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As public finances shrink beyond recognition, local decision-making increases and each sector has to prove its social purpose, many of us will need to turn our minds to how we tackle our day jobs differently.

Regardless of whether this is about achieving better health and social care outcomes, improving community safety, making places better to live in or developing more sustainable local projects, there is a growing financial and functional requirement to work alongside individuals and communities to deliver these.

This is cutting across all sectors, for example in the health and social care arena, public and private providers are expected to re-design their activities so that they are people and community-centred.

In the justice sector, the Government’s Transforming Rehabilitation programme places a clear requirement on private sector contractors to reduce reoffending by working with and through the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector.

And in the construction industry, developers know that to win public support for construction projects –as well as practical intelligence to help the design process – they need to engage with the local community.

Yet this shift isn’t just the responsibility of frontline staff. Senior managers, board members and portfolio holders will all have a shared responsibility in determining where this should happen and provide the leadership necessary to deliver successful community engagement.

So, in response to a growing number of enquiries from people in different roles, in different sectors, we have developed a new suite of CPD accredited training courses to support people through this process.

They range from an introduction to community development and how to engage with communities, to specific courses which cover, for example, cross-sector partnership development, engaging communities through social media and campaigns and identifying how to support your community by profiling its strengths and resources.

Our training programme is delivered in our London offices near Kings Cross. And we also offer on-site, sector-specific courses, for example, for social housing development workers and their tenants.

As an organisation with almost 50 years’ experience and expertise of working with communities we are pleased that the public and private sector focus increasingly acknowledges the necessity of involving communities to deliver solutions to contemporary challenges and opportunities; and if CDF can help strengthen and grow this work in any way, we will be pleased to help.

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