A Time to Tell – Gill

To be denied the capacity for potentially successful participation is to be denied one’s humanity’

(Doyle and Gough 1991: 184 cited in Ledwith and Springett 2010: 13)

Gill “There are lots of good things happening. Hull never shouts about things!”

Hull is a close knit place and this was key in terms of what happened with her involvement related to community development. There are many people who influence this story and who have been central to the work Gill has been able to facilitate – particularly when she moved the University of Hull, where she was able to draw on the expertise, knowledge and skills of many prominent people in the VCS.


Gill moved to Hull to work at North Humberside Mind [later Hull and East Yorkshire Mind], this followed her volunteering at Kensington and Chelsea Mind during a Social Sciences degree in London. She worked in the Mind Centre in Hull developing a community for people with mental health issues. ‘User involvement’ was prominent in mental health (Campbell 2001) and was embraced at Mind, with a User Committee determining the running of the Mind Centre. This was a time of change, with the recognition that people who used services/lived in communities should be central to decision-making and services would be needs-led. Linda Tock joined Mind to manage volunteer services and both worked together there but also then beyond.

During this time, a number of things happened, Gill was involved in the wider voluntary sector and built a network of contacts. During this time funding began to be tied to engagement with partners – this meant that **CVS’s development of the Voluntary Sector Alliance, with CVS – Dave Burnby, Andy Dorton, Dave Rogers, Karen Spooner Law Centre, Paul Spooner, Barry Andrews I think, Ed Hickman CAB, Keith Russell The Warren and others, drew in representatives from each agency in the sector. The VSA, was invited to meet with the City Council to discuss issues and funding on various levels. With funding tied to engagement the VCS (Voluntary and Community Sector) had the power to walk away from the table if the City Council did not take local need into their considerations.

The VCS sector was quite active in the Trade Union movement, with most joining the Transport and General Workers Union 10/157 Branch which catered for the Voluntary Sector via Jan Brooker of CVS. Gill became a shop steward for Mind in about 1994. Gill became involved with the TGWU education department in region 8 as a tutor and attended Voluntary Sector meetings nationally. The VCS was very strong and advocated, campaigned and challenged cuts with the TGWU marching with the banner.


The Conservative government, under John Major, brought out six year funding as part of its Single Regeneration Budget (SRB) , which led to the development of Developing Our Communities [Hull DOC, later Hull and ER DOC. Whilst regeneration was typically related to bricks and mortar and the economy, this funding stream led to an expanse of community development in the city of Hull – which focused on people and their needs. This funding stream was continued under the 1997 Labour government and had six incarnations, it became aligned with the term ‘quality of life’. The importance of long-term funding at this time was crucial – “SRB was a Godsend for six years and so open”, it enabled DOC to develop in many areas within the city to have widespread impact in rebuilding communities through the use of people-led community development until funding dried up in the late 2000s.


Tilly Sellers joined the University of Hull in Public Health to work with young people on sexual health. Tilly had worked with Prof Robert Chambers from IDS Sussex University, whose techniques for overseas development recognised local communities as ‘experts’ in their lived experience, based on Paulo Freire’s (1970) principles. They encompass research, education and collective action. Chambers utilised visual tools in order to overcome literacy and language barriers. Tilly brought this approach to Hull, due to its adoption and adaption in an urban setting in the UK – ‘Rural’ was removed, it was equally effective in engaging voiceless communities in the UK as overseas and became Participatory Appraisal [PA] forming the Hull and East Yorkshire Participatory Appraisal Network.

The ethos:there should be respect for local peoplea focus on the application of the approach for future improvementsthe use of visual material rather than written material onlyan emphasis on the importance of feedbacka recognition that information shared during the process belongs to local peoplean emphasis on the correct attitude and behaviour of outsiders.Participation Training Pack, Tilly Sellers University of Hull

Linda Tock left Mind for Community Focus and was trained by Tilly, as was Ingrid Fuller and Martin Westoby [University of Hull], Roslyn Abbot [DOC], Tish Lamb[Aids Action now Cornerhouse/DOC/Cornerhouse], Emma Wilkinson Humber and Wolds Rural Council ***[now the Warren] and many others. Community development in Hull had a radical edge, which embraces a commitment to transformative action and social justice (Ledwith 2016).

