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- Adopt a Street Malvern Hills
- Connected Communities
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- Bird flu
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We are committed to supporting communities to continue to be strong, resilient, and sustainable. As a council, we talk about asset based community development (ABCD) and how we are incorporating that into our work but this is just a formal way of saying that we want to work with our communities, providing support to you to develop your own community strengths.
We believe 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 to provide this support to our communities, we have employed four part time Community Builders (partly through the Government's Containment Outbreak Management Fund and partly through UK Shared Prosperity Funding) and we are also working closely with a number of other Community Builders across the district (posts that are being funding by UK Shared Prosperity Funding).
We have a number of Community Builders working with residents and partners across the district, to strengthen community connections, with the aim of reducing isolation and improving health and wellbeing.
These roles 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.
Meet our Community Builders – watch our short introductory video on YouTube
Pictured (left-right) – Pete Smith, Susan Martyr (now Active Travel Officer), Elaine Fraser, Alison Knowles, Linda Price, Sarah McCarten-Williams, Susan Blackhurst and Dana Hughes
Linda Price (Malvern Hills District Council)
Linda is based at Malvern Hills District Council and works across the whole of the district. Linda is part-time and normally works in the district on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
"I am delighted to have taken up the role after being a University Lecturer and Researcher mostly based in Rural Studies and have worked with farming/rural communities in the UK and abroad. I grew up on a family farm hence I have experience of agriculture, countryside management and the opportunities and challenges of rural communities becoming more diverse. I would love to hear about any ideas you may have. Rural communities have changed so if you would like to talk about gathering community views, putting a project together or discuss an idea please do not hesitate to contact me.
When I am not working, I may be playing a cornet in a Brass Band or walking in our beautiful countryside with The Ramblers."
Dana Hughes and Bryan Craven (Malvern Town Football Club)
Dana and Bryan are employed by and based at Malvern Town Football Club and support 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.
Sarah McCarten-Williams (The Octagon Centre, Poolbrook)
Sarah is based at The Octagon and works across the Poolbrook and surrounding area. Sarah is part-time and normally works Monday to Wednesdays, but with some flexibility.
"I was born in Bradford in quite a deprived area of the town. I grew up being involved in the work of our local community centre, and worked for them on a gap year that lasted around seven. After university, I had a spell working as a nanny in London, before coming back to community work and subsequently finding myself working at the Octagon Centre. The first piece of significant work that I did with the Octagon was a community consultation in which we asked members of the community and key stakeholders what the needs and assets of the community are and how the Octagon could help respond to those. I firmly believe that the greatest strength any community has are its people. So as a Community Builder that’s what I’m here to do, support members of the community to make our community thrive. I am so looking forward to this opportunity."
Sarah Clark (Malvern Link with Cowleigh)
Sarah is based at Malvern Link with Cowleigh Churches and works across the Malvern Link area. Sarah is full-time and normally works Monday to Friday, but with some flexibility.
"I have been a resident in Malvern for 24 years. I love walking and I’m often out and about with my dog, family or friends either on the hills and surrounding countryside or around the town. Malvern has wonderful assets both in its residents and places to visit and I love living here.
Working for Malvern Link with Cowleigh Church (MLWC) as a Community Builder is an exciting opportunity for me to support and connect people together through groups and activities, to enhance and benefit people’s lives. MLWC has many great activities and groups already up and running within the many churches and church spaces. We would like to build upon these existing projects with new ideas, based upon the interests and needs of the community. I’d love to hear from you if you have any ideas for how you’d like to see your community grow and thrive."
Alison Knowles (Platform Housing)
Alison is based at Platform Housing and will focus mainly on rural areas of the district. Alison is part-time and usually works Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (although this is flexible).
Alison previously worked as a Community Officer for a housing association, covering Malvern Hills and Herefordshire, so knows the district quite well. Alison is looking forward to working within communities and helping build on the foundations already laid out.
Elaine Fraser (Platform Housing)
Elaine is based at Platform Housing and covers the Malvern Hills District, supporting Ukrainian guests. Elaine is part time and usually works Monday, Tuesday and half day Thursday (but this is flexible).
Elaine is really looking forward to meeting our Ukrainian guests and seeing how she can best support them to connect with others through community projects. Elaine is co-founder of local charity People in Motion, which has been supporting refugees since 2015.
Susan Blackhurst (Tenbury Town Council)
"I am based mainly in the Tenbury and St Michaels areas and normally work Wednesdays and Thursdays though that is flexible.
I have been with Tenbury Town Council for nearly 7 years in a part-time role and have taken on the Community Builder position alongside my normal position. I started my new role as Community Builder in October and have been out and about and getting to know people. My role will include mapping what is already available in our community and helping people find out what that is and how to connect with it. I will also be looking at fostering new ideas and encouraging the community to grow in ways that they want to see."
Barbara Stephens (Little Malvern and Welland Parish Council)
"We are lucky to already have great facilities and fantastic volunteers in Welland. I'm looking forward to engaging with our growing population of long standing and newer residents to do more of the good stuff that Welland is known for and work with the local community to introduce new ideas and activities that will benefit as many people as possible."
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.