Community Development


Community Development

A group to discuss how we can link together to take forward CD in these rough seas

Members: 85
Latest Activity: Nov 17, 2015




Here's a link to a video that shows it's not just about neighbourhoods

See this Campaign for CD precis 20 July 2011

Discussion Forum

Mental Health First Aid - an early intervention approach that can be applied elsewhere? 1 Reply

Hi allI just wondered whether any of you had heard of Mental Health First Aid - and whether you think its co-design approach could be applied to issues such as personal debt, domestic violence or…Continue

Started by Gavin Barker. Last reply by Irfan Khan Oct 3, 2013.

Community Development and the Modernising Local Government Agenda 6 Replies

Hi All Matt Scott has just submitted his PhD thesis:."The Role of Community Development in the Modernising Local Government Agenda, with Specific Reference to the Local Democratic Deficit." It's…Continue

Started by joe taylor. Last reply by Matt Scott Jun 14, 2013.

Community Development learning 1 Reply

Hi all,this is some brief notes of a brief discussion yesterday in Manchester - I thought I'd copy it over to this group too - Community Development learning is not as supported on a national level…Continue

Started by Adam. Last reply by Adam Jun 13, 2013.

CD Starfish meeting in Manchester - stay connected!!

You are warmly invited to the very first Community Sector Coalition Starfish event in Manchester’s Bridge 5 Mill 22A Beswick Street M4 7HR on Tuesday 11th June 2013 from 12 noon – 2.00pm This is…Continue

Started by Nick Beddow May 7, 2013.

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Comment by Bren Cook on February 19, 2013 at 21:31

Nick,  I noticed you asked the question:

1. What's the difference between CD and Asset Based CD?(10 points)

My answer would be the second ones got two words in front of it. Do I get 10 points mr Fry?

Comment by Nick Beddow on August 22, 2012 at 15:23

hi all,

the CD group will soon be hosting many of the resources currently on CDX's website. As many of you know, national charities such as CDX have faced severe challenges in the past year, after Strategic Partner funding was withdrawn by the Government from April 2011. Since then, CDX have been surviving on our dwindling reserves and despite strenuous efforts to secure alternative sources of finance through funding bids, training and paid talks, this has sadly proved impossible.

This situation has led to the unavoidable step of preparing to wind-up CDX as a formal entity: CDX trustees will propose the voluntary dissolution of CDX as a charity and limited company at our AGM on Saturday 29th September 2012. We want our members to have the opportunity to discuss the situation and explore options that will support community development networking for the future. If the dissolution resolution is passed at theAGM, CDX intends to begin the formal dissolution procedures after December 31st 2012.

We would like to thank everyone who has supported and built CDX over the past 25 years. We have been inspired by our members, trustees, paid workers and partner organisations. This is not the end of our collaboration: we will be using our AGM as a springboard for the future to explore new ways of connecting communities and practitioners as together we continue to promote CD values and approaches. The spirit remains strong.
While we face the proposed closure of CDX as a charity and company after December 2012, we are not shutting-up shop on CD or on our alliance with each other. Community Development is bigger than any temporary blip or any institution, and we will find new ways of promoting CD and supporting each other locally, nationally and world-wide.

At our CDX AGM on September 29th we will be exploring how we can celebrate the positive role of CD in the world, and keep our spirit to challenge widening inequalities and disempowerment. We will be exploring how to unleash our local creativity and connections to develop starfish initiatives, bringing us together without a formal leadership or organisation. We can survive the current austerity policies and emerge as lively as ever if we find new, cheap, creative ways to stay connected and recreate a national platform for CD when the need arises. Any organisation can stagnate if it's not continually reinvigorated by its grassroots - so here's our chance to shine again.

In my relatively short time at CDX I have worked alongside great workers and trustees; it has been very painful to see good people having to suffer under the cuts, and I hope we will remember them as we contest future oppression of grassroots communities in the name of deficit reduction. Someone once said that we will be civilised only when the army have to hold car-boot sales to pay for armaments while active communities are properly funded by society’s social budget. We must assert the need for support for communities to fulfil their potential – otherwise Big Society will be nothing more than a euphemism for a distant small state, disregarding mass welfare while propping-up the failing elites in the finance sector.

