Empowering communities through environmental action

Taking a community centred approach to policy and practice will be vital to ‘levelling’ up, addressing health inequalities and supporting a just transition to a low carbon economy.

Groundwork is expert in achieving community development through environmental projects and, through our forty years of experience, we have identified key ingredients for successful community environmental projects: longevity, creating a ‘hub’, acting as mediators and capacity builders, offering a variety of activities, and being able to draw on a skilled workforce.

‘From the Ground Up: empowering communities through environmental action’ is the latest policy report from Groundwork and reflects on the range of work underway across our network to support local community action and, through interviews with those involved, draws lessons about what works and why.

Published July 2022; Author: Fay Holland, Policy & Research Executive & Isabelle Norman, Policy & Research Trainee

Read the report

You can view the full report below. To make it easier to read you can click on the report to make it full screen and zoom in and out using the controls on the bottom of the page. You can also use the toolbar to download a PDF version.

Why it matters

Julie’s story

Julie’s using her passion for growing to inspire others about the benefits of nature on mental health and depression

Love Glastonbury’s story

Love Glastonbury are working to alleviate food poverty and reduce food waste by redistributing excess food to anybody in need, in and around Glastonbury.

Hellen’s story

Hellen is currently working as an Environmental Projects Assistant at Grow Speke, community garden in South Liverpool.

News & Blogs

Q&A: Community Action in Northern Ireland

This interview with Rachel Toner, Community Development Lead for Groundwork Northern Ireland, explores the themes from our ‘From the Ground Up’ report.

BLOG: Empowering communities through green hubs

This blog by Fay Holland explores the role of green community hubs in empowering local people, and introduces Groundwork’s new Northern Network programme.

BLOG: Community resilience for future heatwaves

Why does community resilience matter in a heatwave? This blog by Nick Drew, senior project officer on Communities Prepared, explains.

Supporting communities through our work

Better Place in Bradford

Better Place is a three-year project to develop safer and healthier places for expectant parents and families with children to increase their access to outdoor spaces.

Community Food Growing Hubs

Our community hubs in Luton are providing local people with fresh produce and address issues of food poverty across the town.

Community Grants

Our experienced grant management teams help to support thousands of projects every year through our grant programmes. Last year we invested £88 million in communities.