Community Development

What does Community Development mean at Derby Homes?

Derby Homes recognises Community Development as a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems.

We support this process by providing a number of resources to help communities to:

  • identify their needs, opportunities, rights and responsibilities,
  • plan, organise and take action
  • evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the action

It is the role of the Customer Engagement & Community Development team to:

  • Start with the issues that people in communities identify as being important to them, as opposed to organisationally led agenda’s or issues identified by Derby Homes and other agencies;
  • Help people understand why the issues they want to address have come about, and explain why some groups have more power or resources than others;
  • Support those communities to develop their ideas and take action to those issues

We also work with other local authority agencies and community and voluntary organisation to increase their capacity to understand and work with communities.

What Community Development isn't?

Derby Homes is committed to genuine and authentic Community Development. Community development is not:

  • A Quick Fix – Its a long term process that focuses on people’s needs and aims identified by communities
  • Lots of people at meetings – If only five people turn up to a public meeting with the same issue, these are the five that we'll work with
  • Partnership working – It's much more than simply agencies collaborating to resolve community issues
  • Consultation or Resident Involvement – It's not about commenting on decisions already made or working to improve the service of one particular organisation
  • Delivering services on the cheap – It's not an alternative to statutory service provision
  • The Usual Suspects – It's not about talking to the same three people and saying their responses are the demands of the community.
  • Volunteering – Most people get involved because they want a service such as a lunch club and have to provide it themselves, not necessarily because they want to be a volunteer

Our aims

  • To bring about social change by working with communities to identify their needs, opportunities, rights and responsibilities; plan, organise and take action and evaluate the effectiveness and impact of that action.
  • To ensure sustainability, working with and investing in the capacity of people and groups so that lasting change may be achieved whilst also using environmental resources responsibly
  • To embed collective working, working together towards common goals and forming networks, making connections to help people collaborate and come together in groups.
  • Strengthen Community Capacity – We will work with communities to respond to emerging needs, providing support to newly formed and existing community initiatives which support community sustainability.