How to get involved in the community building programme

How can your organisation get involved?

We’re inviting communities to express their interest in working with a Community Builder in their area.  We are keen that residents and community organisations come together to set up a local support group in an area to encourage the Community Builder’s work.

We are also inviting applications from  prospective local organisations who are able to act as the employer of the Community Builder team and co-ordinate the delivery of the programme, we’re calling this the host organisation. We do not expect community groups/ organisations to necessarily have the wherewithal or desire to take on new employees.

What will Local Support Groups do?

Communities are invited to set up a Local Support Group to work with a Community Builder in their area.

The role of the Local Support Group is to do just what it says!

To provide a group of people, connected to local community groups who can offer support for the work of the Community Builder in their area.

  1. Bring together a small group of representatives from local community organisations – including communities of interest who will commit to meet regularly over the period that the Community Builder is deployed (no less than quarterly);
  2. To identify a geographical area that the community builder should prioritise their work within – this may include a specific community facility that might act as a hub/focus for activity; the area should be geographically defined covering approx. 2- 3,000 households.
  3. To describe and provide feedback to the community builder the challenges and opportunities that lie within the area.
  4. To act as a network linking the Community builder to local organisations and contacts who can help them in their work
  5. To develop and maintain a list of community groups and activity that the Community Builder can use to encourage increased community participation in the area.
  6. To actively promote the work of the Community Builder in the local area e.g. through newsletters, talks and online etc.
  7. While noting that the local support group is not the employer, to provide constructive feedback and ideas to the Community Builder. To keep the community builder updated with relevant local and city wide issues and initiatives.
  8. To undertake the raising of local funds to support a bursary fund for local expenses incurred by the Community builder and local support group. This is expected to be about £500 – £1000 a year to cover costs such as meeting room hire and consumables and enable the Community Builder to, for example, meet people in the local café or cover their bus fares etc. Funds might be raised, for example, by a coffee morning – bringing the community together, raise money and help introduce the Community Builder to the community! Local Support Groups should not approach local ward councillors for ward grants for this activity.
  9. To contribute to city-wide partnership activity about the Community Builders programme including impact assessment, meeting and promotion.

Where there isn’t a local support group in place, because the Community Builder has been allocated to the area, they will work to establish one.

What might a Community Builder do for our area?

If groups in your area want to set up a local support group  what should you  think about:

  • What period of time would be most useful? a number months to work with a specific focus or a number of years may be necessary to make a difference. You might also think about when over the next 5 years would be most helpful. For example, if a housing estate is to be built in year 4 then starting work then to welcome new residents and link to an existing community won’t be needed until closer to the time.
  • What area should the work focus on? We are asking communities to identify particular challenges and opportunities for that area and the Community Builder will aim to work inclusively with residents and other key agencies in the area. The work in the area may focus around a particular community facility for example to increase community engagement with a local park or by a group of people e.g. young people or isolated residents or to welcome new residents connect with an existing community as new housing is built.
  • Who should you be working with? Who else do you expect to develop local relationships with – other local community organisations and agencies and in particular with any GP surgery where a community connector is operating.
  • How does your area meet the Community Strategy Criteria? The allocation of Community Builders will be prioritised on the following basis:
  1. New communities and communities preparing for significant housing development in or near their area.
  2. Areas experiencing relative high levels of social exclusion or inequality and poverty.
  3. We also plan to deploy Community Builders in areas without the local capacity to set up a local support group if the area strongly meets the above criteria.
  4. We are in discussion with Wellbeing Exeter on the allocation of Community Builders to complement the 6 GP surgeries that will host community connectors. (Currently – Mount Pleasant Health Centre,  Wonford Green Health Centre,  Pinhoe Surgery, Topsham Surgery,  St Thomas Health Centre,  Fox Hayes Surgery,  Ide Lane Surgery Alphignton) Areas that have already have a Community Builder as part of Wellbeing Exeter’s work will not be a priority for funding under this programme. (Wellbeing Exeter funding is only confirmed at the moment until September 2017, so this may be reviewed at a later date.)

