3. Connect individuals to other individuals’ and community assets

Bring people and places together, through a range of methods, including social prescribing, peer mentors, link workers and care navigators.

Once mapped, the next step is to begin to draw the lines between individual and community assets, building bridges to bring different people and places together. There are a number of ways in which asset-based models connect people to resources and forms of support. Options include social prescribing, link workers, community navigators, community circles and peer support workers. Depending on their support requirements, people receive different levels of engagement – whether via a trained peer, a lay person or a professional – to help them identify and draw on local resources.

This can be through one-to-one conversations or group sessions, or it can be through more in-depth engagement, helping, for instance, a socially isolated person learn to use a computer to meet people online. In supporting these personalised conversations, good asset-based models are increasingly drawing upon highquality digital directories of links which they can use to signpost people to the right forms of support.

The ‘social value’ of such an approach is explored in the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) It’s Still Personal report (2017), which demonstrates the multiple benefits to individuals and of wider community resilience. Out of seemingly small moments emerge greater, significant movements: a local knitting club has attendees swapping tips, making friends and sharing time with each other, leading to a greater sense of validation and reduced isolation, plus a strengthened network of resources for members.

Examples of how key enablers can be achieved:

  • Community navigation
  • Social prescribing
  • Peer support