UK Government calls for more effective ways of communicating and engaging with the community to devolve power and enable local improvements in the concept of the 'Big Society'. Devolved power is often gained through local community organisations. These organisations are being tasked to manage community assets calling for a new breed of skilled community participants. They are under tremendous pressure and this additional stress may have a detrimental impact on individuals’ wellbeing. Community organisations often struggle to attract capable community participants as they compete with the well-known giants of the voluntary sector, who have significant marketing budgets. They need to develop their use of ICT to compete, attract and sustain community participants. When the public consider community participation there are a series of local social interactions that take place, culminating in a tipping point, when they decide to participate. This process is complex with varying sources of information linking into decision making. Coupled with the needs of community organisations necessitates careful management to ensure the wellbeing of both. The aim of this research was to develop a wellbeing themed framework for effective community participation, applying both complexity and design perspectives. This has repeatedly been highlighted as an area of need and yet still no real answer has been found to offer the public a process that supports the development of wellbeing whilst creating tipping points for community participation. The research started with a literature review followed by open interviews of experiences and a separate analysis of spiritual reflections to develop and clarify themes for the wellbeing semi-structured interviews. The interview process involved reflection, Mindsight and Mindfulness of each themed area to rate where participants felt they were at that point in time, where they wanted to be and what actions they could have taken to get there and when. An international evaluation was completed to add qualitative and quantitative information to the research, validate the process and understand beneficial language. This was followed up with refinements from the literature. The evidence demonstrated the effectiveness of the wellbeing process with designed tipping points for community participation. The community sector can exploit this research for their benefit, offering well-fitting roles for career development of young people, unemployed, retired or ill health recovery. The contribution to knowledge acquired is the development of a sustainable, effective, efficient and time saving wellbeing framework and process for online communication mediation for wellbeing in a community participation context.
|Publication status||In preparation - Jun 2016|