Session 6.1

Session Title: What is Community?

HWB Organiser(s)

Social Studies

Experiences and Outcomes

Soc 4 – 16c

I can analyse the factors contributing to the development of a multi-cultural society and can express an informed view on issues associated with this. 

Learning Intentions

  • I can define different communities
  • I canhow an understanding of the factors associated with communities


Write the word COMMUNITY on flip chart   Ask young people to generate a list of the different kinds of communities they belong to.   Write this up on flip chart around the word Community.    

Begin by telling young people that communities often develop because they are connected by certain common elements: geography, age, relationships, religion, gender, or interests such as sports teams or hobbies.   Ask the young people to think about communities they are a part of, for example where they live. Point out that most people can belong to one community or more communities although some communities might feel more special to a person than others at different times in his or her life.   Begin this discussion with some examples.

Hand out 3 Post-it® notes to each young person.   Ask young people to write on each card the name of one of the communities to which they belong.    After young people have completed the task, ask them to pick one of the communities and make some notes on the card about the ways in which they feel connected to this community.   If the young people are struggling with this idea, suggest that they can write examples of ways in which this community has supported other members of the community who are in need i.e.  Going to the shop for elderly neighbours, checking neighbour ok if they haven’t seen them for a while. 

  After the students have had a few minutes to complete this list, generate a group list (or have students post their Post-it® notes) on a new piece of chart paper entitled SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITIES.

Allow a few minutes for students to review the new list and discuss the following questions with the class:

  • What are some of the similarities in the ways in which communities support each other?
  • What are some of the differences?
  • Is there any community listed here that you would like to know more about?
  • What do you as an individual contribute to your community?
  • What makes for a "good" community?
  • Is our group a community?  Why or why not?

Ask the young people to consider how communities develop and continue to function or do they just happen?  Make it more specific by asking them to think about one of the communities they identified /are involved in and ask “who has the power? , who runs this show?”

Discuss the word capital, in economic terms, defined as available resources to conduct a business, or an organisation.  Ask the learners to share what might be meant by the term “social or community capital.  

Social Capital (social capital):  Features of social life-norms, and trust that enable participants to act together more effectively to pursue shared objectives - Robert Putnam 

Ask young people to identify some of the”human resources/capital” that made/are making their identified communities function; “Who is helping to run this show?” 

Place a name or names of the individuals identified as helping to run the show next to the communities identified by the students.  Ask the young people: Are all of the people “running the show” paid or are some volunteers?

Ask young people to share why, if they were the person or persons “running the show” they might choose to be involved?  Discuss possible motivations and list these on the flip chart next to the communities and human resources/capital under the heading motivation.  Perhaps they were told they had to do it.  Maybe they were shamed into doing it.  Perhaps it just feels good or it is just the right thing to do, a means of giving something back to the community, in return for what the community has “given” them. 

Ask young people to reflect and share examples they know of people getting involved in their own community (ies).=


1. Have student’s interview parents or other adults in the community asking them how they define community and answering the question of what is important to them about their own community.

2. Have students write an essay on the question: "What does my community need from me?

Session 6.2

Session Title: What is Community Development

HWB Organiser(s)

Social Studies

Experiences and Outcomes

Soc 4 – 16c

I can analyse the factors contributing to the development of a multi-cultural society and can express an informed view on issues associated with this. 

Learning Intentions

  •  I can discuss and show an understanding of what the key themes’ of community development are.



Action at structural and policy level is important, but at community level, community development work is another way of involving people in these issues and of working towards change.  We will be looking at what is involved in a community development approach to health issues, why this is different from other approaches.

ZOLA – slides

Give out Handout What is Community Development and read through the definitions. Highlight key elements or common themes running through these definitions. 

Definitions of Community development are as many and varied as the views about health.  However, there are some common features that underpin and characterize community development approaches.    Give out handout Key themes in Community development and discuss. 

Community Development is/is not quiz.   Read out the following statement and ask young people to vote if they think the statement is true or false.  The young people can simply raise their hand or if you have the space get them move to one corner of the room for true and one for false (you may have to have a not sure corner too)

Community Development is about….

  • Helping people reach their full potential
  • Enabling the council to show it “cares”
  • Helping people feel involved
  • Confronting racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination
  • Promoting equal access to resources eg. Health services
  • Trying to create a better community
  • Dealing with the symptoms which hide the real problems
  • Working with groups rather than individuals
  • The community worker becoming a leader or spokesperson for the community
  • Helping people see the root causes of their situation
  • Helping people develop confidence
  • Campaigning to improve an area
  • Encourages people to participate in decision making
  • Changing peoples behavior so they can lead better lives
  • Partnership
  • Helping working class people become more like middle class people in attitudes and behaviour
  • Recognising and valuing the skills and knowledge of local people

Session 6.3

Session Title: Dimensions of Community Development

HWB Organiser(s)

Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing

Learning Intentions

  • I can identify the different dimensions of community development



We have seen from the previous exercise what some of the key themes in community development and health. But how does it actually work? What are the key elements that constitute a community development process?

