Torbay’s Community Builders encourage people of all ages to get involved in their neighbourhood. With extensive local knowledge, your Community Builder can connect you with like-minded people, groups or organisations in your community.
We have seen lives transformed when people of all ages work alongside their Community Builder to bring positive changes to the place where they live. We have seen so many new friendships and activities happening in the community: from coffee mornings to social dog walking, IT support groups to crafting workshops, memory cafes to singles nights, and most importantly, neighbours helping each other out on a day-to-day basis.
Community Building isn’t so much about looking for problems to solve as finding opportunities to develop, not coming up with barriers to be overcome but ways to move forward. It’s not about ‘directing’ what goes on locally, not imposing from without but encouraging development from within.
When asked, ‘What do you mean when you talk about “assets”?’ Jim Diers, a leading academic and community development practioner, said that “assets” were the usable places and, of course, the people in every community.
Community Builders help people look at what they can offer and at what’s out there in their neighbourhood – like parks and other usable spaces – to discover what communities might benefit from, and to think creatively about how to achieve what’s wanted.
To sum up, Community Building is citizen-led rather than something imposed from above; it’s about people and about relationships between them; it’s not about looking at what’s ‘wrong’ in a community but looking at what’s ‘strong’; its focus is on place, on neighbourhood and location; and finally, while not in any narrow sense political, it’s about social justice – about being human.