Once we’ve mapped assets, brought people together and encouraged some new projects, it’s important for us to support groups to share their success stories with the rest of the community.

Stories inspire involvement and stimulate new ideas and can make people feel connected to what happens where they live. They also help to inspire others to get involved and support the new groups into the future. Check back to see some great stories from the community that we hope will inspire and encourage you in your community work.

We also run Connecting Communities workshops in the areas where we work, sharing with people the great work we do and more importantly passing on some skills to the community about the best way for them to grow and connect within their community. Why not come along to our next workshop and find out more about the great work we do, how it can benefit you and your neighbours and how you can get involved. Email Lisa to find out more.

Lisa Brown, Forever Manchester’s Community Builder explains

“Forever Manchester always aspires to leave a meaningful legacy in any local community it becomes involved in. Part of that legacy involves aiming to leave a community equipped with some ABCD tools, to enable them to continue to work in a strength based way. Traditionally workshops and training can sometimes send people running to the hills, especially your everyday people in communities. The key is to make them interesting, relevant, local and short! But when you are as passionate about ABCD as we are at Forever Manchester (and a talker like I am) how do you cram all this goodness into 1 or 2 hours?

“Luckily at Forever Manchester we are nearly 7 years into applying the ABCD methodology to our work and have the freedom to hone our craft with lots of tried and tested ways to get the full message across. This flexibility means we can run a workshop with as little as 4 people and up to groups of 20 plus. At each workshop we go through the ABCD methodology and then start applying it with some fun and interactive exercises.

One of my favourite exercises are The We Can games, Heads, Heart and Hands, Teach and Learn and Mapping Your Area. It never ceases to amaze that these simple games can have such an impact.

The ‘We Can Game’ can show you in 10 mins just how many skills there are sat just around a table of 4-8 people. ‘Heads, Hearts, Hands’ digs down just that little bit further into exploring an individual’s passions and interests. For me, this is where you can truly demonstrate to a community member how an interest they have which they think is insignificant, really can have significance when shared with others in the community. ‘Teach and Learn’ can start to connect people in the community around a shared interest.

Like I’ve said before, it’s essential to make it local and relevant and this is exactly what we do with the ‘Mapping Your Area’ exercise. At each workshop I bring a small map of the area we are in and ask residents to use it to map local assets. At recent workshops some local community members asked “Can I take this map with me to carry on mapping myself…?” and of course the answer is always yes. This is a great outcome of workshop and exactly the kind of legacy we’re aiming to leave in communities.”

We have hosted a number of workshops across Greater Manchester, most recently in Patricroft, Eccles. Some of the quotes from these workshops have included the following: –

What did you like most about the event?

  • The enthusiasm and relaxed nature of the workshop
  • Easy to understand
  • The interactive side of it and getting to know different people.
  • Hearing about all information about an area being in one place run by the community.
  • Using the maps
  • It was a brilliant workshop and the facilitator Lisa was brilliant. She is down to earth, one of us.

How has the workshop helped you?

  • Made me realise that I have so much more to offer to a community that I thought.
  • Helped me to think about what I can do in my own community
  • Helped me meet more people in my own community
  • I knew some things about community development but I learnt a lot about ABCD. Really opened my eyes to a different way of working.
  • Explored new ideas
  • About assets and how to use maps

What have you learnt?

  • Everyone has something to offer their community.
  • That it is possible to map interests
  • Start using maps and heads, hearts, hands when getting people together.
  • Create a community garden and ask neighbours to get involved, rather than thinking we are the only ones to do it

Other comments

  • I had no idea any interests of mine would be of any use to my community, no one has ever asked me about my interests, and I now wonder what everyone else has to offer.
  • Inspiring presentation by Forever Manchester’s Lisa Brown and Helen Capita.