ABCD in Bolsover - Enabling Active Communities

Nathan Culkin
Nathan Culkin
last year
1 posts

As requested, I am posting about the work I am doing and some of the challenges I face.

I am work within Bolsover District, UK for an organisation called Community Sports Trust. Our aim is to enable people to be more physically active as part of their everyday lives. We moved to an asset based approach some months ago and the more I learn the more passionate I have become about my work. I am 100% committed to ABCD and am learning new things every day. 

The biggest challenge I am facing is that I work in a system which is dominated by a needs based approach. All day long I hear words such as deprivation, isolation and services. Phrases such as 'hard to reach' and 'low socio-economic' are also common. I challenge these terms but am often treated with disdain for doing so. There almost seems that organisations feel it necessary to label communities and point out the deficits in order to justify their roles and apply for money. I have done this in the past myself, but have seen the light and have come through that dark tunnel.   

Due to the attitude and approach of service providers, a dependency has been created and communities have become passive receivers. Much time has been spent within communities to develop relationships and have conversations, and it has not been easy as people are not used to being spoken to in this way. 

There is a lot of work to be done in this area to repair the damage caused by decades of needs based working, but I am excited about the future and the impact the people I work with can have :-)