Aim of Community Development in Health and Social Care
To build strong, resilient communities where everyone has good health and wellbeing, care about each other and have pride in where they live. No one organisation can meet this challenge on its own, so we need to work in partnership with families and communities, voluntary and other statutory organisations.
The SHSCT has seven Community Development Workers who work across each of the Promoting Wellbeing division locality teams:
- Craigavon & Banbridge; Armagh & Dungannon and Newry & Mourne.
- The Community Development Workers have a dual role:
- Supporting the local community to identify health needs and work together to sustain community initiatives to help address these collectively
- Supporting staff across all areas of health to identify collaborative working with local communities and to maximise the opportunities to engage
What is Community Development?
Community development is a long-term value based process which aims to redress imbalances in power and bring about change founded on social justice, equality and inclusion. The process enables people to organise and work together to:
- Identify what they need and want
- Recognise what they can do well and what is already positive
- Assess who and what they need to help
- Build relationships with local service providers
- Work in partnership to address the issues and challenges
Why is Community Development Important?
Community development is a cross cutting theme underpinning key regional health strategies, including :
- Transforming Your Care
- Making Life Better
- Health and Wellbeing: 2026 – Delivering Together
- Community Planning for each of the Councils across the Trust area
Benefits of a community development approach to improving health and wellbeing include:
- Improved community and individual capacity, confidence, self-esteem and resilience
- Better community infrastructure to support innovative and sustainable approaches to health and social wellbeing
- More people involved in shared decision to achieve positive changes in the delivery of health and social care.
How can we support you?
- Support for partnership, inter-agency and multi-agency work including co-production
- Provide capacity building support to establish and/or sustain self help groups, condition specific support groups or local support service
- Capacity building and support for good governance – including training
- Assistance with action planning
- Funding information, advice and practical assistance with applications
- Sign posting to other community, voluntary and statutory agencies’
Our work seeks to address inequality and disadvantage, so we prioritise support to groups working with some key population groups including:
- Older people
- Children, young people and families
- Mental health
- BAME including Irish Travellers
- People from disadvantaged areas
- People on low income
- Groups with a focus on health and wellbeing across all programmes of care
If you would like to get in touch with us to discuss any of the above or would like further information, please contact us.