Quality statement 3: Identifying community assets

Quality statement

Members of the local community are involved in identifying the skills, knowledge, networks, relationships and facilities available to health and wellbeing initiatives.

Rationale

All communities have strengths, or 'assets', that they can contribute to developing local health and wellbeing initiatives. Community assets include not only buildings and facilities but also people, with their skills, knowledge, social networks and relationships. Local communities and commissioners can work together to recognise these assets, building an initiative from a positive basis rather than solely focusing on the problems and needs of communities, which may risk limiting the possibilities for change.

Quality measures

Structure

a) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that members of the local community are involved in identifying skills within the community as part of health and wellbeing initiatives.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that members of the local community are involved in identifying knowledge within the community as part of health and wellbeing initiatives.

Data source: Local data collection.

c) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that members of the local community are involved in identifying networks within the community as part of health and wellbeing initiatives.

Data source: Local data collection.

d) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that members of the local community are involved in identifying relationships within the community as part of health and wellbeing initiatives.

Data source: Local data collection.

e) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that members of the local community are involved in identifying facilities within the community as part of health and wellbeing initiatives.

Data source: Local data collection.

f) Evidence of local arrangements to ensure that the joint strategic needs assessment includes the identification of community assets.

Data source: Local data collection.

Outcome

a) Community members are recognised as assets and feel valued by the commissioners.

Data source: Local data collection.

b) Local communities and commissioners work together to recognise existing assets that health and wellbeing initiatives can be built on.

Data source: Local data collection.

What the quality statement means for different audiences

Health, public health and social care practitioners ensure that they use their own knowledge, social networks and relationships with members of the local community to help identify assets and facilities available within that community.

Commissioners (community and voluntary sector organisations and statutory services) ensure that they commission health and wellbeing initiatives that involve members of the local community in identifying assets and facilities. They ensure that they actively seek out existing assets and use these as a basis for developing health and wellbeing initiatives in partnership with local communities. Identification of community assets can be used to inform the local joint strategic needs assessment.

Members of local communities work with community and voluntary sector organisations and statutory services to identify local skills, knowledge, networks, relationships and facilities that could support health and wellbeing initiatives. They are supported to understand and use the strengths that they already have in their community.

Source guidance

Community engagement: improving health and wellbeing and reducing health inequalities (2016) NICE guideline NG44, recommendation 1.4.2

Definitions of terms used in this quality statement

Community

A community is a group of people who have common characteristics or interests. Communities can be defined by: geographical location, race, ethnicity, age, occupation, a shared interest or affinity (such as religion and faith) or other common bonds, such as health need or disadvantage. People who are socially isolated are also considered to be a community group.

[NICE's guideline on community engagement]

Community assets

All communities have local health assets as well as health needs. Assets that can support health and wellbeing include:

  • the skills, knowledge, social competence and commitment of individual community members

  • friendships, intergenerational solidarity, community cohesion and neighbourliness within a community

  • local groups and community and voluntary associations, ranging from formal organisations to informal, mutual aid networks such as babysitting circles

  • physical, environmental and economic resources within a community

  • assets brought by external agencies – public, private and third sector.

[Health and wellbeing: a guide to community-centred approaches (2015) Public Health England]

Health and wellbeing initiatives

Health and wellbeing initiatives cover all strategies, programmes, services, activities, projects or research that aim to improve health (physical and mental) and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities.
[NICE's guideline on community engagement]

Equality and diversity considerations

People in local communities may experience a range of barriers such as language, literacy, numeracy, low income, access to transport, childcare, digital exclusion and many others that prevent them from identifying local assets and facilities to support health and wellbeing initiatives. These barriers need to be addressed to support people to engage in the initiative and to increase equity.

Tackling health inequalities can be more effective if people from marginalised and deprived communities and those who are socially isolated are seen as valuable contributors to local assets.