Community Development

ICON operates to community development principles and a social inclusion ethos forms the basis for all its work.  We work to increase equality of access to information, education, training and employment for our most marginalised local individuals and groups.

Community Development is a process that seeks to build strong, sustainable communities by bringing people and groups together for the good of the wider community and society. Based on principles of collectivity, equality, anti-discrimination, empowerment, participation, social justice, fairness and respect it sets out to influence power structures and remove barriers that prevent people from taking part in decisions that affect their lives. We work with local people and groups to be active participants in society. We believe that unless work in the most disadvantaged communities is underpinned by these approaches and this ethos, the most disadvantaged will lose out.

Collective Action

Community work is based on working with and supporting groups of people. It enables them to develop knowledge; skills and confidence so that they can develop an analysis, identify priority needs and issues and address these through collective action.


Community work is about the empowerment of individuals and communities and addressing the unequal distribution of power.

Social Justice

Community work is based on a belief that every person and every community can play an active role in creating conditions for a just and equal society where human rights are promoted and all forms of oppression and discrimination are challenged.

Equality & Anti-Discrimination

Community work challenges the oppression and exclusion of individuals and groups by institutions and society that leads to discrimination against people based on ability, age, culture, gender, marital status, socioeconomic status, nationality, skin colour, racial or ethnic group, and sexual orientation, political or religious beliefs.


Participation is about the involvement of groups who experience social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination in decision making, planning and action at all levels, from the local to the global. Participation can be viewed as a continuum of activity that can start from information sharing through capacity building and empowerment to active engagement and meaningful participation in democratic processes.  Central to this is the inclusion of people's lived experience in shaping policy responses.