A time of crisis is when our communities matter the most.
The desire to contribute, build connections and be there for each other is the reason that Creating Communities exists.
Personal agency in local approaches is also important. People experience increased levels of wellbeing when they can contribute to what happens in their communities.
Our work in communities facilitates people and local stakeholders across the State and beyond to have a role in shaping the decisions that affect them. We facilitate co-design processes to bring people together with agencies and policy makers so that their vision and strategies for the future can be brought into reality.
The coronavirus pandemic presents a challenge for us to find new ways in which we can ensure people continue to have agency in their local communities. This is something Creating Communities has committed to through our Stronger Together COVID-19 approach.
What does this mean?
Over the past few weeks we have instigated a pivot towards virtual communities on all our projects. We have approached our clients and community stakeholders with a plan to support them in their local community responses.
The resounding cry from stakeholders has been “we must do this,” “we must lead at this time and find positive ways in which we can all come together in safe ways, building stronger communities through the crisis”.
In all the areas we work we are preparing Stronger Together COVID – 19 Action Plans to promote safety and continue business as usual in community life through new forms of information exchange, engagement and virtual community event delivery.
Neighbour cards, community broadsheets and branded Zoom platforms are just some of the ways we’re helping our clients and their communities remain connected.
“ Now is the time for us to demonstrate that we are true community partners- it’s in times like these that we can partner and create enduring social value that counts. ”
As we continue our response we will be working with communities to co-design their local plans, building capacity to respond through moderated conversations, promoting collaboration and collective action. In this manner we hope to build important local activities to support good community outcomes and personal wellbeing.
As one of our clients told us this week “Now is the time for us to demonstrate that we are true community partners—it’s in times like these that we can partner and create enduring social value that counts.”
In times of crisis we often see amazing innovation and that’s already been the case in communities across the world. One of the things we will be doing is spreading the word to build a movement of positive change during COVID-19.
This crisis brings home to us the critical need for us all to work together. To us, connections are everything. There are undoubtedly risks to us all from this health pandemic, these are risks we need to attend to first, but this risk will be magnified if we lack positive connections, if we are not part of a community that looks out for and cares about each other.
That’s a risk we are not prepared to take.