The Belle Isle & Middleton – “Love Where You Live” project aims to take an asset or strengths based approach in community working. This is a move away from the traditional deficit, or negative model (what is wrong with a community, or what are the needs of an individual), to an asset, or positive model (what does a community have that can be built on, or what skills, resources and networks exist)?
Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is therefore our strategy for sustainable community driven development in Belle Isle & Middleton.
The appeal of ABCD lies in its premise that communities drive the development process themselves by identifying and mobilising existing but often unrecognised assets, thereby responding to and creating local opportunity.
ABCD builds on the assets that are already found in the community and mobilises individuals, associations and institutions to come together to build (on their assets), rather than concentrating on their needs.
The power of ABCD is found in the local associations who drive the community development process. These associations are the vehicles through which all community assets can be identified and then connected, in ways that multiply their power and effectiveness.
ABCD draws out strengths and successes in a community’s shared history as its starting point for change. Among all the assets that exist in the community, ABCD pays particular attention to the assets inherent in social relationships, evident in formal and informal associations and networks.
ABCD’s community driven approach encourages and welcomes active participation and empowerment. It is a strategy for sustainable, economic development that is community driven and community focused.