A community anchor is:
- independent and community-led
- a multi-purpose facility
- there for the long term, not a quick fix
- a driving force in community renewal
Development trusts are community anchor organisations.
Characteristics of a community anchor organisation:
- A building: a physical space which is community controlled, owned or led
- A focus for services and activities meeting local need
- A vehicle for local voices to be heard, needs to be identified and for local leaders and community groups to be supported
- A platform for community development, promoting cohesion while respecting diversity
- A home for the community sector which is supportive of the growth and development of community groups
- A means of promoting community led enterprise, generating independent income while having a social, economic and environmental impact.
- A forum for dialogue within communities, creating community led solutions.
- A bridge between communities and the state which promotes and brings about social change.
Stephen Thake, author of Firm Foundations and lecturer at London Metropolitan University who coined the term 'community anchor organisation', presented a session at the Development Trusts Association conference in September 2007 on their context, role and importance in the community. Click here for his presentation.