When communities come together, they have the power to do extraordinary things.

Many of us are inspired by local residents, community and voluntary groups rapidly mobilising to ensure that the most vulnerable in their communities had what they need to make it through the crisis. In so doing, communities eased the pressures on frontline services, and gave a glimpse of what a more democratic, more caring and better society could look like. A mobilised community knows what it wants, what resources it has at its disposal, and has a plan for how to use them.

Sevenoaks District Council has worked with its communities through the Care for our Community initiative and the Voluntary Sector Forum, both established during the pandemic, to launch Better Together.

Acting as a facilitator and an enabler, we want to build on the widespread benefits of an empowered community. Better Together will build relations with community groups to equip them to better the areas they live in, thereby improving the lives of residents.

For community power to be fully realised, the focus cannot just be on the role and actions of public services, important though they are. Communities must be considered too. Better Together will ensure communities are better networked, so that all voices can be heard and enable to communities to have sufficient organisation and capacity to allow them to take responsibility for the things that come along with power. It will help communities to deploy their own skills and resources to define and address many of the challenges they face.

Better Together will focus on four priority areas:

  • • Individuals: enabling individuals to identify their needs and work out how community assets can be built and deployed to improve their lives.
  • • Groups: supporting pre-existing groups within communities and help build up and empower them.
  • • Places: promoting community infrastructure and assets to make an area as open to community mobilisation as possible
  • • Services: empower people who interact with services and have ideas of how to improve them to contribute to their own communities.

How do I get involved?

If you are interested to set up a new activity or initiative in your local area and not sure where to start check out our community toolkit page for more information or to contact us please email info@bettertogethercommunity.org.uk.

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