Case Study: Research, Evaluation & Design
Arun Community Engagement Project
Arun Community Engagement Project was launched in April 2022 at Bersted Green Hub and Chilgrove House. The project provides dedicated resources to actively engage with local communities in these deprived areas and, in essence, it is a community development locality approach.
The broad aims of the project were to:
- Build trusted relationships with these communities in order to understand their issues and concerns
- Mobilise partnership responses to address identified community issues working on the principles of a ‘hand up not a hand out’
- Encourage and support safer, healthier and resilient communities through initiating and creating opportunities for social change in the identified areas
- Help and support these local communities to recover and reinvigorate from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and associated health inequalities (including wider social determinants of poor health i.e. social, cultural and economic)
- Provide a mechanism to encourage these communities and individuals within them to tackle health inequalities by taking up opportunities that support healthier lifestyles
- Generate new ideas and new ways of working with partners and the local community
Governance for the project spans two local partnerships: Safer Arun Partnership and Arun Local Community Network. Updates will be provided to Arun District Council’s Housing & Wellbeing Committee.
The main aim of our work with Arun District Council was to support the team to understand the key outcomes of their work and provide recommendations on measurements to monitor and track progress to provide an evidence basis for stakeholders.
The project consists of staff working within the communities. The impact of this kind of work is often intangible. Often activities do not take place over a long period of time.
We were determined to answer the questions:
- How do they know if the support they are offering is working for the community?
- How can they make a case for future support?
- Scoping workshop with Arun District Council and community partners
- Consultation in Bersted Green Hub and Chilgrove House, engaging with the communities and community workers
- Desk-based research into data and issues affecting the areas such as health, crime, community safety etc.
- Increased understanding of the impact of the project on communities ✓
- Proposed methods for monitoring progress against a set of benchmarks ✓
- Began building an evidence base for stakeholders ✓
- Report with recommendations for future development ✓
- Outline of an evaluation framework, which they can build on with input from their partners ✓