Give out Handout ABCD Pyramid. In 1996 the Scottish Community Development Centre produced 2 reports for the Northern Ireland DHSS. These reports set out the approach for evaluating community development that became the basis of the ABCD (Achieving Better Community Development) approach. We will not go into this approach in too much detail however we will look at the dimensions of community empowerment (the bottom building blocks of the pyramid) which must be built into any community development activity.

Give out Handout Dimensions of Community Development. Each dimension can be broken down into a bit more detail as outlined in the handout. Read through this and clarify any points.

Read out the following extracts from Community Development case studies and ask young people can they identify which Dimension of community development it illustrates.  Remind young people;

Personal/individual empowerment – Is there an increase in individual learning, skills and knowledge?  Is there an increase in confidence, self-esteem and capacity to act?

Positive Action – Are there deliberate efforts to include those most excluded and to address inequalities in power, access and participation?

Community Organization – does the work/activity help to develop and strengthen community organization, networking and leadership in communities?

Participation/Influence – are there efforts to work for change through increased local democracy, participation and involvement in public affairs?

Identify each corner of the room as a different dimension ask young people to move to the corner of the room/dimension which they feel best relates to the statements. 

The youth inclusion training programme provides personal and social development opportunities for all local young people.  These who take a more active role in the projects are offered opportunities to develop skills in areas such as negotiation, decision making and leadership and improve knowledge on issues such as equal opportunities and sexual health.  (personal empowerment)

Street Vibe youth inclusion strategy has been developed to provide an opportunity for young people to become involved at different levels in line with the ladder of participation.  It uses a peer education approach enabling young people to pass on their skills to new generations of young people.   (participation/influence)

Local young people had already identified the need for a BMX skate park, and formed the BMX Bandits to achieve this.  They started a campaign to secure funding and an appropriate site.  They approached the local community health worker and neighbourhood manager and area youth worker, who offered support. (Community Organisation)

They were also trained with adult members in consultation approaches.  Then they consulted local young people through distributing flyers and running focus groups and helped evaluated the findings of the consultation (Personal Empowerment)

After the youth panel raised concerns about the lack of provision for children aged between 8 and 13 on the estate, the City Council has included this issue on its strategic plans.  The panel feed into Leicester City Youth Council and one member sits on the UK Youth Parliament.  (participation/ influence)

Lambeth Youth Council was established in 2002 to involve young people in improving local services and policy, and to encourage them to become community leaders. One hundred black and minority ethnic young people aged 11-24 are involved in the youth council. It is open to all young people with an interest in community development and there is an equal gender mix. (positive action/ community organisation)

The young people involved in these projects receive a variety of relevant external training and receive payment and accreditation (either through the Youth Achievement Award or Millennium Award) for their work.  (personal empowerment)

Initiatives undertaken by the Youth Council include;

  • a direct improvement in services for young people in Lambeth (e.g. better sex education in schools, improved training for police officers, improved youth projects)
  • improving awareness of the benefits of involving children and young people within the council


Local high school pupils had also chosen to design and manufacture their own ramps as part of GCSE design and technology and their increase knowledge and practical skills helped to make this project a successful partnership. (Personal Empowerment)

The partnership has promoted a joined up approach to youth provision in line with Leicester City Council strategic plan, through joint training development of a detached youth work strategy and city council youth workers involvement in outreach provision. (Community Organisation, Participation/Influence)

Young people have gained a range of skills including planning, consultation, fundraising, budgeting, art and design and giving presentations. (Personal Empowerment)

Session 6.4

Session Title: A Community Development Approach

HWB Organiser(s)

Mental, emotional, social and physical wellbeing

Learning Intentions

  • I can discuss what a community development approach looks like


  • Definitions of community development handout
  • Flipchart/pens


The young people in any town are frustrated at the lack of facilities in the area for them.  There is only one youth club but due to recent budget cuts it is only open a three nights per week and is closed all weekend.  The young people also think the activities in the club are aimed at younger people (10-12 years old) so find it “boring”.  When they go to the local park to “hang out” they often get moved on by the police.  There is a small astro turf football pitch but without proper lighting they can only play in the summer evenings, even then they often get complaints from the neighbours for making too much noise.  The nearest cinema or bowling is two buses away and costs around £10 to get there and admission so not a lot of people can afford to go that often.   There is no community centre or high school in the area but there are two primary schools. 

  1. Split the group into smaller groups of 4 or 5. Ask people how they would use a community development approach to help address the situation for young people.  Think about what could they do, who could they approach, and how they would apply the values and principles of community development.
  2. Refer participants to Handout Definitions of Community Development and the 5 principles in it.   Ask groups to put their deliberations onto a flipchart. Then have a look at each other’s flipcharts and discuss the similarities and differences.