The City Council hosted the Truro Community Development Project in 2004. This has been central to producing significant and tangible benefits for the community, from setting up community and resident associations, to the construction of community buildings and the provision of community training courses.
The project was underpinned by the extensive support from a number of agencies; Cornwall Council, The Primary Care Trust, Public Health and Cornwall Housing. This took form from both operational and financial support. However, between 2012 and 2014 we saw the financial support diminish to a point where where the City Council became the only financial contributor. This was not a reflection on the value of the project, in the eyes of the individual organisation, but purely due to financial pressures. However, support and partnership working has continued and has been important to derive maximum benefit.
‘The United Nations defines Community Development as “a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.” It is a broad term given to the practices of activists, involved citizens and professionals to improve various aspects of the community, typically aiming to build stronger and more resilient local communities.’
Truro City Council’s Community Development service is designed to support communities to continue the great work they are already doing, organise events in communities, help them grow the use of their community centres and open areas and have strong, open and well governed community groups to deliver positive action in their neighbourhoods and bring communities together. We conduct surveys, consultations and hold open meetings as part of our community engagement package.
Our main work is centred around the largest resident areas of the city, Truro City Council understands that Community Development leads to stronger communities which in turn leads to safer neighbourhoods and a greater wellbeing of the residents. We love seeing communities come together and we’re here to support, empower and inspire this to happen. We currently work with; Tregurra, Trevethow Riel, Treffry Road, Malabar, Beechwood Parc, Penn An Dre, Malpas Road, Trelander and St. Clements, Rosedale, Hendra and central Truro. We work with each of these areas at different levels and in different ways. This however is not exhaustive; we are involved with other community projects in the City at a hands-on and strategic level.
We also spend time in neighbourhoods holding regular neighbourhood engagement walks, having conversations with residents and deliver an ‘Asset Based Community Development’ (ABCD) approach to our work. A way of setting that into motion is to get out and about in the community and have conversations that will lead to community action from the bottom up, residents from all walks of life have fantastic ideas and we work with people to support things to happen. We engage with residents in each of the neighbourhoods listed above and would love it if you joined us for a walk! Let’s listen to residents together and let’s instigate positive action in our communities. We need to celebrate what’s great in our neighbourhoods and utilise its assets, that could be the resident’s skills in the community, physical assets such as buildings or open/green spaces, resident groups and associations. Change can happen in our communities but its more sustainable by utilising the assets that are already there and it to be resident led, If you would like to join us on a neighbourhood engagement walk then do get in touch.
If you feel you would like to ‘bring the community together’ where you live, we would be more than happy to support you, or if you have a project idea and would like to get off the ground then do get in touch, we would love to hear from you!
Truro City Council's Community Development Officer is Damien Richards.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 01872 274766/mobile 07943111661