What is Community Development ?
The United Nations defines community development as
'a process where community members come together to take collective action and generate solutions to common problems'
with the aim of building stronger and more resilient local communities.
Community development seeks to empower individuals and groups of people with the skills and opportunities they need to effect change within their communities.
These skills are often created through the formation of social groups working for a common agenda.
How we do it
The Workcentre is the only Golden Bay community based not-for-profit to employ a dedicated community development facilitator - Alli Gardener
Over the past two decades, Alli has been charged by the Trust to explore, coordinate and implement a range of projects and community based initiatives.
Working collectively with communities, she supports actions and activities that generate community-led solutions to shared problems and issues.
The primary consideration always, when delivering a service under contract to, and funded by, a Government Agency or non-Government Agency partner, is that the programme delivery and underpinning methodology is in line with the Workcentre’s vision.
In early 2000 Alli Gardener was the recipient of a Winston Churchill Fellowship.
Alli travelled to the west coast of Scotland to study the impact of loss of revenue on small rural isolated communities that have developed a mono-economy based almost solely on tourism.
This was during the BSE epidemic and people were simply not visiting these communities.
This experience was key to the Workcentre developing a commitment to achieving community resilience through diversity, and the Workcentre's Community Development strategy was born.
How we work in our community
The Golden Bay Workcentre Trust uses four different modalities in our community development practice.
The Workcentre practices an 'open door' policy to other people’s projects.
We can provide support and guidance with matters of governance and development.
In House Initiatives
The Workcentre is especially skillful at incubating community projects in house.
We can provide 360º support and guidance enabling the project/group to grow and strengthen before becoming established as an autonomous entity in their own right.
The Workcentre develops partnerships with other organisations to collaborate on community development projects.
The Workcentre can 'umbrella' other organisations' funding applications, grant management and accountability.
This is especially helpful for small community groups who are not formally incorporated seeking support for a one-off project and needing a registered Charitable Trust to receive and administer funds on their behalf.
Why Community Development at the Workcentre?
A number of factors contribute to the success of community development at the Golden Bay Workcentre Trust.
These factors include being:
a stable long-lived organisation with a reputation for strong governance and a credible contribution to the community of Golden Bay since our inception in 1979.
located in our own premises in the centre of Tākaka township and acting as a landlord for a number of community centric groups and organisations.
a social and community hub enjoyed by many hundreds of visitors, clients and service users throughout the year.
able to make strategic decisions and plan ahead for a positive future while having the stability to act spontaneously and quickly when required.
a small and smart organisation with its heart sitting squarely in the social fabric of the community it serves
There is a long history of community projects, research, programmes and organisations that were begun or have been assisted by the Workcentre. Read more about some of these and how they have grown on the Projects page.
have an idea for a community based project or initiative
need help with a funding application for your group or organisation
need support or guidance with governance and development
make a time to come and see our Community Development Facilitator to see how we may be able to support you.