Roslyn oversaw Martin and Ingrid perform the first Quality of Life PA (Participatory Appraisal) on the Thornton Estate in Hull sponsored by DOC for Peter McGurn of the Goodwin Development Trust. When Peter McGurn shows slides of the development of Goodwin the first contains a picture of Martin and Ingrid at the first shop on Walker Street. Goodwin continued this process over the years with at least three or four PA initiatives and are currently [2016/17] developing a 20 year Neighbourhood Plan with the City Council – overseen by Sharon Darley, Quality of Life Manager. Goodwin have gone on to develop all sorts of things for the estate and other areas. They are now going to be building Eco Houses. Sharon Darley was in the original Walker Street shop until recently. Goodwin, as part of City of Culture lit up some of the flats. The project was called ‘Let us Communicate’. The residents in the flats worked together on the project. There was a Blok Party for the Australia Street flats in August 2017 – these flats house many of the new communities of Hull. Peter McGurn said that Goodwin on Thornton estate often works in the spaces that the State has moved out of e.g. they are now building Eco Homes on the estate and indeed the first Goodwin Centre, a result of the first PA has been demolished for such homes.

Centre 88 – Karen Spooner/Jean McEwan


Gill and Susie Hay [from DOC] trained in PA shortly afterwards with many local people and workers in the sector. There were three areas of the country that offered PA – IDS in Sussex – where PA originated from where they trained people for overseas work, Edinburgh where they trained community workers and Hull where community members were the main participants alongside workers. The premise was that local people should identify their own needs and solutions. It was through this initiative that many local people recognised their value and contribution to flourish and become more engaged. One example was Gina Holdsworth, who was from the south but settled in Branholme, she was dynamic and engaging and became immersed in PA – she became a trainer, but she was also recognised as someone who could be a representative in wider circles. Gina was invited onto the Poverty, Participation and Power Commission in 2000 and became an advisor to the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit in the Labour Government. Another example was Charlene Kent who trained as a young person age 15, she went on to work for DOC, trained others in PA via CLL (Centre for Lifelong Learning) and now manages the Care project at Cornerhouse for young people involved in Child Sexual Exploitation.

1996 to 2005

Gill was on the Council for Voluntary Service Board of Directors and Personnel Sub. CVS and Mind had a joint bid to run Stepping Stones – Volunteering and mental health, prior to leaving Mind Gill bid to the lottery to gain increased funding for this project.


Gill left Mind for the University of Hull, Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL), to work on the Transport and General Workers Union programme and Towards a Learning City – re-engaging young people with education in partnership with the Warren. Gill was able to fund a range of local organisations working with young people to do some projects around engagement and informal learning e.g. Artlink, Aids Action [now Cornerhouse], Sobriety project etc.

It was in this work that a number of the elements from above were drawn together. Gill retained links with the voluntary sector being on the board of Community Focus, which merged with Hull DOC, Hull CVS and was part of the PA Network. When at Mind, Gill had recognised that people who wanted to take a degree had to choose social work or nursing, there wasn’t anything that related to the voluntary/community sector [Gill/Linda had done Management in the Community Diploma at Leeds Met via Jenny Mills at Hull CVS in 1994 – later Humber Learning Consortium. The programme also ran in Hull for one intake [HLC is still based in Goodwin].

Centre for Lifelong Learning at the University had a large short course programme, Gill was able to respond to identified need and draw on contacts from the vol/comm sector to develop short courses that would meet local need, offer opportunities to vol/comm organisations to accredit their OWN courses, and produce bridges into the University for people who would not necessarily have considered applying.

The strand of the short course programme was called Develop Yourself and Enable Others – it focused on personal and community development and provided routes into further study for community members and a lot of continuing professional development for those in the voluntary/community sector on specific issue based subjects like Suicide Awareness, counselling related to abuse, *****. 

And eventually Participatory Appraisal (PA) accreditation. This was firstly train the trainers course delivered by Gill and Linda – then when the Open College accreditation became more difficult the main  PA course – taught by Linda, Tish, Susie Hay, Gina Holdsworth, Charlene Kent, Louise Crammond. As the PA network we planned a study route, which comprised PA, PA train the trainers, report writing PA2 etc.  PA was delivered across the UK and through a European bid at DOC and a trip to Zimbabwe from a DFID programme at Centre for Lifelong Learning where Gill, Linda and Tish travelled to deliver the course.

