Community Building before and since Covid-19
We were all set to launch our Community Building Guide in March of 2020 but Covid-19 put that on hold. We share this guide with you now, with one caveat: in the wake of the pandemic we will all need to rethink some of the tools in our Community Building toolkit, certainly in the short-term.
When Covid-19 hit, the world changed. What followed was an urgency to connect and come together in many of our communities in Gloucestershire. Volunteering and neighbourliness hit an all-time high as many of us stepped in to help.
Yet despite this ‘epidemic of kindness’, there have also been huge challenges. At Barnwood Trust the negative impact Covid-19 has had on many disabled people and people with mental health challenges, has become all too clear in the Trust’s report findings ‘Our Changing World: A Report into Disability and Mental Health in Gloucestershire during the Pandemic’.
This is also seen in the national picture where we have seen the effects of lockdown having a disproportionate impact on disabled people and people with mental health challenges. This is often compounded too by, for example, the additional impacts on women and on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Loneliness has also increased significantly.
All this makes Community Building more relevant now than ever. Informal community relationships have become more visible than at any time previously; more of us can see the importance of building welcoming, inclusive communities. So, how can we build on this and ensure that going forward everyone can be a part of their community – and that ‘everyone’ includes disabled people and people with mental health challenges?
Barnwood Trust no longer has a team of Community Builders, although we are still very much interested in a place-based approach. If you would like to know more please contact our Strategic Development Manager team on firstname.lastname@example.org