What I am working on at the moment
Creating conditions for optimistic, imaginative, resourceful people to reimagine and reanimate their town centre. Local creatives, entrepreneurs, activists, makers and doers of all ages in Dudley are connecting with each other, nurturing relationships and trust, sharing and testing out their own ideas or projects inspired by others around the world which resonate with their aspirations and experiences. A small team of us design and curate experiences, activities and platforms which catalyse and amplify this change.
Why I wanted to join the Participatory City Global Advisory
Over the last 5 years I have been experimenting with a range of the the concepts, strategies, approaches, tools and tactics which have informed Participatory City, in parallel to and informed by the Open Works research project as it was running. I continue to use Participatory City resources and approaches to inspire and inform the work I do in Dudley every day.
A little bit about my background
I was introduced to bird watching when I was 8 years old and developed a passion for nature which led to a degree in Engineering Design and Appropriate Technology, providing what is now proving to be a useful grounding in sociotechnical approaches to design. In 1997 I started working for an environmental charity on community projects in Dudley.
Growing in to what would become a 10 year a role as senior officer for Dudley's Community Empowerment Network, a government funded initiative, I was drawn to community development values and principles and became active in national community development circles. I served as a Trustee and Chair for CDX (Community Development Exchange), a membership based charity serving the UK.
I have a full time role as Senior Development Officer for Dudley CVS, a local infrastructure organisation in the UK which provides support to voluntary organisations, social enterprises, community groups, clubs and societies. In this role I instigated CoLab Dudley, a local social lab. I bought in research, design and creative talent through my networks, and developed deep collaboration with local social entrepreneurs in Dudley who are part of the Lab Team.
I am currently a member of a steering group overseeing research exploring the future of community development in the UK. I was a member of the team behind Impact Hub Birmingham’s Kickstarter. I am a Fellowship Councillor for the RSA, in relation to the Public Services and Communities theme of the RSA’s work.
I choose cycling and buses over the car. I read loads of non-fiction, and the occasional novel. I love being outdoors. I aspire to make more, grow food and practice slow living.