Communities Driving Change: Shifting Local Systems

The Tower Hamlets Communities Driving Change (CDC) programme supports residents to take action for improved health and wellbeing in their communities. This involves hearing about the issues which matter to them, co-designing and developing grassroots solutions, and connecting them with other people, services and organisations to enable real change.

Our new report shares the approach and impact of CDC from October 2017 to February 2020. After which, Covid-19 hit and drastically changed life for communities in Tower Hamlets and across the world. Through this report, we hope to contribute to a wider movement around local community-led systems change, informed by life before Covid, and adaptable to life during and after it.

Download the report here. The report was co-authored by Thomas Wastling at FutureGov.

We invite you to consider how your community functions as a ‘system’ – which people, organisations and services exist and in what ways are they connected or unconnected? What might be blocking things from happening, or could enable changes to be made? What root causes are at play and how might they be interconnected? Feel free to use the tools shared in this work to map your ideas and start the conversation. We call on all players – from community activists, to businesses, local authorities and more – to think about their role in creating change, to reach out to one another, and embrace the approaches and recommendations outlined in these reports. Now more than ever, we need to be working collaboratively and in new ways which promote continuous learning and adapting. We call on power-holders to listen to the experiences and insight of the local people they serve, and to be responsive in times of great challenge and change. It is only together than we can move towards recovery.

This is one of several projects The Young Foundation has been working on alongside communities, pre- and during the Covid pandemic, looking ahead to the future.

If you would like to find out more about the Communities Driving Change project, or how you can get involved. please contact Senior Programme Manager Isabel Young on