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Date: 2017-01-25 11:58 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] ewt
I'd be inclined to ask the community what they need most.

I suspect some kind of semi-voluntary mentoring programme might help; elderly people and teenagers, for example. But I really don't know. Possibly a time-bank arrangement of some sort. Look at what community activities are already there, and build on those.

There is a concept known as Asset-Based Community Development which works on the premise of improving communities by working with what is already there, rather than seeing them as deficient in some way to begin with; I don't know much more than that about it, but it's a concept it sounds like your students might enjoy looking at. I am slightly wary of theterm these days because it gets slapped onto a lot of projects which measure "development" in terms of financial profit rather than e.g. improved health outcomes, but in a capitalist society that's going to be a risk with any development programme. And, in fairness, that £250k will go a lot further if it is invested in such a way that there *is* some profit and this goes back into the community.
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