Today sees the launch of a research project ‘Tailor Made: how community groups improve people’s lives’; from The Community Development Foundation.
The CDF have developed a specific micro-site, where the range of research into community group impact can be found. See more detail here.
‘Nearly all of the groups identified as being under the radar, are providing tailored services to their community with an income of less than £2,000 a year. With increasing pressure on public funding, we are using this research that demonstrates the important contribution that community groups make to society as a call to action to secure their future.
The research found that community groups are able to develop ‘tailor-made’ support for people in their communities. They complement statutory services because they have the flexibility to meet specific needs with groups of people or whole communities – providing bespoke support.
The types of outcomes of the work being carried out by these groups include:
building safer communities: They prevent crime, support victims of crime and support ex-offenders in rebuilding their lives
improving the physical environment: They maintain and improve the physical environment including parks, allotments and buildings
improving health and well-being: They tackle the wider causes of poor health and wellbeing such as poverty, housing, employment, crime, pollution and isolation
improving local economies:They provide training and support to help people into work. They also contribute to economic growth by supporting people to start small businesses and helping people to manage their money better so there is more to spend locally.’
Posted on cdf blog 29.10.2014
The community groups provide ‘lived experience’ of the issues they are working with which provides a unique insight to support other forms of knowledge. The trust gained by these groups makes people in communities more likely to come forward for help and support.
The research project can be viewed on Community Development Foundation website, as a downloadable document or as a series of chapters on the Tailor-Made research page.
Midsummer and a far cry from the dark days of a northern winter. So maybe not the best time to think about energy and energy savings.
When we heard about community and energy we began to sit up from our sun loungers( only joking!) and start thinking about how communities in all shapes and sizes can take more control over their energy sources and become more efficient.
There are many benefits, the most obvious being coming together as a group to make savings and to use the knowledge and skills of many people to benefit the whole community.
There are now moves to work with, for examples, Parish Councils to engage with their community and become the mover of a community energy project. The team at Community Pathways have a great source of documents to support and develop the projects.
In our partnership, we work with people and community organisations to deliver benefits to the communities and the agencies that support them.
We see the potential impact of these projects in a number of ways; using volunteers, bringing together expertise in skills and knowledge, using local business and groups, working with people across age groups and across family involvements.
There is nothing like making a saving to ensure that people will become active. And this way it can be the community that will be the real winner.
Moving from the wrap around direct support of the pubic sector and taking services into another social business form can be an amazing journey. It can also be a rocky road fraught with misunderstanding and hesitancy.
Their guided journey manual, an overview on developing the big idea, taking your plans to realisation and how to get started, is available online here (.pdf document 564Kb).
This document is of interest to those considering the emergence of public sector mutuals, however it does also offer sound thinking and guidance on frameworks of action for any social or charitable business getting ready to flower.
What is it we should be thinking about? Co-operative Business District: a guided journey to discover your own public service co-operative destination can tell you.
Peter Marsh and David Fairhurst, writing in The Guardian recently have sought to take the current temperature of how the government’s new initiative on employee owned co-operatives is proceeding.
Their early findings are ‘…that it is a lot of hard work, but well worth it’.