Exeter Community Forum held a meeting for Community Organisations – a Q&A on Community builders. Here’s what was was discussed:
Exeter Community Forum
Community Builders Q & A Meeting 23/02/17 @ Newcourt Community Centre
Present: As signed in
Diana introduced the session setting the role of community builders in the context of the Exeter Community Strategy. Diana explained the existing community builders working within the Wellbeing Exeter programme.
The roles of host organisations and local supporter groups were also outlined. Diana emphasised the aim of working in a joined up way with similar initiatives such as Wellbeing Exeter. The stated aim is to complete a 5 year programme of community builder activity to build communities in identified areas across the city. The geographical boundaries of areas to be defined by the communities concerned.
The format of the meeting then followed a review of questions submitted in advance of the meeting and then responses to questions raised in the ensuing discussion.
Q1. How was the published Job Description derived? The ECF Community Builder job description is based on that already published by Exeter Community Initiatives (ECI) to recruit community builders for the Wellbeing Exeter programme.
Q2. What was the experience of Wonford with an existing community builder? – Carol explained that a lot of ‘knocking on doors’ had been necessary to make progress.
Q3. Who will employ the community builders? – One organisation will be selected to act as a host for all the community builders.
Q4. Will the community have an input to the job description? – No, but local support groups will engage with nominated community builder to develop specific work plans. Community builders will very much have a focus on engaging with their community and developing the community’s priorities, listening first and foremost.
Q5. Can Digby apply jointly for a community builder in parallel with Apple lane residents? – Absolutely, it’s about bringing new and existing communities together .
Q6. Does the grant purely fund the salary of the community builder, or does it include start up funding to cover administrative costs etc.? – The money will go to the host organisation and from this overheads and salaries will need to be covered. Local support groups will be encouraged to fundraise to establish a local fund to support the activities of the Community Builder.
Q7. Will the community builder be based in an office or at home? – There is no definitive answer, but the benefit of an office meeting point for all/some community builders as a way of encouraging the exchange of information was highlighted.
Q8. Who will employ the Team Leader? – The host organisation, all the ECF funded community builders will necessarily be employed by the same host organisation.
Q9. How will the ECF community builders integrate with the Wellbeing Exeter community builders? – The aim is that the host organisation will develop coordinated approaches and ensure common elements of operating. ECF will publish a list of existing community connectors and builders to build relationships and make local support groups aware of possible overlaps.
Q10. What will the success criteria be to judge the effectiveness of community builders? – Work is ongoing to measure impact effectively. Exeter University has been approached to help develop this framework.
Q11. How precise do applications need to be about the area of interest? – This is flexible and up to groups to partner as appropriate and bid for community builder time jointly if that is appropriate.