The Expressions of interest will help us put together the plan. We expect to receive more requests for Community Builders than we can afford to fund within the current budget. So this doesn’t mean other areas won’t be able to secure a Community Builder but it may mean that we can only fund part time or shorter term work so other areas that meet the criteria more closely might benefit.  It may also mean that a Community Builder may not be allocated for the whole 5 year period, so for example they can be deployed to an area with new housing development expected in year 4.

What’s involved in acting as a host?

Exeter Community forum is inviting applications from  prospective local organisations who are able to act as the employer of the Community Builder team and co-ordinate the delivery of the programme, we’re calling the host organisation.

This organisation should have an expertise and track record of community development.

We will appoint one local organisation to undertake this role. We do not expect community organisations to necessarily have the wherewithal or desire to take on new employees. The host will have to work closely with the local support groups.

b)      Employment Take full legal responsibility to act as employer, having appropriate contracts and staff employment polices insurances etc in place
c)      Recruitment of Community Builder(s) To oversee and administer recruitment and selection of all the Community builders for the programme
d)      Supervision and staff development To provide regular supervision providing support and assessment of performance,

To provide ongoing support and guidance including setting and review performance indicators

To set and review performance indicators for the team and individuals.

e)      Community Builders’ induction and training. To provide:

a)      a full induction programme for all Community Builders, including working with local support groups/single hosts to tailor this to local needs.

b)      Provide training on Community Building approach (this training may be provided by third parties), and

c)      develop and deliver a programme of ongoing training for existing and any future  Community Builders.

d)      To gather information for the future development of the programme from appraisals and exit interviews.

e)      To provide a Community Builder training programme in year 3 for 12 new Community Builders (paid or volunteers)

f)       Community Builders peer learning network a)      bringing together Community Builders, Community Connectors and other Community workers (as appropriate) in Exeter on a monthly basis.

b)      To plan, administer and facilitate a meaningful and useful network to enable peer learning and sharing

c)      Ensure the participation of the Community Builders team.

d)      To invite community connectors and community development workers to participate as appropriate.

g)      Liaison with local support groups To ensure each Community Builder works closely with the local support group in the community they are attached to.

To provide support and guidance to all local support groups

h)     Impact To record data and stories about the impact of the work of the Community Builder in each community

To contribute to the development and implementation of the impact assessment process with Exeter Community Forum, Exeter University and Wellbeing Exeter

To undertake monitoring and recording in line with the agreed process

To report to ECF on 6 monthly basis

To produce an annual impact report for the whole Community builders programme funded by ECF.

To participate in a review of the programme in year 3.

i)       Information, marketing and publicity a)      Promotion of each Community Builder in the local area to which they are assigned.

b)      To work with ECF and local support groups to develop and deliver an information and marketing campaign (including online) about the role and impact of Community builders across the city

c)      To gather information locally to contribute to an open source database of local community activity across Exeter.

j)       Partnership working To work closely with any community organisations hosting a community builder to enable the smooth delivery of the programme.

If not working from home, to work with local community organisations to secure and pay for a local base from which the community builder can operate from.

To coordinate an annual event bringing together community builders local support groups and partners to review success and identify future priories.

To lead work with ECC, ECF and partners to ensure co-ordination with Community Connectors activity and to identify future resources as required to fund Community Builder activity.

A generic Community Builders job description (and scale) is to be used; any variations must be agreed with ECF in advance. The job description is here: Community Builder Q&A meeting notes ECF Community Builder role description and person specification 22017

ECF are collaborating with Wellbeing Exeter to deliver a programme of Community Builders to support communities across the city, it is therefore important that we look to share resources to deliver these roles wherever possible.  The appointed Host organisation/s will need to demonstrate in their application that they will liaise with existing partner organisations (primarily Exeter Community Initiatives and Exeter CVS) to ensure a seamless and straightforward presentation and delivery of the programme to communities and the public.