Big Society community organisers to get £20,000

Community organisers in David Cameron's Big Society will be paid £20,000 during their first year, the Government revealed today.

Up to 500 senior organisers will be trained over the next four years, with the cash granted to help them through their initial 12 months.

They will be supported by another 4,500 part-time workers and volunteers.

Civil Society Minister Nick Hurd said today: "The organisers, who will be driven by local communities' needs, will encourage social action and enable individuals to shape the services that matter most to them.

"The Big Society is about empowering people and community organisers will play a key role by giving people a chance to improve the community in which they live."

Big Society advisor Lord Wei said: "Getting well-trained people out into communities to help mobilise and facilitate is an essential step towards delivering the Big Society on the ground.

"This is vital in generating the 'ground-up' approach needed to harness the energy and ideas of individuals and communities."

Meanwhile, the Cabinet Office today announced the body which will train a "neighbourhood army", central to the Prime Minister's plans for the Big Society, will be Locality.

Chief executive Steve Wyler said: "This is an exciting opportunity for everyone, from national Government to local groups and individuals, to work together and help ordinary people achieve extraordinary things and shape the future of their localities.

"We are proud to be selected as the national delivery partner for the programme. As an independent, community-led movement, Locality can draw on the wealth of practical knowledge and experience found across our nationwide network, to ensure community organisers are truly rooted in the needs of their communities."

The organisers will first appear in 10 areas including London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cornwall and Norfolk.