Across the globe, communities are at the heart of successful, thriving societies. We believe strong communities are places where people feel safe and secure, where they can speak out and be listened to. They’re places where people can put down roots and have access to fundamental services, such as housing, utilities, infrastructure, education, health and social services, and where physical spaces are shared and nurtured. We work with disadvantaged and vulnerable communities to identify their strengths and overcome barriers to productivity, connection or community wellbeing.
Modern life is placing unprecedented strains on communities - social structures are breaking down; people are struggling to make ends meet and there’s little opportunity for spending time with people in your community - isolation is all too common. Internationally, and in some places in the UK, particularly rural areas, there are added problems – with a lack of basic services and failing infrastructure.
In the UK, we tackle these issues by supporting projects that improve inclusion and cohesion, helping people find common interests, overcome fear and misconceptions and make new connections. We aim to bring together all sorts of groups – from mixing different generations, to welcoming newly arrived refugees. In the UK and internationally, we support projects that strive to include the most marginalised groups, from disabled people to LGBT groups. We may also support work to improve the connectedness of isolated communities – helping them to be more aware of their rights and entitlements. Internationally, we also support the diaspora to add their unique experience, perspective, skills and commitment to supporting development within their communities of origin.
We want to help create flourishing communities, where people feel they are personally thriving, while sharing a sense of purpose and prosperity – rather than just ‘making ends meet’. Internationally we work with projects that encourage economic self sufficiency through employment and productivity. Internationally and in the UK, we invest in enterprises for social benefit. We aim to support communities where we can add value and address key issues they have identified as their priorities; support testing and learning using local assets, people, places and businesses.
Building on our track record of working with marginalised and disadvantaged groups, we aim to help communities develop a clear identity and powerful voice so they can take collective action. As well as entire communities, this will include specific groups, such as disabled people, carers or women and girls. It will also include people ‘outside’ traditional community models, such as newly arrived refugees or people who are homeless.
Internationally, we work in urban slums and informal settlements, where people struggle to access even basic services. We support community-led solutions and help civil society organisations hold service providers to account, tackling issues including better living standards and access to clean water and sanitation.