Ann Hindley

Profile:  Ann is an experienced community development worker of over thirty years' standing.  She has extensive experience of working with community groups, voluntary sector organisations, local authorities, regional and national bodies, academic institutions and central government agencies.  Her approach is one of building on strengths.

Key skills:

  • Development work with groups working on community building projects
  • Feasibility studies and business planning
  • Inspiring groups to achieve their ambitions while also encouraging realism
  • Community based research and supporting groups to do research
  • Project evaluation


  • Community development with older people
  • Faith based community development
  • Rural community development including an extensive contract with the Countryside Agency working with parish councils on parish transport
  • Regional Co-ordinator for Community Matters for Yorkshire and the Humber for three years and continued work for them as an associate, with particular emphasis on community asset transfer
  • A number of successful contracts with groups on community building projects
  • Research work ranging from community consultations to work for universities.

Adam Conroy

Adam is an experienced and committed Community Development worker, trainer and facilitator, cross-fertilising professional roles with diverse and successful local community and campaigning roles and skills. Approachable, reflective and adaptable, with strong organisational and motivational skills balancing a facilitatory and sensitive approach to communication and team-work enable a smooth delivery of training from conception and design, through to evaluation and follow up. 

Key Skills

  • Developing and delivering courses and residentials in Community Development and other areas of community action, campaigning and sustainability
  • Designing innovative and participative learning, combining different approaches and methods to training and facilitation including Community Development Learning, Reflect Action, Process Work and Open Space, and devising diverse learning resources, toolkits and training packs
  • Community project management and partnership working, from conception to evaluation
  • Working with groups on power dynamics and conflict, and supporting the self-empowerment of marginalised individuals and communities
  • Organisational, group and partnership development, support and training
  • Community research, engagement and consultation.


  • Wide experience over 25 years in Community Development, training and facilitation in the UK and abroad; qualified mentor, trainer and facilitator.
  • Conceiving and steering Green Zone project, embedding Community Development values to increase levels of community activism and meet identified needs of deprived neighbourhood.
  • Conceiving and steering Communities for Change project, including innovative learning and event design, and a focus on bringing different communities together to learn from each other and celebrate.
  • Designing and delivering training for the Federation of Community Development Learning, the Community Work Training Company, Co-operatives UK and many others on topics including community work, group work, governance, training and facilitation skills, engagement and consultation, communication and working with conflict.
  • Community activist focussing on working with marginalised communities, including those dealing with mental health issues, addiction, conflict and deprivation.
  • Group and one-to-one work with refugee communities in the UK and in Croatia during the break-up of Yugoslavia. 
  • Co-ordination, mentoring and training for a Recognition scheme in Oldham
  • Campaigning on ecological and social justice issues, including pro-active national project design and management.
  • Director of Sostenga Community Development collective since 2006, and director of Rhizome training and facilitation co-operative since 2012.
  • Developing, steering and facilitating international projects and residential courses.

Jonathan Hyams

Jonathan has more than thirty five years engagement and commitment in community education, community development, equality and anti-discrimination work as a freelance consultant, paid worker, teacher, trainer, activist and mentor.

He has never become tired or disillusioned in working with people on their own issues in their own communities, and his extensive work with and in organisations has always been grounded in this local experience.

Key Skills:

  • Development and implementation of community development and anti-discrimination training and development programmes for employees, volunteers and community activists
  • Project development and management
  • Management committee support and facilitation
  • Partnership working with service users, organisations and other key stakeholders
  • Issue-based campaigning skills
  • Networking skills
  • Community research skills


Jonathan’s wide experience comes from a combination of freelance, employed and unpaid (voluntary) work, in urban, rural, local, county, regional and national contexts.

