One aspect of literacy use in everyday life which was apparent in our data is the prevalence of people’s participation in self-organised local groups and the role of literacy in structuring these. Whilst our original focus was on individuals and their practices, this participation has enabled us to shift our attention to the role of literacy in groups. We have already seen that people make use of many kinds of informal networks among family and friends and in their contacts with official organisations, for example in dealing with schools. Beyond such informal networks are organisations which people join voluntarily outside of their work life, united by some common interest or cause. These local organisations and community groups in some ways act as a bridge between informal networks and official organisations: they often rely on personal contacts, but frequently they are also public and legal entities with a committee of responsible officers.