Nurturing social capital in local communities


  • Sally Denley A registered social worker with Presbyterian Support Upper South Island. Former coordinator and developer of the SAGE programme. Currently a full-time social worker working with families.



social capital, community social work, social work practice, social connection, SAGE programme, mentoring,


This article describes how Presbyterian Support Upper South Island is providing services that nurture social capital in community settings in North Canterbury.

One such service within the ‘SAGE’ programme is described. The SAGE programme is a family mentoring service which matches older volunteers with families and is a service that is considered to be responsive and flexible. The interconnected multi-layered approaches within this service nurtures the bridging between individual, family and community environments in a preventative way. The resulting improvements in social connection are small but important steps in strengthening the fabric of local community development and in creating a better sense of belonging for all involved.


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How to Cite

Denley, S. (2017). Nurturing social capital in local communities. Aotearoa New Zealand Social Work, 21(1), 32–38.