Community can mean different things to different people but we are all part of a community whether it is based on where we live, an interest, a culture, a language, a background, social or occupation.
Through a community development approach, communities can be supported to address health and social wellbeing issues and reduce health inequalities to develop healthy, sustainable communities.
Two definitions of community development are:
“Community Development is about strengthening and bringing about change in communities. It consists of a set of methods which can broaden vision and capacity for social change and approaches, including consultation, advocacy and relationships with local groups. It is a way of working, informed by certain principles which seeks to encourage communities – people who live in the same areas or who have something else in common – to tackle for themselves the problems which they face and identify to be important, and which aims to empower them to change things by developing their own skills, knowledge and experience, and by working in partnerships with other groups and statutory agencies.”
(DHSSPS Regional Strategy, 1997-2002)
“Community development is a long-term value based process which aims to address imbalances in power and bring about change founded on social justice, equality and inclusion. The process enables people to organise and work together to:
- identify their own needs and aspirations
- take action to exert influence on the decisions which affect their lives
- improve the quality of their own lives, the communities in which they live, and societies of which they are a part.”
(National Occupational Standards for Community Development, 2015)
Community Planning is about agreeing and setting out a shared vision and then identifying what needs to be done to deliver that vision. It’s about people, communities and organisations coming together to improve local well-being and quality of life, and making sure that plans, strategies, priorities and programmes at all levels integrate with each other.
‘Putting People First’, Mid and East Antrim’s first Community Plan was officially launched on Tuesday 6th June. A huge amount of work has gone in to developing a Plan that will help us realise our Vision of a ‘Strong, Vibrant, Safe and Inclusive Mid and East Antrim’.
Community Support Networks:
Building Communities Resource Centre – BCRC – Ballymoney
Causeway Rural & Urban Network (CRUN) – Coleraine
www.crun.org F: @causeway-rural-urban-network
Cookstown and Western Shores Area Network (CWSAN) – Stewartstown
www.cwsan.org F: @cwsan.midulster
Impact Network NI – Randalstown
Northern Area Community Network – Cushendall
www.nacn.org F: @ Northernareacommunitynetwork
Northern Ireland Rural women’s Network (NIRWN)
T: 028 8775 3389 E: https://nirwn.org
T: 028 8648 0900 W: https://ruralaction.co/
Rural Community Network
https://www.ruralsupport.org.uk/ F: @ruralsupport
Mid And East Antrim Community Plan
Causeway Coast & Glens Community Plan
Antrim And Newtownabbey Community Plan
Love Living Here Community Plan
Mid Ulster Community Plan
‘Our Community Plan’