Community Engagement

We take engagement seriously – but do it respectfully, compassionately, creatively and playfully. We successfully blend our stakeholders’ objectives with the aspirations of our audiences. 

We build bridges between partners, stakeholders and communities – whether defined geographically, economically, culturally or through other concerns. Our projects include the development of resilience against flooding in the Eastbourne and south Wealden community for the DEFRA-funded Blue Heart Project. We have created an engagement strategy for East Sussex County Council, and staged a Leadership Summit on anti-social behaviour for Exeter City Council.

Building on Existing Foundations

Agile Rabbit designs and delivers community engagement programmes using the principles of ABCD Assets-Based Community Development. This focuses on identifying and rallying existing community resources and capacity to reach shared goals which are important to them, rather than imposing solutions from external parties.

By starting with a period of listening – sometimes called appreciative enquiry – we find common threads between different parties, mediate respectful discussion and support active engagement. 

Equity and Inclusion

We recognise the imbalances of power, agency and resources in our society. We advocate for equity rather than equality in the allocation of budget, time and resources for engaging with communities and stakeholders. We amplify voices which often remain unheard, and can represent the views of individuals and groups who aren’t always at the table (although we’d prefer they were there to speak for themselves).

We appreciate there are many reasons someone might not engage – so-called ‘barriers to engagement’ – and aim to be inclusive in designing when, where and how we undertake activity or communication, to reduce or mitigate those barriers wherever possible.

Reflective Practice and Evolving Outputs

No two communities, projects or partners are the same. We will use our combined experience, skill and creativity to inform and develop each project, but have the confidence to adapt to circumstances as they arise, and relationships develop.  

The outputs of a project depend on the interests, skills and aspirations of the people we are engaging with. But we can design an engagement strategy that delivers the outcomes you need.