I hope to see many of you again at our AGM on 29th September. It will be a celebration, not a whinge, as we plan to keep connected and go forward. Don't mourn, organise (but not in an Alinskyite power-mad way - equalities too :) )

Comment by Nick Beddow on May 23, 2012 at 19:07
Comment by Lorna Prescott on May 19, 2012 at 14:27

Hiya Nick

The story I just shared from another blog in the starfish group should help us to feel that it's not too late - perhaps we just need to find some passersby who are willing to help!

Comment by Nick Beddow on May 18, 2012 at 17:34

Coming soon - a Campaign For CD group on NatCAN . What do you think we should be doing? To whom? How often? With what? Starting when? Too little? Too late? Stable door? Horse bolted?

We need (I need) to keep CD alive and well - it's thriving in other countries, there's good work here, we need to feel some strength from each other...

There's 67 of us - that's a mass movement as far as I'm concerned. Please get ready for some serious thinking in the next few weeks

Comment by Nick Beddow on April 20, 2012 at 0:21

a warm welcome to our newest members. 62 of us so we should be able to build some new momentum for CD. It feels like we've been pushed backwards for so long - it's time to push back. CDX are really keen to develop local CD meetings, because we'd like to see CD people in a room looking out for each other and getting new energy. If you'd like us to be involved in arranging a CD meeting in your local area please get in touch. Our idea is based on the starfish model - can we create a leaderless movement of CD people, where local energy acts as the catalyst for support and shared exploration? Over to you :) 

Comment by Nick Beddow on February 27, 2012 at 10:17

I've been teasing out the questions about CD and Asset Based CD and Community Organising as if it mattered to anyone except national organisations flying the flag for one of these approaches. Clearly, as a member of CDX it has a lot of impact on us, not least because the Govt had such a downer on CD before they "arranged" to get into power, perceiving CD as both left wing (radical CD) and entrenched in New Labour top-down programmes (managerial). So damned if you do, damned if you don't. Financially damned, at any rate.The emergence of community organising as the preferred tradition at national programme level, with a relatively small pot, has coincided with the squeezing-out of CD organisations locally, regionally and nationally. We are still here but with gritted teeth and shrinking resources - in a way, it's been good for us to rediscover a bit of anger and to reassert why we think CD is worth having around. But whenever I talk with people, there is often a weariness about this never-ending wrangle within the family of community work. Some say "if the Govt doesn't like CD, call it something else". And wear masks?

I think that we need to focus on what we have in common and seek to bring together the shared visions and ways of working - many community organisers won't swallow Alinsky where they recognise that there are dangers in that power power power approach (the equalities arguments fit here). And many community organisers have CD backgrounds, but are rejecting the CD variety which got entangled in top-down programmes as a poodle. But that's only one element in CD - there are basically many CDs and many Com Org schools out there which share in a deep desire for empowered and empowering ways of working. Asset Based CD has emerged as a refreshing "accentuate the positive" approach, singing the positives about communities having their own sttengths and the need to focus on these qualities (arguing that other CDs are downers, rooting around in a mire of needs and problems, and demoralising communities by under-playing their abilities to take positive action. And thereby creating dependency on outside experts to solve the identified complex problems). So there's a notion that other CDs are deficit CD, dragging communities down. Again, there's some truth in saying that there has been a miserabilist tendency in some CD, but there has also been a lot of issue-based CD which really supports communities to identify the situation they are in (in a Freirian way) and to take very positive collective action ("to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them"). I wouldn't want us to get so wrapped up in positivity that we herald blue skies when it's pissing down on everyone living under the cloud, but CD has to balance positive desire and energy and a critical analysis - so asset based CD has loads to offer us all in the 'optimism of the will' department. Our shared problem in all of these community work traditions is that we are becoming competing brands, emphasising the differences in a competitive way in order to corner a tiny market, turning ourselves into hunters for a franchise. It is in all of our interests to seek solidarity and communication, welcome our diversity and collaborate.

Comment by Nick Beddow on February 24, 2012 at 14:29

56 of us! And it only takes one of us to kick off a life-enhancing discussion - please, go on, make my day :)

Comment by Nick Beddow on January 11, 2012 at 17:57

welcome to all our new members !! now who fancies launching us into the new year with a few issues to share and discuss?

Comment by Nick Beddow on December 16, 2011 at 23:58

Happy New Year to all CDers -

Here's a Xmas Quiz to take your mind off Strictly Come Dancing Special:

1. What's the difference between CD and Asset Based CD?(10 points)

2. Does it matter?(two points)


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