Last year Forever Manchester’s Community Building team delivered a series of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) workshops in 5 neighbourhoods in Oldham.

These workshops were funded by local housing association First Choice Homes and they aimed to raise awareness of our fresh approach to community development and to train local people in ABCD. By focusing on the skills and assets within a neighbourhood rather than the traditional approach of focusing on what is lacking, ABCD helps local people to discover and share the talents and resources that they already have to make long-term improvements to their community and wellbeing.

We trained 52 people in the basic principles of Asset Based Community Development and discovered over 500 assets, skills and gifts in Oldham’s neighbourhoods including:

Gardeners, Cleaners, Bakers, Skaters, Jewellery Makers, Carpenters, Builders, Knitters, Radio Entrepreneurs, Fishermen, Chefs, Teachers, Card Makers, Jam Makers, Wine Makers, Recyclers, Quiz Masters, Veg Growers, Plumbers, Shopkeepers, Party Organisers, Bike Riders, Child Minders, Computer Wizards, Cartoonists, Graffiti Artists, Dancers, Actors, Talkers, Dog Walkers, Spiritual Leaders, Healthy Eaters, Readers, Roofers, Hairdressers, Make Up Artists, Singers, DJs, Support Workers, Footballers, Campers, Outdoor Explorers, Mountain Climbers, Hikers, Bikers and many more.

The feedback was extremely positive – 87% of attendees rated the workshops as excellent or very good. Rhys Jones-Oriss (First Choice Homes) enthused that the workshops were, “Really inspiring and exactly what engagement is about.”

Resident Melissa Buckley commented that the workshop was, “Delivered by people who have a proper understanding of all types of community,” and fellow resident Zoe Tindall learnt that, “When people have a passion they can achieve anything”.

The workshops reaffirmed our belief that neighbourhoods across Greater Manchester have an abundance of assets, skills and talents, and, once uncovered, the possibilities are endless.

If you would like to learn more about this fresh approach to community development or would like to book a place on our next training course on 12th March or 16th May please visit www.theneighbourhoodworks.co.uk