Community workers from across Bristol have come together to discuss working together more closely in the face of serious economic challenges, following an invitation from Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol.
Over 100 housing officers, social workers, community development workers, support workers and community educators from public and community sectors convened today (29 September) at City Hall to discuss how the council can take a more asset based approach to working with communities. This would mean finding better ways of using the skills and assets which already exist within the city’s communities.
The discussions were focused on how the council can make the most of these resources to help empower communities and citizens.
Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “I’d like to thank everyone who came to City Hall today. It was great to see so many of you coming together to discuss how we work together. The council is currently facing a massive financial challenge and we need to work together as a city to create empowered communities where people can play a bigger part in our city.
“The organisations that came here today work on daily basis with Bristol’s local communities and are the ones who know the challenges and opportunities first hand. I have a background in community development and I know how invaluable the knowledge of these groups can be when trying to tackle any issue that the city faces. I hope we can build on the discussions we’ve had today and look forward to seeing how we can work together in the future.”
Organisations from around the city were at the event which included Barton Hill Settlement, Knowle West Health Park and Linkage.
Annie Oliver, Community Development Manager at Barton Hill Settlement said: “It’s been really useful to bring community workers, practitioners, organisations and individuals together. Asset based community development is the model that most community development workers across the city have been using for decades so it’s valuable that the local authority should look at this too.
“For a lead to be taken by the local authority I think is extremely useful and can help us to make sure we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet. To get the people who work on the ground with communities to look at solutions for the city at a time when we have got reduced resources is important.”
The ideas generated at the meeting will be considered as part of the council’s discussion about how it redesigns its services, both in the face of its current financial challenges but also in light of what it wants to achieve in the future.
Other community development organisations can find information about what support is available to them on the council’s website or on the community development Facebook page .