Communities fighting back
Across all walks of life and in all phases of life, we are affected by the community organisations around us, they have a positive knock on effect on the economy around us as they help us engage in society. However they are not easily quantifiable and look different in different places. “Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play” Robert F Kennedy
We also know that communities have taken a real toll, sometimes it’s been through poorly designed /thought through development and other times it’s been as a result of unintended consequences. With the current squeeze on wages and the increasing cost of living this is not going to get any easier.
Rural communities have been hit hard through the loss of local businesses, often the connecting point between those that live there. The report into the impact of the loss of post offices on communities illustrates how the vulnerable are more adversely affected in both rural and urban locations.
Articles like this one highlight the challenges faced by rural businesses
Urban communities have felt the loss of public services, local libraries, post offices, banks
Inner city areas have often been separated from good services, from the ability to gain access to fresh food, to recreational activity and to basic services.
There is hope though, local organisations have long recognised the value and importance in bringing people together. From lunch clubs for the elderly through to food projects that bring people together, such as The Real Junk Food Project. Places like Zest, and the Manner and Castle Development Trust are trying to readdress the imbalances and provide community led impact to support those that live in their communities.
Rural communities have been fighting back through community led businesses, taking on buildings and providing the services they want and need themselves.
Interested in doing this? take a look at this tool kit
In Sheffield alone there are now 15 Community run libraries, many of whom are staffed by a new generation of volunteers who haven’t volunteered before.
At our next meeting we are going to be looking at the process from idea through to delivery of creating and maintaining a community pub/café/post office in the Peak district and how that has benefited the local community. The Anglers Rest in Bamford.
Come and Join us and let us know your vision for developing your community!
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