Community Assets: Empowering Communities
The event’s theme was “Community Assets: Empowering Communities”. Evidence has demonstrated, time and time again, that that the existence of community assets – and the support and opportunities they provide for people – is critical for the wellbeing, recovery, and resilience of communities across Wales. This was a timely conversation, taking place one year on from the Welsh Parliament Local Government and Housing Committee’s report, Community Assets, which drew on evidence submitted by the Plunkett Foundation and other members of the COG.
Community assets can be buildings such as community centres, leisure centres, libraries, pubs and shops, where people can access information and learn new skills, or come together to socialise and share experiences. They can also be places such as parks and green spaces, where people can relax or exercise; they can even, in some cases, provide homes for people. Research recently published by BCT, setting out a new Wales Community Assets Index, concluded that:
“Our research shows that communities with fewer places to meet, a less engaged and active community and poorer connectivity to the wider economy, experience significantly different social and economic outcomes compared to communities possessing more of these assets.”
Plunkett Foundation’s own research has found that community-owned businesses have continued to put people first during the cost of living of crisis, with two thirds of businesses absorbing price increases to protect their customers, and over 50% offering their staff a pay rise of more than 5% to help with the cost of living.