Blog-post: Working in the community

Communities / Tue 11th Mar 2014 at 10:39am

Blog-post: By Nishall Garala

OVER the years we’ve seen local people and community groups come up with some of the most innovative solutions to local challenges. But we’ve also seen that sometimes they need a little help unlocking their potential. Constituting a community group, finding funding and recruiting volunteers are some of the common challenges when trying to get locally-driven ideas off the ground.

Whilst working with local communities is hugely rewarding, it is important to manage expectations about what you can do together. Working with local communities can improve the quality of people’s lives, it is important that residents are fully involved in the development and the running of the places where they live and work. This creates a sense of ownership and belonging whether it is a new development or a regenerated area.

Community service also allows those participating to reflect on the difference they are making in society. Some participants of a community service project may find themselves gaining a greater understanding of their roles in the community, as well as the impact of their contributions towards those in need of service. Because community service outlets vary, those who serve are exposed to many different kinds of people, environments, and situations.

With each new community service project, some participants may gain insightful experience in a variety of areas. Participants may also internalise the information that they found personally insightful for future use. While simply performing community service is valuable to the recipients, those serving often find it beneficial to pause and reflect on how they are changing society for the better. Schools often take students on community service projects in order for them to gain a greater understanding of how their individual actions affect the well being of the public. Participants may find that the giving of themselves to the public good may result in a more solidified view of self and purpose.

Those involved in community service learning may also find that after serving the community for an extended period of time, they have an advantage in real-world experience. Eventually, the skills and knowledge obtained while working with the community may be applied in future areas of work. Community service may also increase a participant’s social connectivity. Because most community service opportunities allow others to interact and work with other individuals, this service may help volunteers network and connect with others towards a common goal.

So why don’t you take a few hour of spare time to get involved in your local community to make a positive difference, you could join your local Residents’s Association, a Neighbourhood Action Panel, or work with other local community accusations and organisations.

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