Talking About Community Development
People talk about Community Development in many different ways. Some examples of what Community Development might look like include (but are not limited to) the following:
Servicing self-help groups
Running support and social action groups Building community networks
Participating in inter-agency meetings Undertaking needs assessment
Increasing people's skills
Resourcing the community to meet needs Working towards social justice
Empowering individuals and communities
Community Development Outcomes
Community Development processes are typically open-ended and can lead to many different outcomes, such as:
- Individuals developing self-esteem and confidence
- People participating in social activities to overcome social isolation
- Increased participation in political and citizenship activities
- Practical outcomes such as a changed bus route or a new pedestrian crossing
Gardening for Growth
The Gardening for Growth program was started in 2005 as an initiative to engage both the community and regular clients of The Salvation Army. The initial aim was for two community gardens: one at The Salvation Army Plenty Valley Corps and another at a Salvation Army property in Mater St, Collingwood. A startup grant was obtained to cover wages for a co-ordinator and the necessary materials to establish the gardens.
The communities were engaged through newspaper and flyers and invited to come to working bees for the building and designing of each garden. The two community gardens were built and continue to be developed. They both have monthly working bees which also function as a community day in which members can catch up and chat about issues in the garden. There is a commitment to sustainable food production in all the gardens and the principles of organic gardening have been employed to produce healthy and sustainable produce.
Since the construction of these two gardens, other small gardens have been started on site at the Anchorage Men’s Hostel in Abbotsford, The Bridge Program in St Kilda and the Westcare VCAL Program in Sunshine. The program has evolved to incorporate program development, new garden construction, community education, promotion of sustainable gardening, and community development.
For more information, please contact the Crossroads head office on: 03 9353 1011