Paid employment has included:

  • Community education initiatives with unwaged and unemployed people across west Devon
  • Community Development work with Cardiff Law Centre
  • Working as Development Officer (England) with the National Federation of Shopmobility
  • Working as Locum Co-Director with Telford and Shropshire Race Equality Council
  • Working on issues of rural social exclusion as Community Development Co-ordinator with Shropshire Rural Community Council
  • Two periods o about a year each covering maternity leave for the Equality and Diversity Officer of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

Freelance work has included:

  • Community development and equality training, lecturing and seminar work with local communities, public sector and local authority organisations and secondary and tertiary education establishments
  • Work on research projects includes:
  • A review of equality practice in Darlington Borough Council
  • Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Assessment research projects in County Durham, North Yorkshire and Greater Manchester
  • Health Trainers and Community Development
  • Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Research Project - experiences of living, working and using services in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin
  • Under-Reporting of Hate Incidents in Shropshire
  • Work with public and health sector organisations on assessing equality impacts, accessibility of public spaces, challenging discriminatory behaviour.

Unpaid (voluntary) work has included:

  • Developing and supporting a Claimants’ Union in south Devon
  • Membership of Racial Equality Council management committees in Plymouth, Cardiff, Telford and Shropshire
  • Membership of two CABx Management Committees
  • Founder member and convenor of Shrewsbury Action Against Racism
  • Membership of the Federation for Community Development Learning and the Community Development Exchange Boards
  • Co-founding, administering and developing Fairness, Respect, Equality Shropshire (FRESh) Ltd
  • Individual casework, supporting people who have experienced different kinds of discrimination
  • Trustee and current Chair of DASH – one of the key Disability Arts organisations in the UK

Alana Gooding

Alana is passionate about social inclusion and equitable access to education, training, and recognition/validation of work within communities. She has extensive experience of working both at the grassroots and at strategic policy level. Working with a diverse range of people and partners, from community and voluntary sector organisations, local authorities, universities and national community development organisations, Alana takes an asset based, holistic approach to her work.

Key Skills

  • Qualified adult educator and assessor having devised and delivered a variety of highly participative workshops, courses and programmes relating to community development and other disciplines
  • Inclusive working, with particular experience of working within the area of mental health and leaning difficulties
  • Qualified counsellor
  • Organisational development, business planning and project development and delivery within the voluntary, community and faith sector
  • Partnership working in multivarious settings


  • Relationship Manager for the ‘Our Place’ community budgeting programme managed by Locality on behalf of the DCLG
  • Local Trust Big Local Rep since 2011, supporting 5 different areas to develop local partnerships and plans for a ten year resident-led programme offering £1million to each area to improve “quality of life” and make a lasting difference
  • Member of the Sostenga Collective, founder member of the Endorsement & Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB), CDF Associate Trainer, FCDL Associate Trainer
  • A wide range of contracts for local, national and regional organisations as a freelance consultant, including: ABCD (Asset Based Community Development) training for CDF (Community Development Foundation), consulting and reporting on the inclusion of mental health services users for Southampton City Council, developing an outcomes focused performance framework for community based infrastructure organisations, on behalf of the Active Communities Unit
  • Development Manager for Rowner Community Trust, leading on establishing the Trust, ensuring effective involvement of the local community as decision-makers and business plan development
  • Interim Development Manager for Surrey Community Action, managing a portfolio of lottery funded projects, and line managing community development personnel
  • A wide range of roles over an extended period for Portsmouth City Council, from Community Centre Warden, to Community Training Officer
  • English and Humanities Teacher

Sue Gill

Sue is passionate about vocational education and training, and has extensive experience of working directly with users and at strategic policy level. This has entailed working with a diverse range of people and partners, including public, private, community and voluntary sector organisations, local authorities, universities and national representative/lead bodies.

Key Skills:

  • Development and implementation of work programmes in standards, qualifications and Apprenticeships for Community Learning and Development – having developed and reviewed NOS, vocational qualifications and Apprenticeship provision in England, Wales and Scotland. 
  • Qualified project and programme manager (Prince 2, MSP, APMP)
  • Learning design and resource development for adult learners
  • Partnership working with users and stakeholders


