Community involvement has played a fundamental role in creating, shaping and developing the community hub model in Brent. A wide range of community research and engagement in 2016-17 led to the delivery of Brent’s first community hub in 2017-18. The success of this approach has informed plans to expand the model to new locations and contributed to the council’s wider objectives and strategy.
Culture of neighbourliness
A new community phenomenon is rippling through the homes of Buckinghamshire, reawakening a dormant culture of neighbourliness. Not since the post-Second World War years, when neighbours would be in and out of each other’s homes, has the flame of community spirit begun to burn so brightly. Buckinghamshire CC’s innovative community project, to launch street associations across the county, aims to reduce loneliness and social isolation, identify vulnerable residents who might need support, and tackle doorstep criminals who prey on the lonely and vulnerable.
BME Forum (Enough is Enough) and community fund
Like neighbouring boroughs, Croydon has witnessed an increase in knife crime and serious youth violence. Croydon BME Forum works with minority ethnic communities to respond to issues of knife crime. A series of community conversations led to its Enough is Enough conference in November 2017. This brought residents together to deliver themed workshops and training; provide community-led mentoring with schools and colleges, including parents seeking out young people who need extra help to stay away from crime; and to work with local schools and churches to provide a free after-school positive safe place for young people to meet.
Hammersmith & Fulham LBC
Working with residents
Hammersmith & Fulham Council believes in doing things with residents rather than to them. Resident-led policy and accountability committees, commissions, action groups, crowd funding and hackathons put residents at the heart of decision-making, giving the local community real influence and achieving better outcomes.
The Herefordshire Council community brokers involve those in care in community activities. They are enabling the success of the council’s person-centred, strengths-based approach to social care and creating community networks that are transforming what happens to a person when they require a care plan. By incorporating activities that interest the individual, the community brokers are combatting depression and loneliness, improving mobility and giving people confidence they need to live independently without relying on formal care.
Neighbourhood community development partnerships
Lewisham LBC has committed funding to develop four neighbourhood community development partnerships in each quadrant of the borough. The partnerships consist of voluntary and community sector organisations and statutory agencies working together to deliver localised solutions to the neighbourhoods’ community-level health and wellbeing priorities. In 2017-18, 170 community groups came together to deliver projects ranging from increasing social opportunities for older people to IT training programmes and cookery classes. The evidence gathered through quarterly reports shows the success of each partnership in co-operatively bringing together local groups to engage communities and improve health and wellbeing.
Adult safeguarding enquiry cards
Shropshire Council and Shropshire Partners in Care have designed an innovative way of making sure people are involved in their safeguarding enquiries. The development of a set of ‘talking about adult safeguarding: my enquiry and safety plan’ cards ensures it truly involves the individual. The cards are to be used by people undertaking safeguarding enquiries to support the person and their family, friends or advocates to tell their story, give their views about the situation, understand the information gathered during the enquiry and how it might be used, and create their safety plan.
Waltham Forest LBC
Life Chances: Big Youth Conversation
Waltham Forest’s Life Chances programme is an example of how young people can shape a council priority. To understand how to improve life chances, the council complemented an expert-led approach with the views of 2,500 local young people in its Big Youth Conversation. Sessions and surveys in classrooms, assemblies, at events and online allowed it to hear what young people feel is important in their lives. The council adapted its approach to match their needs. Longer term, a new relationship with young people has evolved that involves co-design of interventions and an annual repeat of the Big Youth Conversation to continually hear from them.
West Sussex CC
Build a Better A27
Nothing inspires or encourages community conversation, involvement and – let’s face it – division, more than a new road scheme. Highways England announced funding for a scheme to improve the Chichester stretch of the A27 in July 2016, but the proposed routes it suggested caused mass division in the community. West Sussex CC responded to community concerns and decided to pull the community together and get it talking at a time when real divisions were starting to appear.
Ged Curran, chief executive, Merton LBC
Katherine Fairclough, chief executive, Cumbria CC
Trevor Holden, managing director, South Norfolk Council and Broadland DC
Robin Tuddenham, chief executive, Calderdale MBC