New report investigates building better communities through global learning
Published: 9 Jun 2016
The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust and The Rank Foundation have launched their first joint report, 'Building Better Communities through Global Learning' at the House of Commons.
In 2012 the two organisations agreed to collaborate on a research project to address some of the complex and urgent challenges facing communities in the UK.
In the 3 year period that followed, 58 Fellows were selected to undertake international, experiential research to investigate the question of how to build strong communities, exploring examples of good practice that might be relevant and transferable to the UK.
The 156 page report draws together their global findings. These Churchill Fellows are innovators, frontline practitioners and academics, who researched a broad range of community development themes - from housing to mental health, gender based violence to enterprise, community cohesion & engagement to youth support.
The main findings include 4 consistent, recurring and interrelated themes that represent the 'building blocks of a strong community':
- Engagement and cohesion
- Health and safety
- Empowerment and resilience
- Enterprise and innovation
The research also identified 3 broad approaches that can help to build stronger, more effective communities:
- Community-centred approach
- Preventative approaches
- Collaborative, partnership approaches
"Through a jointly funded Travelling Fellowship programme, which supported motivated and talented individuals from across the UK, we wanted to enable global learning that could contribute to safe, strong and empowered communities, fit for the 21st century" - Julia Weston, Chief Executive of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.
"The challenges facing our communities today are myriad, complex and constantly in the headlines. The solutions we all seek cannot lie with an individual, or even solely with government or charitable organisations; they require collaboration and a collective approach. We hope that this body of work, undertaken by people working across all sectors and at all levels, will contribute to the debate and help provide some solutions" - David Sanderson, Chief Executive of The Rank Foundation.