Localities and communities

We want to empower local people to have more control and influence over what happens in their local area.

We help communities to identify their own priorities and get involved in the design and delivery of services. We also give them the support, advice and expertise to help them achieve their ambitions.

We work with our colleagues in the district and borough councils, police and health as well as in the voluntary and community sector to provide this support.

We work with both common interest communities and communities based in a certain area. 

Across Suffolk we have helped communities to:

  • take on the running of community centres, parks and playing fields
  • deliver services such as youth clubs and local transport services

Place-based working

There are a number of areas in Suffolk where we are working with local communities, their representatives and our public sector partners to:

  • get a better understanding of local needs and resources
  • develop new ways to support people to help themselves
  • encourage service providers to work in a more joined up way

These include:

Community Circles

Circles help people to be happier, healthier and more connected with the support of their community.

Since 2019, Suffolk County Council have been working with the Community Circles developing projects with St. Nicholas' Hospice, Orwell Housing (extra-care settings) and Connected Communities. A Community Circle brings two or more people together around someone who wants a little help to make a change in their life. That change can be anything - from getting out and about more, to starting a new hobby, or restarting an old one, or creating more opportunities to spend more time with friends or family. Everyone then works towards making this change happen.  one page profileThis (personalisation) all starts with a 'One-Page-Profile': A page of information about the person, reflecting the balance of what's important to and for someone. Personalisation is all about change in power. It's a different way of listening to people, working together and paying attention to how people want to live their lives - not just keeping people safe with professionals in charge.

Linked to the Connected Communities project and the Community Circles work, is 'Later Life Community Engage'. 'Engage' is a partnership project between BSEVC Later Life Community and Suffolk Family Carers Connected Communities. It complements the work that Connected Communities are undertaking with supporting individuals in their community, but extending this to provide a volunteer network of localised support to work alongside communities to empower and enable them to make their community the best it can be.

Asset Based Community Development

Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) is an approach to sustainable community-driven development focussing on assets not deficits, i.e. what is strong not what is wrong.  ABCD

Together with Community Action Suffolk, we have enabled staff from Suffolk County Council, district and borough councils, health workers and partners, and voluntary and community sector members to undergo skilled training in ABCD.

We are embedding this way of working with communities to improve their resilience, independence and wellbeing. This is done by looking at their strengths and aligning them with strengths or services, and getting them to work in the best possible way.

Some strong community projects have been created by using this approach, including the 'Shotley Peninsular Diabetes project', Public Health's 'Teenage Pregnancy' project, and Community Action Suffolk's 'Buddy Up Scheme'. Information about these can be found by visiting the Asset-Based Approaches Webinar webpage.

Community Catalysts

community catalysts

We are working with Community Catalysts to help people and communities use their talents to start and run small enterprises that support and care for older people at home.

This creates local jobs and helps people live a good life. It harnesses the talents and imaginations of people and communities, and aims to ensure people have a real choice of great services and support wherever they live.

For more information about the work we are doing across Suffolk, visit:

Armed Forces Community Covenant

The Suffolk Armed Forces Community Covenant is an agreement of a voluntary pledge of mutual support between a civilian community and its local armed forces.

It's aim is to strengthen links between the community and local armed forces personnel, their families and service veterans.

The UK Armed Forces Covenant two principles are that:

  • Members of the armed forces community should face no disadvantage compared to the other citizens in the provision or public and commercial services; and
  • Special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially for those who have given the most, such as the injured or the bereaved.

The covenant was established in October 2012 and includes Suffolk County Council, all the local authorities, voluntary and community sector organisations and armed forces units (regular or reserve) stationed in or linked to the county.

The Suffolk Military Covenant is a website dedicated to the covenant and includes further information on initiatives and partners. 

You can find out more by contacting militarycovenant@suffolk.gov.uk.