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Underpinning our five big projects is the work we will do to develop our vibrant communities, with an outstanding quality of life, where everyone plays an active role. This means clean, safe and affordable housing, the wellbeing of all age groups, from our youngest to our oldest, with good health and care and good local services, and good jobs for working-age residents, to provide financially- sustainable livelihoods for their families.

We have committed to empowering our communities, so everyone feels safe, engaged and included. We are working with our richly diverse communities to empower people from different backgrounds, cultures and beliefs to create a place where all local communities can connect and thrive, including student residents from the three local universities.

Whilst we have an active and self-sufficient third sector, integral to community cohesion, reducing loneliness amongst some isolated people and supporting public service delivery,there are contrasts in our communities. We recognise that the profile of our communities is changing. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole include some of the most deprived areas in the country. Anti-social behaviour and homelessness are genuine concerns for our residents and barriers to communities getting on and enjoying life.

We have a higher proportion of older residents and a smaller proportion of younger residents compared to the rest of the country and we serve an increasingly-diverse population. There are pockets of deprivation within our area which means there are differences in the quality of life between more affluent and deprived areas. We want to ensure there is support for all in society.

Our staff work alongside an active voluntary sector to support connections across demographics, generations and high streets. People who live here have lifelong opportunities to get involved in things they enjoy, benefiting themselves and the community around them. An Asset Based Community Development approach builds on the strengths of local communities, working in partnership with them and working to the ‘nothing about us without us’ principle, to improve life outcomes. Asset based community development focuses on what is strong, not what is wrong, and works with communities to maximise the positives and involve them in their own solutions.

We have an increasingly diverse population and have seen many new residents move to the area in the last few years. Our governance processes ensure that we understand and respond to the different needs of this diverse community, and our network of champions means our diverse and vibrant communities have a platform for engaging with the council and partners to raise issues or concerns and to celebrate our strengths and successes.

We are doing more to engage with those who are seldom heard and to celebrate the voluntary and charitable sector’s work with the council, growing our organisational capacity and grass-roots wellbeing, volunteer opportunities and community involvement across our services, from parks to community development. We know that a diverse community brings huge benefits into any area and we fully intend to capture the benefits of the growing diversity of our community and ensure that everyone is able to play an active role in our communities. That way our communities will be vibrant and strong.

Our focus is on preventing homelessness from occurring in the first place, ending repeat cases and ongoing improvement in terms of our overall local offer in this important area.

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