Report highlights why we ‘must not go back’

Posted on: March 22, 2022

Community360 have published a report on the many challenges and success stories faced by local communities and what has worked well for them.


Titled, ‘We’re Not Going Back’ the report has been put together by Community360 on behalf of the sector. They have listened and recorded testimonies from the general public, charitable organisations and local communities as well as conducting surveys to monitor the state of the sector by capturing information about the operation, challenges and opportunities faced by leaders and local citizens. 


This report also comes on the back of the The North East Essex Health and Wellbeing Alliance community conference held last year with Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the Institute of Health Equity.

Titled Communities Can…Build Back Fairer, the conference aim was to raise awareness of how living through Covid has highlighted a host of inequalities in health outcomes.

The conference was the first phase of a commitment from local leadership that there must be systematic change to ‘Build Back Fairer.’ 

We’re Not Going Back is also linked to the report, Communities in Crisis, which was commissioned by C360, working with the University of Essex, to create an archive of oral histories that explores the experiences of local voluntary and community sector leaders prior to and during the pandemic. The research presents a broad cross section of organisations (in geography, income and capacity) that support people of all ages and affected by multiple disadvantages. 


Tracy Rudling, CEO at Community360 said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has contributed to this report from our local citizens, and local voluntary community organisations.”

She added: “From this information we now have an opportunity to push for an equitable, productive, and more prosperous future that improves everyone’s quality of life.  Our collective experiences have shown how much can be achieved when we work together and target our skills and resources. 

We have learnt more about what we value and why we will not go back to ‘normal,’ when for many ‘normal’ is an unsustainable, prejudiced, or imbalanced set of conditions. 


We feel strongly that we must take the learning from experiences over the last two years and turn it into actions that can potentially have long-lasting impact on the challenges we are identifying and strengthen the projects that have supported communities so well.  Our ambitions are to build on these strengths highlighted in this report and to provide a framework for positive action in the future. This report is our call to further action.

Our next steps are to tackle health inequalities and organisation sustainability very directly.  We will do this by championing the sector, developing the Marmot leadership group will be the catalyst for much of the work as it will strengthen the collective voice of local groups and people.  We will embed more support for leaders, be that funding, volunteer recruitment, building partnerships or promoting the work they do.  


We believe in the community organisations working in Colchester but know they face daily challenges to do what is best for local people and to keep operating.  To date, we have invested time in helping to access funding for distribution to them, over £600,000 in twelve months but want to extend this work further.”


Community organisers champion and support local residents across the Borough. Their staff are skilled and connected to their purpose and their experiences highlight complexities, challenges and opportunities. 


One such organisation is Refugee Action Colchester who has been a vital support system to refugee and migrant communities in the Borough for a few years and has continued to experience increasing demand through 2020 and into 2021. 

 “We were delighted to contribute to this report.” Said Maria Wilby, Senior Caseworker and CIC Director of Refugee Action Colchester.  “The only way to go forward is to build partnerships and resilient communities which can thrive when the world is shaken, as when Covid-19 emerged. The impacts of these challenges must be learned from and recorded so we know how to build better. The We’re Not Going Back report does exactly that.”

The full report can be viewed here:

Author: Jade Bolton
Categories: News

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