  • Member of the Sostenga Collective, member of the Endorsement & Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB), member of ETS committee for NYA, member of review group for QAA review of Youth and Community Work benchmarks
  • A range of contracts for local, national and regional organisations as a freelance consultant, including: Technical lead on review of National Occupational Standards, review of SVQ and Modern Apprenticeship in Scotland, review and development of Apprenticeship frameworks in Wales for lead organisation on Youth and Community Work for UKCES. Facilitation of strategic health partnership workshop for NCVYS. Consultant role on organisation’s review of working processes and quality against Ofsted criteria for CYM/NCVYS. Development work on material to support qualification delivery for ESB. Mentoring role for Housing Association community team for Hexagon
  • Lead and/or take part in process of professional endorsement for HE programmes in youth and community work in England as part of responsibilities of membership of ESB and ETS
  • Interim Head of Learning and Innovation at MOL, reviewing structure of materials produced and line managing newly formed production team
  • A range of roles for the Lifelong Learning Sector Skills Council including Community Development, Youth Work, Working with Parents, Family Learning across all countries of the UK. Roles included Policy Advisor, Project Manager, Partnership and Sector Manager as well as NOS and Apprenticeship Development Manager
  • Employment with a private training provider in range of roles working with vocational learners on Youth Training programmes. Employment started in training and assessing, then moved to development of self-directed learning materials and then into a project-based role within the central quality team.

Val Harris

Val enjoys neighbourhood working and is actively involved in her local community. She has been a community development worker for about 40 years, both paid and as a volunteer. Over the years she has been involved in both national and international community development projects. Val likes developing new projects and training by working up new ideas to community problems. She is keen to encourage people to share what they know with other people in communities and has produced four versions of the Community Work Skills Manual, where people offer their good ideas of what worked for them. She is passionate about environmental matters and how they affect local communities.

Key Skills

  • Designing and delivering training workshops and courses to meet the needs of particular groups
  • Working in many different and diverse communities
  • Designing and undertaking community based research
  • Development of new projects and groups
  • Project management, supervisory skills, mentoring skills
  • Designing and undertaking community engagement activities
  • Building on people’s existing skills and knowledge


  • Development of Recognition programmes that certificate peoples existing skills and knowledge in community development
  • Managed international projects with community workers from different countries
  • Chair of the Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning
  • Setting up many different projects, from sorting out the ideas to getting the funding, implementing the projects and monitoring and evaluating the progress of the project
  • Undertaking of research for small community groups through to national projects
  • Development of a mentoring programme for peer mentors with the lived experience of mental ill health
  • Development and delivery of national qualifications in community development
  • Organisational development for many different groups, from organisational reviews, feasibility studies, action planning, designing job roles and support systems for people
  • Writer of many how to manuals and training packs for community workers and trainers
  • Project manager for national initiatives on community engagement, environmental issues, active citizenship, neighbourhood renewal

Heather Bartley

Heather has been involved in many forms of Community Development for the last 40 years.  Firstly as an activist in her teenage years, seeking justice for people who were marginalised in society.  She particularly focused and journeyed alongside those who were homeless and living on the streets. Throughout a career of being involved with people from varied backgrounds, is able to recognise key skills and strengths, working to develop individual qualities.  Has been a community development practitioner working within South East London and actively involved in numerous community development pilot projects.  Currently engaged in three specific voluntary roles together with being a professional facilitator, assessor and mentor.

Key Skills

  • Qualified facilitator, assessor and mentor for learners involved in community development
  • A specialist delivering training for staff working within in-patient mental health settings, including unannounced observations on staff within medium secure units. Providing feedback and any necessary recommendations for future development within the NHS.


  • Activist engaging with people on margins of society
  • Worked with people from varying backgrounds in a professional capacity
  • As a consultant works with many professional bodies/organisations to bring about change
  • Trainer, facilitator and mentor for over twenty-seven years, specifically focusing on people skills and providing an environment where growth can materialise. In turn, this impacts on societal difference together with addressing social justice issues
  • Been party to several community development pilot initiatives
  • Member of the Sostenga Collective and member of the Endorsement & Quality Standards Board for Community Development Learning (ESB)

Laura Harris

Laura is an experienced designer and photographer with over 10 years experience in the community and voluntary sector. She produces high quality reports for a variety of organisations, including research reports with accessible and detailed graphical information and representation of complex information in diagram form.
She works with organisations to create and maintain websites with her own hosting service, providing low cost hosting services with a tailored and high quality assistance to make websites and other web services accessible to groups and organisations. Laura is experienced with Survey Monkey (and other types of online and offline survey design and collection). She has been involved in various research projects relating to the community and voluntary sector including data collection and analysis and is competent and experienced in questionnaire design, statistical analysis and data protection.