Over the summer of 2020 we interviewed 13 individuals who have pioneered neighbourhood approaches to local public services over the past two decades. We asked them about their experiences, how these relate to the current crisis, and what we can take forward into a period of recovery and change. Some of those we interviewed still work in neighbourhood or locality roles, some have taken on larger responsibilities, some have moved to new careers entirely. They all carry with them a common ethos and skillset geared towards connecting citizens and public services.
These interviews are brought together in our publication Neighbourhood working beyond the pandemic and create a powerful argument for community connectors in local public services, inspired by neighbourhood working, as we move beyond the Covid-19 crisis.
At the start of the pandemic local public services across the country rapidly mobilised thousands of staff to engage and make connections in their communities in order to protect their residents and identify the most vulnerable. Many of these approaches built upon, or mirrored previous locality models.
In September 2020 we held on online roundtable co-hosted with Shared Intelligence to hear from those featured in Neighbourhood working beyond the pandemic. We asked what can be learned from neighbourhood and locality working, and what role connectors like those interviewed are playing – or could play – in the challenges local public services will face as we move beyond the current crisis. For instance are these skills and ways of working making their way into councils’ medium-term planning?
You can access a recording of the event and download the publication here.