In the face of Covid-19 people and communities stepped up with new ideas and approaches to get things done. A new practical action programme has now been launched to hear from diverse groups of people, organisations and partnerships with ideas on how community led action can help build a fairer, greener, healthier future.
PPR worked with the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA) and national partners across the voluntary sector to deliver this transformation programme focussed on Covid recovery. Learning from it was fed back to Welsh Government to inform future strategy and to support policy-makers to hard-wire community and voluntary action into local government.
We invited three teams made up of community groups and cross-sector partnerships that have diverse, inclusive ideas, activities or approaches to test. They innovated at pace, and worked across boundaries to generate ilearning on the following question: how can the voluntary, third sector and statutory services, working with communities, build a fairer, greener, healthier future?
Credu Connecting Carers, based in Powys,sought to build local capacity in social care, understand what matters to carers and those they care for, and support co-production of the social care economy in Ystradgynlais, Llandrindod and Welshpool.
Cwmbwrla Community Events/Circus Eruption, based in Swansea, worked to build on the ways in which they’ve facilitated community action during the pandemic, which has exposed new needs and opportunities, connections and ideas.
Llanrhian Connected Community aimed to help community leaders, volunteers, and residents to see the power of positive connection, realise their value to the whole community, and connect all efforts to create a bigger, more connected and supported community picture.
Based on established PPR methodology, we used prototyping methods to support a series of community-based, cross-sector collaborative experiments, and supported teams to rapidly test their ideas and then feed into longer-term plans for sustainability.
The programme built on the rise in, and increased recognition of, community engagement during the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as work already carried out with the WCVA and wider stakeholders defining the current challenges and opportunities. Teams will be looking at how local relationships help good things happen, or don’t.
The overarching aim of this programme was to generate insights, impact and learning which can help policy makers understand how national strategy can support communities to thrive. Ultimately this will seek to empower and enable communities, and explore what is needed to put the voluntary and community sector at the heart of local places.