OUR DEFINITION OF A COMMUNITY ASSET
Our definition is broad. A community asset (or community resource, a very similar term) is anything that can be used to improve the quality of community life.
And this means:
It can be a person — Residents can be empowered to realise and use their abilities to build and transform the community; the stay-at-home Mum or Dad who organises a playgroup the informal neighbourhood leader, the firefighter who risks his life to keep the community safe. These are all community assets.
It can be a physical structure or place; — a school, hospital, church, library, recreation centre or social club. it could be a town landmark or symbol, it might also be an unused building that could house a community hospice or a second floor room ideal for community meetings. Or it might be a public place that already belongs to the community — a park, a wetland, or other open space.
It can be a community service that makes life better for some or all community members – public transportation, early childhood education centre, community recycling facilities, a cultural organisation.
It can be a business that provides jobs and supports the local economy.
Everyone else in the community is a potential community asset.
Everyone has some skills or talents, and everyone can provide knowledge about the community, connections to the people they know, and the kind of support that every effort needs – making phone calls, stuffing envelopes, giving people information, moving equipment or supplies – whatever needs doing.
This suggests that everyone in the community can be a force for community improvement if only we knew what their assets were, and could put them to use.