Responding to the localism agenda: community-led services
Welcome to the Community-led Services section on the Excellence Gateway. This area is aimed primarily at people working in the further education (FE) and skills sector who want to look at new ways of working with the communities they serve, but may be of interest to people from other sectors.
What are community-led services?
Nobody knows better how services should be designed than the people and communities those services aim to serve. Community-led services encourage FE and skills providers to think beyond being a 'provider of training' and to consider their position within the community as an employer, asset holder and partner organisation, and to find ways which encourage vibrant and engaged communities to have a real say in how resources are used and how things are done. Because of this, it also has strong links to equality and diversity issues. More recently, these ideas have been embraced by the coalition government and underpin the theme of the Big Society.
Public sector bodies, including those in the learning and skills sector, are being encouraged to work differently and actively involve people in sharing and taking responsibility for tackling the issues that affect their lives. The drive to do ‘more for less’ suggests that organisations will have to be adept at identifying key priorities and work cross sectorally to find solutions.
Practical ideas on working with communities through the case studies and resources located within the Community Development Fund and Community Development Pilots areas. The Strategic Framework for Effective Community Development is a working document to encourage providers to think about how they might approach community development. And for those who would like to achieve a qualification in this field, there is the Leading in the Community ILM Level 5 Award programme.