Increasingly, local communities are taking matters into their own hands and cooperate to connect and unite the people who are part of their neighbourhood or community. It is important for everyone to feel at home and be able to contribute to their neighbourhood.
These innovative community initiatives are creative and entrepreneurial. They have local support and reach various groups of people. It is all about community spirit and feeling welcome. This happens in different ways: through meeting places created for and by the neighbourhood, through neighbourhood cooperatives, and through community firms. DOEN believes that these initiatives will strengthen cohesion in society and contribute to greater involvement of people with each other and with their local community.
DOEN supports innovative community initiatives that focus on residents playing an active role. These are pioneers with an entrepreneurial and sustainable approach, and creative, innovative and surprising ideas.
DOEN offers them direct support in the form of grants, loans, guarantees or investments. Examples are:
In the Dutch town of Baarn, there is still little social cohesion between local residents, and community spirit cannot be created just like that. The creative, inclusive meeting place Lokaal-O meets an important need for different people. It’s a place for everyone, with activities that make a difference to people’s lives. At Lokaal-O, everyone is welcome without being categorised or placed in a particular target group.
The Wijkbedrijf Selwerd was created for and by residents of the Selwerd district in Groningen. This community firm is a place where local residents can go to help themselves, each other and the district. Here the residents carry out activities to make Selwerd better and more beautiful, all on a basis of collaboration and connection. In addition to being a meeting place, it is a place where people can participate by being socially active as a volunteer, doing small jobs for others, or doing a so-called 'participation job'.