Community asset mapping refresh North East Essex 2020

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Summary of report content

Research conducted by Community 360 and Community Voluntary Services Tendring (CVST) back in 2019 explored the importance local groups/organisations and the role they play in the day-to-day functioning of local communities. This refreshed report is a review of that work.



A wide range of activities were carried out by several organisations involved in the project, including reviewing the previous report and all relevant data and literature. Key personnel attended voluntary sector events/meetings; meetings were held with the councils; engaged with local representatives and community groups; conducted interviews with community leaders; ran two surveys of community and voluntary sector groups; ran focus groups with a range of organisations, ran a survey of local councillors.


Key findings:

Community assets are often looked upon as a first port of call for people in the community and that without them they would not know where to turn. Other key findings and points are shown below:

  • Technology – this can be both a barrier and a tool to break down barriers
  • Knowledge is golden – people need to be empowered to have the information they need and know where to find it
  • One size does not fit all – important to use neighbourhood and local knowledge of what is needed to plan for services
  • Plenty of community assets but are they the right ones? And are they in the right place? Make sure services feed into local needs
  • Trusted / leading the way – there is a need to utilise the important role the current assets have within the community and learn from them
  • Ownership within the community – importance of giving communities the opportunities and support to create and run their own.




Focus on the strengths: Build on the value of information sharing

Gaps in knowledge: Work on data gathering, especially in areas of deficit

Volunteering key to keep assets working: Embed volunteering within system wide response work

Digital inclusion: Prioritise digital accessibility and skills development, as well as innovation to utilise increasing reliance on online solutions which improve speed of access

Neighbourhood level engagement: VCSE data sources should be integrated into the mainstream; cross comparison of different types of data would benefit planning and development; there should be greater leadership through the neighbourhoods programme and multi-disciplinary teams; local leadership needs a better understanding of ‘culture’, place and identity.

Corporate social responsibility: Work more closely with local businesses and further explore lessons learnt from work already carried out with local businesses.

Prevention: Review current working practices; increase length of funding; allow assets time to consolidate.

Caring for carers: Review carers’ strategy locally and respite opportunities, including overnight or custom breaks; look at increasing support for those that need it most and develop solutions with communities.

Wider determinants of health: Embed high value BAME action plan; assess risks and opportunities for other vulnerable groups/places (e.g. lack of activity, falls and mobility); effective coordinated collaboration across support groups (i.e., advice, foodbanks) in those identified areas where this is not in place; focus on support for younger people (especially those in rented accommodation).

Social connectedness: Extend reach of services, especially across age ranges and offer mixed access points.

Longer term strategies: Encourage a review of longer-term funding relationships, pooling, and a periodic capacity review of sector with a NEE VCSE strategy linked to One Colchester Community Strategy and Tendring Health and Wellbeing Board; consider the format of the asset map – how it can be accessed, searched and developed.

Colchester Specific recommendations cover: financial capability; greater work with faith; and Role of One Colchester.

Tendring Specific Prevention of homelessness recommendations cover:  the economic climate and fragility of the living arrangements of some Tendring; Community; Deprivation.

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General details

Report title 
Community asset mapping refresh North East Essex 2020
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Essex
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 28 April, 2021
Key themes 
Lifestyle and wellbeing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other local body
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance, Community 360, Community Voluntary Services Tendring
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
Focus group
Unstructured Interview
User stories

Details of health and care services included in the report

Community services 

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
Mental health condition

Details of people who shared their views

Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
People who are geographically isolated
People who are long-term unemployed
People who live in poverty
People who misuse drugs
People with limited family or social networks
Refugees or asylum seekers
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not known
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.