A community can be a community of place, interest or identity. An active community is one that can:
- take the lead
- influence decisions
- take action
- bring about change.
Supporting people to work with and lead their own community enables many positive results. Local ways of doing things and developing local solutions better addresses communities’ diverse needs. Building strong relationships and a shared sense of purpose:
- brings diverse communities together
- builds a sense of belonging
- creates resilience.
This means communities and individuals are able to adapt as circumstances change.
Many people expect to have a more active role in decision-making when decisions affect their wellbeing, their home, community or area of interest.
This involvement in decision-making is an integral part of creating strong, sustainable and cohesive communities. Volunteers, and the organisations that support them, also play a vital role in enabling participation in local action and decision-making.
Supporting local leadership is a key way to support communities in decision-making. Local leadership requires a more locally-centric approach, increasing the range and quality of relationships and developing a better understanding of local aspirations and needs.