29 Mar 2018

Communities First draws to a close at the end of this month after 17 years, and with it our Communities First Support Service has also wound down.

The Communities First Support Service comes to an end on 31 March 2018. WCVA has been involved in the Communities First programme since its inception, first as part of the programme's planning and design process and then supporting those working on the project with information, advice and training.

The impact of the Support Service

This infographic gives some insight into the amount of support given to the Communities First workforce in the last five years, totalling 1,235 days.

CF infographic E

'We're immensely proud of the impact the Support Service (in its various guises) has had since 2009 and can point to any number of instances where we have helped preserve areas' inclusion in the programme; challenged unfairness; unpicked some knotty and complex issues; and gave people support, hope and a way forward when they felt alone, adrift and hopeless. We even found the time to have a laugh!' said Russell Todd signing off the service's Facebook page.

Russell has been the manager of the Communities First Support Service at WCVA for almost a decade. 'It has been a pleasure to meet so many passionate people, both paid and unpaid, working unstintingly in their communities to affect positive change and conceive a future for their communities that is different to their past.'

You can read a more detailed account from Russell in his recent blog Reflections on a career in Communities First.

What's next?

Welsh Government has been clear that there will be no successor programme to Communities First, but are planning a cross-government approach to empowering communities. This should be reflected in how they deliver the resilient communities commitments in their programme for government.

WCVA has been looking at what needs to happen to create more empowered communities in Wales, please visit our resilient communities hub to find out more. We're working with a range of partners so please get in touch with Fiona Harris if you would like to get involved.