Why should I use this toolkit?
The journey towards creating Sustainable Communities can be challenging, requiring engagement with as many members of your community as possible, and that will depend on a locally-grown vision and belief that this will work.
Questions to consider:
what are you already doing that’s working?
where is the energy for possibilities coming from within the community?
what is possible within the time and resources available?
In our conversations with people in developing the toolkit, there was a sense of weariness in the sector, people are faced with challenges of bureaucracy, funding and engagement more generally. Why another toolkit!? What is the benefit, particularly if there will be time and energy invested in this?
The benefits of this work in the short-term can include energy and cost saving, community cohesion, innovation and energy from new ideas… and in the longer term, action on sustainability is urgently required to meet the needs of the earth, communities across Ireland and across the world – now and for future generations.
How to use this toolkit
It is important to recognise that YOU need to see YOURSELF in this toolkit! For this reason, we want to emphasise that Sustainable Communities will look different and have different priorities depending on the community itself.
We invite you to ‘dip in’ to these sections – you might get energy from beginning with a theme that your community already does really well. Or you might prefer to get the satisfaction of focusing on something that has not been a priority up until now. Whichever way you enter this toolkit, we would encourage you to consider all themes for a more holistic view of what we are proposing will create more sustainable communities.
A Note on Language
When we use the word community, we not only refer to a community of place, such as a village, we also include a community of interest: that is, people who may live in different parts of the country but who share a common interest, such as protecting birdlife. We use the words group and organisation interchangeably.
Questions to consider to implement the toolkit:
1. Does this require a team of people to meet monthly for updates and next steps?
2. Does the work complement what is currently part of different people’s roles, in which case how can this be made explicit and the results shared more widely?
3. What are the milestones for your community?
4. When would you like to start initiating changes and when would you expect to see results?
5. For each agreed action – what is the deadline, who is doing this, what smaller actions will help to reach this?