Community engagement

Two women talking. Community engagement and organisational development from appreciative inquiry practitioners Appreciating People; Liverpool, North West and UK, 0151 427 1146

We’re passionate about the benefits of strength-based community action. We know that it stimulates regeneration, improves health inequalities and creates strong social networks; AI is a key contributor to ABCD (asset-based, community-driven development. Our blog tells you more)

Appreciating People’s approach is strength and asset-based – we work with communities to identify what is working well already and to find out how that can be built on. We’re committed to making sure that whatever we do engages the maximum number of people and stakeholders, and it is both highly interactive and accessible. Wherever possible, we train a representative group in the basics of Appreciative Inquiry (AI) and community engagement, so that they can form a core group to work with us directly, and ensure the project’s sustainability once our work is finished.

We’ve worked with communities across the country, helping them develop their plans, skills and visions for the local area, using a range of approaches including Appreciative Inquiry, Open Space and World Café.

Here’s a taste of just some of our community engagement work:

  • Our work has been incorporated into community planning framework, which has been the subject of a government briefing for the Cabinet Office. And we have delivered some intensive community planning projects with Anfield and Rathlin Island – you can see some of the images here.
  • You can see some of the work we’ve done already on our case studies page, including our work as facilitators for Rathlin Island, Big Local, Community Economic Development, the Grundtvig programme, Connecting Communities and Toxteth BME projects.
  • This blog links to an article that we did for New Start Regeneration magazine with Lianne McGinnes from Clubmoor in Liverpool.
  • We’re facilitators for Big Local and have worked in Oldham, Leigh, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Manchester and Halton.
  • We have completed an EU Grundtvig programme, whose motto includes Sharing strengths, developing communities, and promoting strength-based learning across societies for the future

  • We support community engagement in a range of ways, and provide training for community champions. We delivered a programme across the North West on behalf of the Community Development Foundation, as part of the Connecting Communities programme. We’ve also delivered a certificated training programme in partnership with Adswood and Bridgehall in Stockport and work with Liverpool Hope University for local community champions.
  • We work with housing associations supporting resident involvement
    We are also involved in a large-scale community planning processes, working towards a proud and flourishing Anfield.
  • We facilitate strength-based strategic planning for small community organisations
  • We’ve used team building and large events to bring together a number of different community organisations, like the Somali Umbrella Group and the Toxteth BME Forum in Liverpool.

  • We work with schools – engaging them in community planning and development of local visions. We also work with school pupils directly, helping them learn more about their strengths and their future goals.
  • We also practice visual minuting. This illustrative recording process is used to keep a record of meetings through words and pictures on large visual displays. Visual minutes use a mixture of pictures, graphics, and text which, when used together, are much more absorbable than jargon alone.

  • ‘Appreciating People do just what it says in the title – they’re intuitive and skilled in Appreciative Inquiry. They get to the root of a community and help people to create a positive vision collectively. They listen and encourage people to talk, to find out what the story is and what change is needed.’
    Claire Stringer, visual minuter





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