What does ‘community’ really mean? by Dorothy Jarvis-Lee
When most of us are asked to say what ‘community’ means we will probably find ourselves describing the neighbourhood we call home and the group of people who live there or those with whom we identify because of our background or common interests.
I think that ‘community’ has a much deeper and more significant meaning. It’s not simply something each of us fits into. Being a member of a community is evolving into a way of living that means each of us is making a more active choice about what we do. As we make our personal journey, discovering more about ourselves as individuals and those around us, it creates the opportunity to recognise and understand the potential we each own and how we can and could contribute to our society and make a real difference.
‘Community’ for us is therefore defined more by the actions of those within it, and not simply by words. Believing that being a member of a community should be a positive and vibrant part of our lives and that we should let go of the passive acceptance that we cannot make a difference. The very essence of the word ‘community’ evokes a liberating sense of participation, of respectful and dignified togetherness, and belonging.
Our philosophy at ubu is simple and clear; we believe that everyone, whatever their ability or background should have the opportunity to find their rightful place in our communities so that they can achieve what they want to. We strive to ensure that the individuals we enable are supported to develop in every aspect of their lives. We are led in this work by their personal ambitions, goals and dreams for a better and happier future; whether this is by finding fulfilling work, living with greater independence, building relationships, seeking new friends and by learning skills to develop as active and respected citizens.
Community is at the heart of everything we