Throughout the lockdown we have sought to work in a creative and agile way , adapting our efforts as best we can so nobody is left behind. We are increasingly being asked to share our thoughts and practice with a wide range of think tanks and publications.
Speed boats not steamships: What is the response to the pandemic telling us about community development and the state of local government
An article Kieran wrote early on in the pandemic is getting a lot of attention in it Kieran suggests, there is a broad school of thought that our current welfare model was built for a very different time. Its top down nature assumes that things are basically okay and only on occasion do you need to intervene to fix problems. It is not set up to deal with constant fast paced change. It has not embraced the huge potential of the internet to connect and mobilise people for common good. He then shows how at local level the “fast speedboats” of existing and often new voluntary groups have responded to the pandemic. He sees this as being something to be optimistic about and something we can build on.
The events of the last few weeks were unthinkable until they happened. Yet, local people and small community groups have stepped up and responded in a way that local authorities and larger voluntary groups could not. These initiatives have connected and motivated people, delivered essential aid to the vulnerable and isolated and reminded us all that to be human is to belong.
We are currently working with De Montfort University to organise a series of #BuildBackBetter webinars starting in the autumn, where we hope to explore in more detail how learning from the response to Covid-19 can enable community, business and local councils to work together better so nobody is left behind.