We’ve been working with our social enterprise, Community Catalysts a think tank called New Economics Foundation, and some like-minded charities (KeyRing, CSV) to write a report out Monday September 12th: Creating stronger and more inclusive communities which value everyone’s right to contribute. The report sets out lessons to be learned from successful community based projects in which people who are frequently written off or seen as a drain on society have been able to take charge and make a real contribution. They involve state resources or the contributions of professionals, but those contributions always take a supporting role to the resources and contributions of people with support needs and those around them.
The report sets out seven principles for empowerment and inclusion in an age of austerity:
- Community development needs to start from how people themselves define their situation and aspirations.
- Communities are stronger where people who use services are helped to find good ways of making a valued local contribution, not just seen as in need.
- Most support is delivered by families and social networks: services must work in partnership with those whose contribution is unpaid.
- The personalisation of public services marks a genuine change when it represents a change in culture, aspirations and choice of providers.
- To live fully, we all need to be able to make informed choices and to take risks.
- Public sector contributions are more cost-effective when they look across all local assets and needs, not just at those assessed as ‘most needy’.
- Micro-scale enterprises and interventions can be a powerful vehicle for mobilising new contributions.
You can read and respond to the report at http://bit.ly/jtUYfd