'Great event this week - thanks for organising it all'. Just one of the many enthusiastic comments we received after the Building Communities event at St Swithun's on 1st December 2015, which showcased the role of community anchor organisations in local neighbourhoods.
Community anchors are enterprising, community-led organisations which offer a broad range of activities, opportunities and services to local people of all ages. In Wakefield District. They are increasingly being recognised as crucial building blocks in neighbourhoods, working alongside local residents, public agencies and businesses to access resources for the benefit of the local population. For an inspiring take on why anchors are so important, see Steve Tathata's guest blog for Nova here.
Nova has been provided with funding from the Public Health team at Wakefield Council to invest in local anchors so they can increase what they do and improve how they do it. To launch this initiative, and to increase understanding of anchors, Nova ran a half day event at St Swithun's Community Centre in Eastmoor, that included inspirational presentations from:
- Tony Armstrong, CEO of Locality,
- Sir Sam Everington who helped set up the Bromley by Bow Centre in London; and three local anchors:
- St Swithun's,
- St George's
Tony's presentation focussed on the enterprising nature of anchors and the incredibly important role they play in promoting wellbeing and preventing ill-health. Sir Sam shared the story of the Bromley by Bow Centre and its very different approach to primary care. Tea dances, art and employment advice are just some of the services it provides, in a beautifully landscaped setting in East London.
We'll be providing updates about the community anchor programme in future Nova e-bulletins and blogs, so keep your eyes open for progress reports.