Launch of Building Community Capacity and Resilience Report

Evaluation Findings from a Two Year Practice and Research Collaboration

In 2016, a collaboration was developed between four organisations in Gloucestershire to promote asset- and strengths-based approaches. Barnwood Trust, along with Gloucestershire Constabulary, Gloucester City Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, formed a partnership with the aim of working together to empower citizens to make Gloucestershire a great place to live.

As part of this project, researchers from Barnwood Trust and Gloucestershire Constabulary also collaborated to capture the impact, reach and process of the initiatives for both professionals and local residents. This included documenting the work of Community Builders in two Gloucester sites, as well as capturing how learning from strengths-based training was applied by professionals in practice.

In sharing the findings, the report focuses on the following two key areas:

Ways of Working

Professionals who participated in the research shared their views on and experiences of working in asset- and strengths-based ways. Findings included:

  • A range of professional and personal impacts of adopting asset- and strengths-based approaches to practice, including better knowledge about communities and increased job satisfaction.
  • The importance of organisational culture and sufficient time to meaningfully engage with the community.
  • That where the intervention was in the form of workshops rather than secondment, changing practices appeared to be less sustained over time.

Impact for Residents and Community

Gloucestershire residents took part in the research via the Local Policing Survey, as well as interviews with 10 individuals involved in their local community. Findings included:

  • Statistically significant evidence for the value of both professional and personal relationships, and their positive impact on perceptions of community cohesion, wellbeing, life satisfaction and, more broadly, perceptions of the police and fear of crime.
  • All 10 residents who were interviewed identified positive impacts for themselves and/or others in the community, including the value of involvement on feeling able to cope (for example, with a health condition).
  • The role that community involvement, including events and groups, played in contributing to feelings of cohesion in an area.

We hope that this report will be of interest to a range of different audiences in Gloucestershire and beyond, including:

  • Professionals and residents interested in adopting ABCD (Asset-Based Community Development) practices;
  • Strategic leaders and managers who are interested in commissioning or developing similar cross-sector partnerships; and
  • Evaluators and researchers exploring methodologies for capturing the impact of asset- and strengths-based approaches.

The full report and executive summary are available to download below, as well as a case study booklet about Echoes #2 youth group (established following the collaboration) and examples of People Maps (a creative research method utilised during data collection to document Community Builders’ connections).

Building Community Capacity and Resilience: Evaluation Findings from a Two-Year Practice and Research Collaboration in Gloucestershire (BCCR Report)

BCCR Report Executive Summary

Echoes #2 Booklet

People Maps: Community Building Site 1

People Maps: Community Building Site 2

If you’d like more information or are carrying out similar research, we’d love you to hear from you. Please contact Roz Warden (Head of Research) via email or phone 01242 539935