Asset Based Community Development

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is the process of building connections between people that live in the same area and empowering them to take action on things that are important to them.

ABCD shifts us from seeing communities for their needs or problems, to seeing them as full of potential. Each person in the community has a unique set of skills that, when recognised and utilised, can strengthen the community as a whole. So, ABCD describes the process that brings people together to enable change locally, as led by the community itself.

Our ABCD journey

2010 Community activist, Jennie Watkins is elected as a local councillor. She had heard of ABCD and decided to set about embedding it within the council and changing the council’s relationship with communities.  She started by encouraging the council to create a small team to focus on this work. 

2012 Local charity, Barnwood Trust had already began their ABCD journey and were happy to work with the council and other keen partner agencies to spread ABCD throughout the county. 

2014 The council collaborated with several other agencies including the police and housing association Green Square to put in a funding bid for a community builder.  

The community builder was in post for 2 years in Kingsway and contributed to many groups and activities forming, many which are still running today, including a cycle club, a conservation group and the first Gloucester parkrun.  The parkrun inspired other people to organise one for their area and we now have 3 in the city, benefitting close to 1,000 residents. 

2015 The council created the Your Gloucester fund.  Residents could apply for small grants of up to £500 for anything that was positive, that would bring people together where they lived.  They didn’t need to be a constituted group with a bank account because the council wanted to make it as easy as possible for them . 

2017 The Together Gloucester transformation - a whole council restructure called for all job descriptions to be re-written and this enabled the council to include ABCD in every job description.  ABCD was also heavily featured in the 2017 Council Plan and included in a number of key priorities. 

2018 The council handed the grass cutting contract in Podsmead to a community group to run it themselves 

Partnered with the county council.  The adult social care team seconded 3 of their staff to work as community builders in Elmbridge, Hucclecote/Abbeydale and Quedgeley. 

Secured external funding to pay for another 2 community builders who work in Linden/Moreland and Tuffley 

Partnered with the CCG and Public Health Gloucestershire as they fund a community builder in Kingsholm, 

2019 Gloucester Community Building Collective is created

2020 ABCD Policy is adopted by Cabinet

2021 Community Engagement Guidance note is written to encourage more strengths based working across the organisation

2022 Community Engagement Strategy is being developed and shaped with residents