How Community Anchors can be key for local action
Dr Eva Elliott from Cardiff University takes an historical look at the role of community anchor organisations in Communities First and in the context of Welsh Government’s desire to build a new approach to building resilient communities.
‘I have always been skeptical about the term resilience. In the context of steep inequalities it has seemed to me that the capacity to ‘withstand and respond positively to stress or change’ or to ‘bounce back’ from the assaults of economic downturns is not enough…’
DOVE Workshop – Community Education Centre to Community Anchor Organisation
Lesley Smith of Dulais Valley’s DOVE Workshop outlines how they have become an anchor organisation in their community.
‘DOVE Workshop is located in the Dulais Valley, an area that once provided opportunities for employment predominantly in the coal industry. The organisation was established in 1984 as a direct response to the threat to the industry and what that would mean to families…’
Alison Hill of Caia Park Partnership discusses their work as an anchor organisation, and how grant funding for core costs allowed them to become the community anchor they are today.
‘Generations of support
‘For over 20 years Caia Park Partnership (CPP) has been at the heart of the community of Caia Park, Wrexham. We are part of people’s lives and our activities have grown over the years in response to needs…’
We head to rural Wales where Nigel Callaghan explains how Cwmni Cletwr has evolved beyond its initial purpose of reviving the local shop to something much bigger and more diverse.
‘When we opened Siop Cynfelyn in the old Clettwr Services in Tre’r Ddôl, north Ceredigion, in 2013 the intention was to run a small village shop and cafe, run by the community, for the benefit of the community. It didn’t quite work out that way! Run by and for the community, yes, but now it’s rather more than a small village shop and cafe. With hindsight, it should have been expected. I wonder how similar we are to others, who start off focused on a specific service, amenity or issue but soon evolve beyond that…’
Russell Todd, manger of WCVA’s Communities First Support Service, looks back at our week of themed blogs about community anchors and sees a prominent role for them if Welsh communities are to be empowered.
‘It has been a fascinating week reading about the different ways in which independent, community-owned organisations are supporting their communities: by helping develop social cohesion; providing crucial services and employment; advocating on behalf of communities; and combating negative stereotypes. It is clear how useful anchors can be complementing and enhancing public service delivery…’
Resilient Communities: a third sector perspective
WCVA has been working with members and a range of partners to develop proposals on developing more resilient communities. Within this, we’re particularly interested in what needs to happen to achieve more empowered communities. We will share these proposals with our members and Welsh Government in the autumn.
You’ll find more information on this and how to get involved, plus podcasts, vlogs and other views from around the sector on our Resilient Communities Hub.