Commonside Community Development Trust – London Borough of Merton

Naomi Martin, FRSA

The Commonside Trust is working to improve the lives and environment of people living in Merton. It does this by managing a community centre, running community events and a number of community development programmes.

The Team at the Commonside Trust in south London worked with Mauro to review and take forward its work in the local community, focusing on motivation of staff, volunteers and the people we serve.  The week we spent with Mauro was great fun:  we worked hard, we got some results we had hoped for, eg a strong organisational values list and commitment, and some things we didn’t expect, eg a realisation that different people think about their work, and the community, in different and equally valid ways.   

Mauro used a well-planned and flexible workshop style for our group work, and individual coaching sessions for managerial staff.  His feedback to me was insightful and provided me with some target areas for development after he had gone.

His impact and techniques stayed with staff for a long time after his sessions with us.  One member of staff still has the four-leaf clover that he gave her to preserve as a visual reminder of how precious an organisation can be tucked away in her drawer.  Another, even after quite a long time lapse, when discussing a recent tricky work situation with me, said, quite naturally ‘it’s like Mauro said’, transferring the insights he had given us to an entirely new situation several years later.

Mauro is hard-working, funny and resourceful. He thinks on his feet and works in an empathetic way.  We would welcome him back any time and I can thoroughly recommend his services!