“Connected Communities” is a vision which supports the idea of reducing social isolation and improving the experience of greater well-being. Part of this is understanding how community and social connections actually affect people’s well-being. Since 2010, the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, the University of Central Lancashire and London School of Economics have been working on the Connected Communities program. This longitudinal research project aims to: understand how community and social connections affect people’s well-being; develop best practices around using local data and evidence to help develop local projects that enhance positive connections and well-being; and feedback into how this links to wider public policy and social debates.
On February 29th, Wellesley Institute will be hosting David Morris to come and share his project work on Connected Communities with the aim to learn from the UK study and start to think about what a Connected Communities project could look like here in the GTA. Joining us for the evening are two interesting local projects that foster the networked approach: Anne Gloger from the East Scarborough Storefront and Chris Penrose from Success Beyond Limits.
David Morris is a professor of Mental Health, Inclusion and Community at the University of Central Lancashire and Director of the Centre for Citizenship and Community, a collaboration with the Royal Society for Arts involving also the London School of Economics and the Royal Society for for Public Health. David has a long standing professional, policy and research interest in social inclusion and community engagement.
Anne Gloger is the founding Executive Director of the East Scarborough Storefront. Her work focuses on fostering collaborative solutions to complex issues in the inner suburban community of Kingston Galloway Orton Park (KGO) in Scarborough. The program is based on the belief that it takes collective community responses to keep people engaged to address complex community-based social issues. The Storefront helps networks of residents, social service organizations, academic institutions, businesses, planners and architects engagement in meaningful discussions, run programs, organize events, share learning and participate in many activities effectively and collectively.
Chris Penrose has been describers and a “big-picture thinking with his feet (and heart) on the ground.” He has been working with the Jane-Finch community for over a decade. As the Executive Director of Success Beyond Limits, his work has focused on community-based, youth-focused education programming that incorporates mentorship, employment and exposure as pillars for student success. Committed to meaningful collaboration and impact on a system-level, Chris contributes to a number of committees and collectives focused on youth opportunities. Success Beyond Beyond Limits is a collaborative, youth-led, community-based movement that provides youth with holistic supports to complete their education and experience success in their lives.