Communities Supporting Communities


More and more communities are now creating their own organisations to help reverse the trend of social and economic decline and build social renewal.

Development trusts help foster a new spirit of community owned enterprise, which is helping to create wealth in our communities. They have enabled many communities to re–launch themselves on a path to sustainable growth and development.

Active communities, social enterprises and community owned asset development are the essential building blocks for sustainable long-term change. The idea of social and community enterprise is now firmly on the map.

DTA Wales values:
        • We believe that community enterprise is value driven.
        • We believe in encouraging and supporting people to take responsibility for the renewal of their own communities.
        • We stand for accountability to local people, as well as collective action and partnership
        • We recognise the diversity that exists within communities and regard this as a source of strength
        • We value sustainable regeneration, which addresses the economic, environmental and social needs of a community, and which involves the creation of wealth for communities by communities.

As a support body, the Development Trusts Association uses a peer support approach where possible in order to carry out community led regeneration in communities across Wales. Our network and movement are made up of highly experienced asset developers and community enterprise practitioners from across the UK. We use the expertise and knowledge of our Members, and those of our sister organisations Locality in England, DTAS in Scotland and DTNI in Northern Ireland, to help new and emerging community enterprises and those taking on and developing community owned assets.

By peer support we mean people with direct, first hand experience of setting up and running community enterprises, or negotiating and operating community owned assets. Not just those who can talk the talk, but those who know how to walk the walk too.

In all our work, we support new activity by working alongside your community organisation and becoming your “critical friend”. We are not there to do it for you or your group. Rather the support we offer from within our network enables your groups to achieve what it needs to on its own and more effectively. Ultimately helping transfer that knowledge and experience on, so that you learn from the mistakes and benefit from the lessons that have been learnt by others.

This peer support approach is used on all our current Programmes and activities. These are:

  • Egin:  Helping communities tackle climate change and live more sustainably through Peer Mentoring support.
  • Community Ownership Fund: Supporting communities to buy community-owned assets at risk of closure
  • Social Business Wales: Supporting start-up and growing social businesses. Our key role is to develop an increasingly confident and competent peer mentoring service to social enterprises in Wales

If you have social enterprise and community experience that you think would be helpful to share with other groups, read more about our recruitment process and apply to join our pool of Peer Mentors.

We have also used the approach on the delivery of the Village SOS Support Programme and on a visit to explore best practice in Community Led Housing.

We can also deploy the DTA Wales Pool for other consultancy work regarding community led regeneration, community enterprise and sustainable development activities. The DTA Wales Pool is made up from Staff, Members and Associates of ours with expertise in a wide variety of fields from community owned assets and asset development, community enterprises, governance, business planning, finance for community enterprise, marketing, risk assessment, property management and a wide range of other related regeneration issues. We carry off one off pieces of work as well as longer term contracts.

Contact us for more information and a free quote for using the DTA Wales Pool.