Why we need Shared Places

Nick Beddow

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Everyone needs Shared Places, where we feel at home and in the loop. It starts with a positive mindset and reaching out to others: by focussing on wellbeing, we reinforce people's inner strength and social outlook to enhance our sense of being fully alive and contributing.

Internationally, communities and health experts agree on one essential issue: community empowerment is the key to better health. The World Health Organisation’s own research in 2006 identified the exciting benefits of supporting community empowerment:

  • greater public insight into health and well-being will reduce expensive dependence on external services as communities take direct action on their own needs
  • citizen input and oversight will ultimately result in better services, more responsive to actual needs with greater ownership and consent
  • it’s a way to tap into citizens’ own resources to improve their communities, achieving what service providers cannot hope to  accomplish alone.
  • sustainable change: building a strong base of community leadership and engagement
  • a new mindset: becoming aware of the community as assets who can make their own lives better by connecting together

There is no single right way to promote community empowerment: every situation demands an empathetic approach, suited to the context and the diversity of people. Shared Places have developed a range of approaches which we adapt to the realities on the ground. With our help you can make a new start in your relationships with your communities.  Community empowerment is the preventative pathway which reduces demand on external services like yours, freeing you to develop more creative relationships, and build the foundations for co-production.

It’s time to take a leaf out of the Roman poet Perseus’s book, and put it into practice 2055 years later: “Meet the malady on its way”. We can build a new way together.