We are committed to supporting communities to become strong, resilient, and sustainable.
To enable us to strengthen our support to communities further we have incorporated asset-based community development (ABCD) into our work.
An asset is anything that makes a community better it can be existing associations, contributions of residents or stories. ABCD builds on the assets that are found already in the community and empowers individuals, groups and organisations to come together to develop their strengths.
Our commitment to ABCD is based on the belief that people live more fulfilling lives when they have the power to shape their own outcomes and change things that matter to them. To help us achieve this asset based approach, we have employed two Community Builders through the Government's Containment Outbreak Management Fund and we are also working closely with a number of other Community Builders across the district.
We have a number of Community Builders working across the district. You will be hearing from them over the next year, as they will be working with residents and partners to strengthen community connections, with the aim of reducing isolation and improving health and wellbeing. The Community Builders will spend time in the local community with the initial focus of researching and establishing a deep understanding of the area, working to uncover key community assets and skills of local residents. The role will form a key part of our strength-based approach to community development (also known as Asset Based Community Development or ABCD) and make links to supporting our Connected Communities strategy.
Pictured (left-right) - Dana Hughes, Zac Moore, Sue Martyr and Emily Johnson.
Emily Johnson (Malvern Hills District Council)
Emily is based at Malvern Hills District Council and will be working across the whole of the district.
'Hi, I am Emily. I truly believe building a better community network will create better opportunities and really help with improving long term mental health. I am passionate about art and creativity and creating different opportunities for all age groups to gain skills and meet like-minded people; whether that's connecting a teenager struggling in school to find a new passion or an adult who feels their life is all about work to find a new hobby. Please get in touch.'
Dana Hughes and Bryan Craven (Malvern Town Football Club)
Dana and Bryan are employed by and based at Malvern Town Football Club and will focus on supporting the local community of Pickersleigh and surrounds. They are keen to hear any ideas you have to help the community of Pickersleigh. Please get in touch.
Tel: Dana on 01684 564746 or Bryan on 07878959731
Susan Martyr (YMCA)
Sue is employed by and based at the YMCA centre in Malvern Vale and will primarily focus on working with communities in Malvern Vale, Upton-upon-Severn and Tenbury. Please do get in touch.
Tel: 01684 561741
Georgie Guy (Age UK Worcester and Malvern Hills)
Georgie is employed by Age UK and will be working across the district, especially the more rural villages such as Martley, Clifton, Wichenford and Alfrick.
Georgie is both a Community Builder and Information & Advice Community Outreach worker, running free surgeries across the county for over 50s in village halls, dementia centres, our Age UK shops and many more venues. These are a chance for you to get answers to any queries you may have on a wide range of topics including benefits and form filling, welfare, your home, social care, tradespeople, signposting to other services and more. Visit the Age UK website for more or contact Georgie as follows.
Connected Communities Fund and Spacehive
As part of this ABCD approach, we have launched a £500,000 fund has been created to strengthen and develop the district's communities following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Connected Communities Fund will be used to support our aim to transform the way we work with residents, voluntary and community organisations.
The fund will be used to support projects around the themes of places, people and supporting charities and social enterprises.
Projects will be brought forward to consider for funding but some of the money will initially be spent on a new crowdfunding scheme to continue the council's investment in community projects. There will also be a new digital platform to improve engagement with residents so they play a greater role in how their neighbourhood develops.
Connected to this, we have made £150,000 available as part of the People Make Places Fund through Crowdfund Worcestershire over the next three years to support innovative and sustainable community transport projects across the district. View more information on SpaceHive website.
Other existing funds include the £150,000 People Make Places: Ticket to Ride Fund and the £19,000 Malvern Hills District Council Ward Budget.
Connected Communities Strategy
The new Connected Communities strategy, created by Malvern Hills District Council, was approved by councillors at an Executive Committee meeting on Tuesday 23 November 2021.
The strategy forms part of their Five-Year Plan commitment to ‘develop and implement an asset-based community development strategy which supports the building of strong, resilient and sustainable communities.’
The plan aims to focus on ‘what’s strong, not what’s wrong’ whilst also adopting an asset-based community development (ABCD) approach to its work. The strategy is based around three central themes of healthier, safer and inclusive, stronger and sustainable communities. Watch a presentation about the Connected Communities Strategy
Connecting with your community
As well as connecting with your Community Builders, Parish councils are your grassroots local councils, run by councillors who volunteer their time to make their community a better place. They work towards improving community wellbeing and providing better services.
Your councillors meet regularly as a parish council and welcome attendance and participation from the communities they serve. Meetings are advertised, but you can contact the parish council clerk for dates and times of the forthcoming meetings. Parish councils also get involved in lots of projects with their communities. Working groups are made up of parish councillors and community representatives working on a specific project, such as setting up a new local shop, carrying out a parish plan or helping to develop a neighbourhood plan. Get involved or find out more on the Parish Council webpage.
Some examples of communities working together are:
- Learn about Adopt a Street
- Read about the Good Neighbour Network
- Learn about the Neighbourhood Watch
- View the Malvern Welcomes webpage
To help us shine a spotlight on asset-based community development we have commissioned a short film that showcases some of the brilliant community organisations and groups across the district already working effectively in this way. Watch the Connected Communities video.