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Alison Seabrooke

I work on projects in a range of policy areas:

  • continuing to provide strategic and practical advice to a UK public body, on a community consent-based approach to a nationally significant infrastructure project. As far as I am aware this is the first time this approach has been taken in the UK
  • reviewing grant-making processes for a well-known UK charity (February 2017)
  • reviewed activity and produced a report advising on community-based, non-clinical approaches to health and social care  as part of one NHS region’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan submission to NHS England (July – November 2016)

You can read more about these pieces of work in my blog posts.

Between 2005 – 2016 I was chief executive of the Community Development Foundation (CDF). Originally established in 1967 as a non-departmental public body (NDPB) and charity, its role covered all four nations, working across policy, practice, research, evaluation, programme management. Over the period I led CDF’s work building its business portfolio and partnerships, managing £ms in contracts and grants across multiple policy areas and for all sectors, achieving operational efficiencies and a highly collaborative and productive staff team.

By 2011, on cessation as a public body, I had laid the foundations to swiftly shift CDF to its independent social enterprise status, whilst simultaneously bidding for and securing Big Lottery Fund’s largest endowment of £200m, to deliver a 10-year resident-led programme in 150 neighbourhoods – Big Local. CDF set up the independent delivery organisation, Local Trust, in 2012.

From 2012 – 2016, Trustees also agreed a strategy to invest CDF’s own resources in communities, in response to the severe effects of the financial crisis. Towards the end of this period, Trustees considered options for future investment and best ways to support community development into the future. In December 2015 it was agreed to pass £850k in cash, plus intellectual property rights to Local Trust and three other national organisations. CDF ceased to trade in March 2016, a decision that commanded respect as one that could be adopted by other charities.

The articles below provide an insight into some of my interests and experience.

My most recent posts…

What is a community?

We often debate the definition of community, particularly when designing policy or programmes. The problem is that there are different definitions of community and that we too often disconnect our professional expectations from our personal experiences.

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Health and social care; shifting markets, models and money.

Shifting the weight of demand from clinical to community care and responsibility from clinicians to citizens is critical to the future viability of our national health services. NHS England’s 44 Sustainability and Transformation Plans set out how areas in England will approach this over the next few years. But how easily will clinicians and commissioners find it to incorporate community-led responses into the health and social care eco-system?

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Magnetic cities

What does it take to create a magnetic city? This post looks at the different approaches city leaders should consider when planning for urban transformation.

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The evolution of Big Local

Local Trust’s chief executive, Debbie Ladds, invited me to write an article that, on the closure of the Community Development Foundation (CDF) in March 2016, provides an insight into Local Trust’s beginnings and the relationship between the two organisations. Here’s the story.

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What next for UK Cities, as we Brexit?

The shock of the UK Referendum result has provoked a multitude of reactions and self-searching, both at home and abroad. For me, it has opened questions I hadn’t even considered before the vote, which could have a permanent impact on the UK’s nations.

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Guardian Society Profile April 2016

This isn’t the end for local activism
The head of the axed Community Development Foundation on how local organisations already hit by cuts will have to pick up the slack.

BUILD Bilbao October 2016

Bilbao Urban Innovation and Leadership Dialogues
From September 16-19, 2015, BUILD convened over 100 civic leaders and urban practitioners from GMF’s network in the U.S. and Europe to discuss strategies for leading transformative change in cities for BUILD's second annual convening.


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