Community

Communities of locality, and communities of interest: groups of people who share a geographical location, or who share a concern or interest in something particular: the definition of “Community”.

It’s quite easy to picture Community Development in a locality: a rough estate, a rural village etc. And it’s also easy to picture Community Development in a group of people who share a need or concern: maybe a group who want to stop the building of a road, or a group who have a disability and are facing barriers to getting a job.

But what does Community Development look like in a group of people who share an interest or hobby? For example: a sailing club, some people who like to bird watch, some people who enjoy going to the pub.

Having written those examples, I realise it’s actually quite easy to picture it. Maybe it doesn’t quite fit the “helping people out of poverty/deprivation” bit of my definition, but the tools and techniques of Community Development could all be used, and the process would have similar phases (consultation, action planning, early events and “successes”, forming structures, campaigning and fundraising etc), just as the process would be as important as the “product” or goal.

Maybe Community Development can change any aspect of life: it doesn’t have to be limited to “good works” of a social care nature. So it can change the world – but it isn’t biased to how the world would look after being changed.

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