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Community Building - literature review

Report, literature review, case studies | June 2010

This paper was developed as part of the partnership programme between Oxfordshire County Council and the Institute of Public Care. It is a literature review which focuses on recent UK material that can identify an evidence-based process to develop strong communities that can have a health/social care impact.

The report first explores definitions of a strong community, and then examines the potential contribution that a strong community might make to health and wellbeing. A range of existing literature on the health and well-being contribution of strong communities is summarised and critiqued, and potential cost-effective measures are identified. Suggestions for action in the light of the findings are made.

The report then looks at community initiatives which are replicable. There is an emphasis on older people's projects, with areas covered including practical help to enable people to remain at home, physical health enhancement and community wellbeing. Finally, the report makes conclusions and suggests ways forward. It points out that none of the schemes set out are ‘magic bullets’, and that no simple model can be transposed without matching it to the local environment.