What is Community Development?

Regeneration is all about communities. People often think this means that it is about changing communities; physically re designing or recreating communities. But for YourMK, regeneration is about developing communities.

Those of us old enough to have owned cameras before they were digital might remember developing photographs. The slow process of turning a negative into a positive; the potential gradually becoming the reality. Using careful interventions and exact mixes, a skilled practitioner could produce real clarity from what was just vague and potential. The magic was that the development process did not actually change anything; it did not make something exist that wasn’t there to start with; it made what was there clearer, putting it in sharper focus. Development takes what is latent and makes it visible and permanent. As a developed photograph rather than a negative it can withstand much more light, more scrutiny. It is more resilient, it is sustainable.

Without wishing to stretch the metaphor too far, community development is similar. By working with communities and helping them develop, we want to bring out the best, re focus on potential and build resilience, sustainability and a clear future.

Regeneration is not about scattering or breaking up communities. At Your MK we know that the only way to ensure lasting change is to work from the ground up, at a grass roots level, with communities leading the change they want to see.

YourMK has a community team that works with communities, seeking their views, understanding their ambitions and hopes and then working with them to help achieve them.

Spending time with communities and understanding what is important to them, or isn’t, enables us to try and support change that will work. In the end it has to be up to individuals to embrace positive change and make it possible. But at YourMK we know that regeneration only happens when we work together.