About the project
Harnessing and developing resilience at an individual and community level is an important public health imperative. As an integral component of mental health and wellbeing, resilience – the ability of individuals and communities to ‘bounce back’ and even flourish when faced with adversity – is essential in enabling people to live healthier and more fulfilled lives.
With these in mind, the Resilient Together project set out with a vision to enhance resilience within the community, through encouraging and enabling community participation, with a view to create communities that can sustain and develop wellbeing and resilience amongst its residents.
An ABCD approach
This was achieved by using an Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach to:
- Build social connections
- Raise awareness about wellbeing and mental health
- Empower residents to get involved in their community
Asset Based Community Development is an approach that focuses on what is already strong in a community rather than what is wrong. As such, it takes a different approach to many traditional services, which often take a deficit-based approach to strengthening communities. A range of activities were undertaken in order to engage residents to connect with the community and enhance their resilience and wellbeing.
Evaluating the project
ADS carried out an ethnographic research study with the aim to capture the outcomes of this project. Research used a range of methods, including:
- reflective diaries;
- social media research;
- audio-visual aids and tools;
- a large community survey;
- a people-mapping exercise;
- a range of community case studies;
- community temperature tools and measures;
- in-depth open-ended interviews with professionals, community members and volunteers.
Key highlights of the Resilient Together project confirmed by the evaluation study:
- Resilient Together successfully improved the overall wellbeing and resilience of residents. Early findings suggest that there was a butterfly effect, in a sense that these did not only improve in people who were directly involved with the project, but in a broader population too.
- Residents across both communities built meaningful social connections.
- Residents were empowered to get involved with their community.
- Resilient Together raised awareness of mental health and wellbeing.
- A sustainability commitment from communities was achieved.
- A guide for other practitioners, in the form of the Resilient Together Toolkit, was developed.
- There is early evidence to suggest that it may be a good value-for-money approach to boosting mental health and wellbeing across communities.
Evidence-base for ABCD approaches in improving wellbeing and resilience is limited, and we are deeply committed to continuing our work to demonstrate the value of this approach.
If you have a similar project running, or are planning to run one, please get in touch via our contact page. We’d love to hear from you!