How do we work?
The Communities Team works within the community priorities of the Council and for the next 4 years will be working to develop asset-based approach to their work.
An Asset-Based approach is about working with groups and individuals in the community. Many of our events and activities are already planned with the participants. For example, the Friary Hangout Youth Club activity budget is planned by the young people who attend.
One of our central community priorities is “Bringing People together”, this may be to learn, exercise, have fun or eat together. But these events and activities are more than that. They are ‘bumping points’. Places for us to listen to the ideas, passions and solutions that come from the community and for these to be shared across social networks. We always aim to make connections between people’s ideas and the resources that we and other groups and organisations have in the city.
Our core priority is “Improving the Wellbeing” of people in the city and we believe that it is those people who know what wellbeing means to them. Happy and resilient communities have ownership over what happens in their community spaces
The Friary Hangout
The Friary Hangout is a youth project on the Friary Estate. Initially funded by Wiltshire Community Foundation the Communities Team worked with Communities First Wiltshire to go out onto the Estate and meet young people though a range of walks and events. Through this process 19 young people came forward to help us form a youth offer. 10 of these young people undertook training as young leaders with Communities First and this team, plus new members who have joined the group since then, have shaped the Friary Hangout. It was named by the young people themselves to define their regular Tuesday night group as a place to simply be, where they can “Hangout with friends where we are safe”. Members of the group help the Communities Team to plan how they spend their budget. The group is supported by the Friary Community Development Officer, Activities Leader as well as volunteers from the estate. For the rest of this year the group is planning a range of activities including a Christmas event and visits from Circus Wessex. In September 2022 once of our young leaders was nominated for a Communities First Award for her contribution to this work.
“The young people we work with at the Hangout know what they want and need and it has been a pleasure to support them to grow their skills and confidence as they take the lead on how the group is run, including setting their own group code of conduct. Our members are our biggest asset and without their input this youth group would be unsustainable.” – Sarah Gregson – Communities Manager