Community Led Action and Savings Support (CLASS) provides professional support to savings groups affiliated to Greater Manchester Savers, their associated networks, and affiliated savings groups in other towns and cities as these emerge through community exchange and mobilisation.
CLASS became constituted in June 2019 to build on the work of a number of partners within a three-year Mistra Urban Futures-funded action research initiative. This was driven by successive exchanges between the South African and Kenyan affiliates of Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI) and women leaders from some of the community associations who later came to comprise Greater Manchester Savers. It was supported by the Realising Just Cities programme at the Urban Institute, University of Sheffield and the Global Development Institute, University of Manchester. Academics from each of these institutions are maintaining these links through leadership roles on the CLASS board of trustees.
CLASS is committed to supporting and facilitating community-led processes. We support savings groups to network together and with other groups locally, nationally, and internationally, through community exchanges and dialogues, to share ideas and strategies for reducing urban poverty and inequality. We respond to the expressed interests and needs of the groups and their networks and attempt to develop professional and technical partnerships where these can support communities to realise their goals, including with academics and university departments. We continue to learn from the experiences of SDI affiliates across the world and their long histories of community federation partnership with professional support agencies.
Registered charity number: 1188480