Strengthening Communities Mission Network
Essex Partners Board (EPB) has developed a system approach to progressing and embedding the Strengthening Communities through participation ambition of the Future of Essex Vision.
A decision was taken in 2020 that an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to working with communities would be the most effective way to progress the ambition based on successful ABCD models in Essex and Nationally. This approach makes use of existing local assets as the building blocks for working with local people and drawing on community strengths to enable sustainable community development.
To drive the ambition, a Communities Mission Network has been created to bring together a cross section of system leaders from public sector, voluntary sector, NHS and community backgrounds. The aim, to utilise the collective power of partnership to add value to, and strengthen existing work being undertaken across the County.
Chaired, supported and sponsored by Bishop Roger Morris the group seeks to remove barriers to opportunities, and apply its combined expertise to create system-opportunities.
The Network established a Grand Challenge, the overarching and long term goal, which will be delivered through work on two community issues that have been identified by system partners as a priority which the network will deliver on over coming months.
The Grand Challenge
Essex has strong, resilient communities of active citizens who are willing and able to take responsibility for themselves, each other and the places they live.
1) To improve and develop the cooperation and collaboration between statutory agencies and the voluntary sector
2) To build community resilience, assets and networks to further strengthen the response to Domestic Abuse in Essex
Over coming months, the Communities Network will prioritise a series of projects that best utilise the collaborative resources and expertise of the group to deliver system change and create opportunities in the communities' space.
It is important that the work led by Essex Partners Board, through the Communities Mission Network Team, adds value to what is already happening across the County and beyond. Rather than duplicating efforts or slowing existing progress, the work seeks to identify a clear space where system leadership can review, unblock or speed up progress.
To inform the focus of the Communities Network, a series of system interviews took place with a broad range of stakeholders, that set out the context for the work and frame the ongoing conversation. Based on those conversations a series of five pillars have been developed that set out the key roles of individual organisations and the Communities Network, as seen below: