How does this impact on Community Wellbeing? There used to be Community Education workers in every community who worked with individuals and groups in response to community needs. The loss of these workers has had a significant effect on our communities. Why should the Committee focus on this as part of their future work? These workers were trained and flexible and could make a real difference to individuals whether young or old as well as encouraging communities in the early stages to develop new responses to their circumstances. Loads of vol orgs were kick started by Community Ed workers in the past.
The council came in and ran our youth clubs, 2 -3 years ago the council cut drastically back on youth services and their was an expectation that the third sector would come in and pick it up. Very few youth clubs now have a youth worker and parents have got involved in helping. The council expects volunteers to run it but this is hard work and expecting volunteers to look after children and with all of the legal and health & safety requirements it is getting harder and harder to recruit people.
Building capacity is vital for the creation of strong, inclusive, engaged individuals and communities. People who have the skills and knowledge to improve/develop their communities, to address the issues they see as important are invested in those communities, are participants rather than simply consumers of services. Community workers play a vital part in supporting that development.
I am a retired community worker and our team provided educational opportunities for all ages. We were very successful and there is no doubt that communities benefited from our service.
I agree, there could be a lot of monies saved by ensuring communities have access to the right people to support them to become more sustainable and to grow but I'd say that the profession has moved on and communities need Community Learning & Development workers now rather than them being one of the first to be cut within Local Authority spending cuts - empowered, engaged and self directed communities are what the government wants but the profession is constantly under threat
Whilst there a lot of willing and able people in local communities sometimes they need the help of someone who has been trained in community development and who has access to all the bodies who can fund and support any new developments and can provide that link with them, assisting with funding applications etc
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