Research from the Community Development Foundation shows that vital contributions from small community groups are making huge benefits nationally to society.
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.’
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.
Sue Martin – SmithMartin Partnership LLP, Cambridge- building better communities