We all know that effective leadership is vitally important in community development. Community leaders help shape the community focus, listen to people’s needs, make important decisions for the benefit of the community and develop partnerships that will benefit the community. They are someone that people can talk to who will listen and take action. They engage others, ask about people’s needs and work together to find solutions to the issues in the community. Community leaders also play an important role in developing partnerships that will contribute to a better community for all.
Leaders are not just those with “leader” in their job title or role – leaders are people who fit the description above and have a desire to improve their community and work hard with others to make that happen. We need these people in our communities to take our community forward and we need to be encouraging and developing new leaders to carry on that work into the future.
As leaders we all benefit from having the opportunity to further develop our leadership skills, to refresh our passion for our community and to connect with others who have a desire to see their community thrive. Community leadership programmes allow the space and time for both experienced and new leaders to reflect on how effective they are and to invest time in improving their skills and learning from each other. There is real energy when you get a group of community leaders together to learn and connect, and out of that can come new ideas, new ways of working and new partnerships.
We are excited about the new East Belfast Community Capacity and Leadership programme and the opportunity that it provides to learn new skills, develop new partnerships, involve new people and work together to improve the lives of those living in East Belfast.