Connecting people and ideas

Working to create and support active communities

Kirsty Dunleavy-Harris

10 Dec 2020

Gloucester park

Barton and Tredworth is an area of Gloucester that for many looking in, will be all about high crime rates, low-income levels and rubbish lined pavements but for the 14,000 people that live here, there is a richness in its diversity, history and community spirit. This is what asset-based community development is all about, and where we hope 'we can move' can play a part. 


It’s not about wearing rose-tinted glasses, but instead looking at something from a different perspective. It is seeing the strengths in an area and using the interests, connections and energy from local people to create positive change in their neighbourhood. 


We know that people are not achieving the 150 minutes of physical activity a week that is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and there have been many reports as to why this is or the barriers that may be stopping people. But how do we know this is true? And what can we all do about it?  We, being the collective we; individuals, groups and organisations in Gloucestershire. 


'We can move' is all about working differently.

It’s simply about us all taking action to ensure activity is normal and accessible, and encouraging everyone to move a bit more.


So we can move has partnered with Gloucester Community Building Collective. We want to see how becoming embedded within a “place” or “community”, with the aim of connecting people and helping to grow ideas, can also help to increase individual’s activity levels.


This could happen through the creation of, more formal and informal activity groups or through bigger changes such as the development of local buildings, influencing service provision or shifting systemic inequalities. 


In Gloucester, there seems to be energy to work in this way; statutory and voluntary sector organisations working together and with residents and community members. We share the vision for Gloucester to be a great place to live, where everyone can have a good life, through catalysing community-led action.  


I have the pleasure of working closely with all six of the Gloucester Community Building Collective’s Community Builders over the next two years, but in particular with Rae who leads on the community building work in Barton and Tredworth.


Read Rae's story and on the work of Gloucester Community Building Collective here.


All of the Community Builders are most definitely championing we can move in their approach. However, getting people active is not their sole agenda; being part of the movement and working closely on this project means we can share learning and support each other. 

We are looking forward to getting to know the people, places, spaces and passions that exist behind the front doors of flats and houses of the ward. Together,  we can help to build connections and support the growth of ideas to create lasting change.More often that not, things or ideas that connect people  do involve people leaving their homes, getting outside and moving more! 


Read more on stories from Barton and Tredworth and other communities in Gloucester:


•    Helping other women
•    Gloucester Can 


If you would like to find out more or get involved in our communities work, get in touch.

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Kirsty Dunleavy-Harris
10 Dec 2020

Director of Physical Activity at Active Gloucestershire