In forward looking areas, such as Wigan, work is underway which connects people with community assets. This is a move which has huge resonance and benefits as evidenced by initiatives such as social prescribing (http://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/nov/05/social-prescribing-fishing-group-doctor-ordered).
If this is all new to you, it is worth having a quick look at the useful “Asset based working in health” paper from 2011 http://www.gcph.co.uk/assets/0000/2627/GCPH_Briefing_Paper_CS9web.pdf. This defines an asset as follows:
“Assets can be described as the collective resources which individuals and communities have at their disposal, which protect against negative health outcomes and promote health status. Although health assets are a part of every person, they are not necessarily used purposefully or mindfully.”
This area creates significant opportunities for local public services to improve outcomes and reduce costs and but is one that challenges the current orthodox of local public service practice. There are some wonderful examples of this out there, but the early adopters are only just getting going and it feels we are long was off the majority getting on board.
Our recent #shapingdemand session picks up on this and we’re supporting a new Community Assets group which you can join here: https://knowledgehub.local.gov.uk/web/inetwork-community-assets-group-people-places/welcome
The 17 July “Shaping demand unconference” will support you and your colleagues on this further. See here for more on this: https://shapingdemand-unconference.eventbrite.co.uk
We’re also looking at developing a schema for community assets and one doesn’t exist. Our www.legsb.gov.uk programme has already worked on this in Devon for their community asset website to turn it into a linked data engine and the next step is to define a common vocabulary that we can all use.
If you’d like to be involved with this please comment below.