Community development

The Just Ideas team uses our experience of international development and participatory research and learning methods, backed up by community development qualifications, in our community development work in the UK. With a wide range of consultation and engagement activities, methods and techniques at our finger tips, we help people put themselves at the centre of decision-making about their community. We support resident-led neighbourhood planning; loose networks of individuals coming together with a common aim (such as peer support, campaigning or awareness-raising) and we support statutory organisations to work in genuine partnership with the communities they serve.

We are engaged in a wide range of community development activities, including:

  • Helen developed and facilitated a programme of empowerment and business development training for Utulivu – a local network of women from the African diaspora living in Reading looking to support each other in setting up their own businesses, and balance working in their communities both here and ‘home’ with nurturing themselves and their families.
  • We are excited to be part of the Big Local programme – funded by Big Lottery Fund, and managed by Local Trust. Helen is working alongside resident-led partnerships in four ‘Big Local’ areas across the South of England to support them to engage the community and invest £1 million in transforming their communities.
  • Facilitating a series of Parents’ Forums to enable local parents to help shape the services of the Oxford Road Children’s Centre in Reading; to provide training for Children’s Centre staff in participatory facilitation; and training for parents in community event planning and consultation.


You have been such a wonderful inspiration and I would like to thank you on behalf of the whole Utulivu group for the input you provided for the group and how you moved us forward with our aspirations.

Thank you for this well-compiled piece of work. We look forward to continued conversation and input.