During the planning process of developing Age-Friendly Forsyth as a collaborative community initiative, organizational leaders within Forsyth County recognized that in order to have a greater, more sustainable impact, community members must be at the center of all initiative activities and decision-making processes. Aging adults must be empowered to be a part of change processes as they are the wealth of knowledge and experience. This led to the development of the Community Engagement Council.
The Community Engagement Council consists of community members that help inform the work of Age-Friendly Forsyth and are heavily involved in all initiative decision-making processes. This resident leadership group also serves as a bridge, connecting work happening within the initiative to other community members in their local neighborhoods. The role is stipend, and includes leadership development training.
The primary function of a volunteer Community Engagement Council member is to serve at least a one-year commitment as a communication liaison. This is accomplished through connecting with residents, hearing and communicating community needs and concerns, and having an active voice in sharing opinions on need areas at council meetings and with organizations that serve on the initiative’s Leadership Team.