to:

- inspiration and work for a community history; and
- analysis of the role of voluntary organisations in progressing social policy.

Mike Locke is now an independent adviser and writer, previously with NCVO, Volunteering England and University of East London and joint founder of the Institute for Volunteering Research. His involvement in community politics inspired his development of research and teaching on voluntary action.

Geographical area: