One of the main aims of our work is to co-create and promote activities that demonstrate the value of strong communities of place. Through these activities we seek to improve community cohesion and enable people to improve their wellbeing. We have initially started our community work in Totnes, in Devon, United Kingdom, but we are also expanding work to other communities.
Wellbeing work in Totnes
Through our work in Totnes, we aim to be open and responsive in our engagement with the community, and this approach has led to a range of projects and activities. All of our projects have the intention of helping support the local community to put wellbeing into practice.
Our main projects in Totnes are:
• Community Potlucks: monthly community meals, which help to support sharing and connection.
• Totnes Wellbeing Fund: a seed fund, supporting small changes which make a big difference.
• Events: In addition to the regular Community Potlucks, we have run a variety of workshops, public talks and open meetings.
Through this local work we have connected with many wonderful local organisations and kind-hearted volunteers who have all contributed to our community work in valuable ways. We are extremely grateful for all the support we’ve received.
NOW's other community wellbeing work
Our intention is to develop our work in Totnes so that it can be used to inspire and support other communities throughout the UK, and potentially around the world. In addition to this, we aim to engage with, and pro-actively support, other communities outside of Totnes to help improve wellbeing in other places.
This wider community work currently involves:
As well as our community wellbeing projects in Totnes, we hope to support and help to improve wellbeing in many other communities. We are seeking to do this through:
Our partnership with Friends of the Earth
What are the important things that would need to happen to improve wellbeing in your community now and in the future? Friends of the Earth have invited people to engage with this question in a their participatory project on wellbeing, in partnership with NOW.
The aim of the project is to run workshops around the UK, bringing a broad range of local people together to agree what needs to happen to improve their wellbeing and then to act to achieve it – be it protecting green space, or finding ways to provide more ways for communities to connect with each other. Find out more here.
Building other community partnerships
We are beginning to work directly with other communities outside of Totnes, offering support to wellbeing-related projects. We are currently developing details of the support that is available. If you are interested in working with NOW on a community wellbeing project, please get in touch.
From the projects we have run in Totnes, we are developing resources which can help others to run similar wellbeing-boosting activities in their own communities. These resources so far include things such as:
- Community Potluck Guidelines: Providing all of the information and inspiration needed to run this community event.
- Wellbeing workshop guidelines: Developed through our partnership with Friends of the Earth, in order to support people and groups to run wellbeing workshops in their own communities.
- Totnes Wellbeing Fund Videos: We have filmed videos about our Totnes Wellbeing Fund, to show how the Fund is run and what types of projects we support.
To stay updated on our work, please sign up to our monthly newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. If you are keen to find out more about any of the above projects or resources, then please get in touch.