If you, with your church or others in your community, wish to get more involved in tackling poverty and bringing about positive change in your neighbourhood, here are some suggestions to help you on your way.

Every community and church is full of people with unique gifts, passion, strengths and skills

Before you begin, discover what’s already there

Every area, no matter how disadvantaged, will have assets. These will include local organisations, social groups or communal spaces, and also the gifts and skills of local residents.

The first stage in getting started in your parish is finding out more about the assets present in your area. This can be done by:  

  • Mapping out your community’s shared assets
  • Identifying the gifts, skills and capacities of individuals

These activities are part of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. You can find out more about that approach here. And you can download some practical resources from the ABCD Institute website here



Make connections

Once you know more about the available people and assets, you can adopt a more joined-up approach.

Try connecting people with similar or complementary skills and passions. Some people may love singing and you may have also identified a good pianist. That could be the start of a new choir.

You can also connect people with relevant institutions, organisations or services. Introducing people with childcare qualifications to a local charity or nursery could result in a new childcare group.


Build a community – and celebrate it!

By identifying the available assets and making the right connections, you can get more local people to use their gifts and skills to reduce or even overcome local difficulties or problems.

In the process, you will be building a better community. Just remember to celebrate and enjoy your successes together. It’s the best way to sustain and grow engagement. 

Make use of our resources

You can learn more about poverty-related issues and effective responses from our poverty statistics and publications.

We also have staff working locally around the country. Find out if there is one in your area here.