Approximately 1997

Gill linked with Community Development Learning via Lindsay Knott, Liz Shepherd/Roslyn Abbot/Tish Lamb through the Community Work Training Group (CWTG) and also aligned with Humberside Learning Consortium. A ten session course ‘How Your City Works’ was developed and delivered by Lindsay, Tish and Roslyn, this included insight into being a councillor for the city and the work Hull City Council perform. It ran via the Community Network [Roslyn Abbot, Linda Tock, Steve Kimberley, Rob Pritchard etc] – Roslyn commissioned Daniel Vulliamy and Gill [CLL] to evaluate the programme.

After working with people in the communities and the voluntary/community sector, It became clear that local people were getting deeply involved in developing their communities through the regeneration funding, but they were unable to secure the employment opportunities that came with the money. So, Gill developed a study route in the University Foundation Award short course programme Discovering Community Studies [DCS] was taught by Gill, Lindsay and Tish with guest lecturers e.g Roslyn Abbott. Participants wanted to go further so this became a bridge to a degree – BA Hons Social and Community Studies.

2001 to 2017

Those who attended the study route in DCS, such as women from Willow, North Hull Women’s Centre, wanted the next step so Gill, with partners in the vol/comm sector [including Roslyn Abbott, Linda Tock****** Isabelle Tracy] devised BA Hons Social and Community Studies part-time degree, which ran from 2001 to 2017. Many local practitioners from the voluntary/community sector provided sessions of the programme – the regeneration module was taught by various practitioners such as Susie Hay and Peter McGee [CVS]. The module on Community Economic Development was taught by Peter McGurn [Goodwin]. Various VCS members gave one-off sessions e.g. Linda Tock on drugs awareness, Dave Burnby on Regeneration and Outcome Based Accountability. As it was part time it was mostly for mature students, who were community activists and those working in the voluntary/community sector and City Council workers. This made it an interesting mix for community and practitioners to learn alongside each other and to understand the needs and issues for each other to learn and engage together, allowing for insight to develop. The programme was centred on modules that related to community development, participation and engagement, community health development/community economic development, exploring and understanding diversity, exploring how society functions, regeneration and was underpinned with sociology, psychology, social policy and politics.

The aim of all the programmes was to encourage community participation and development with a needs-led focus, thus producing practitioners that will ‘start where people are’ – classic YWCD (Youth Work/Community Development) and PA ethos. People say there is apathy in the city, but I think it stems from disillusion than apathy, people have been let down a lot over the years and so engaging them is more difficult because of this. They have felt that decisions have been made without input – or sometimes they have been consulted and the agenda has already been decided and as such this leads to disengagement. I remember when a major PA exercise happened in Bransholme – the people said we have been asked and people have come back and asked again – when will someone do something with what we have identified?

Karen Tozer worked at CLL on widening participation.

Community Focus merged with DOC

Stepping back slightly, in 1998 the four Local Authorities of the old Humberside region approached CLL to revive the Diploma in Community and Youth Work, Gill was asked to co-develop the programme with Annette Fitzsimons [Humberside University later Hull University]. After initial meetings with various people including Roslyn, Paul, and others at DOC, Lindsay Knott and Paul Spooner [DOC], Linda Tock [Community Focus], Keith Russell and Steve Green [The Warren] assisted in the development. This programme ran from 2001 for a few years as a diploma endorsed by the National Youth Agency [NYA] providing students with a JNC qualification. Gill was the programme director for Social and Community Studies and Annette became the Project Director for Community and Youth work which eventually became a full degree. Gill re-joined the teaching team in 2014 whilst SCS (Social and Community Studies) was being taught out and encouraged the inclusion of more community related content to address the demise of SCS. In 2015, the degree – BA Hons Youth Work and Community Development [YWCD] became the first programme in England and Wales to offer dual accreditation from the NYA professional qualification with the English Standards Board ( ESB) –  for Community Development. Now when we are engaging with organisations across the city there are a great many YWCD (Youth Work Community Development) practitioners who have come through the degree, who are now the practice supervisors.


Susie Hay invited Gill to be part of the development of what became arc – the Centre for Excellence in the Build Environment, arc didn’t really stand for anything but unofficially it was architecture, regeneration and community. Others involved were Chris Hay, David Raynor, Ian Colquhoun, Adam Fowler [CHEF- City of Hull Environment Forum] and Steve George [HCC- Hull City Council]. The initial feasibility study identified a need for such an organisation to ensure that community members were involved in planning and design. The team became Directors of the organisation. arc worked with the then City Venture to gain funding for a building, which was designed by Niall MacLaughlan architects in conjunction with community members and was designed utilising ideas generated from Hull – the pods were based on caravans – from the local industry the colour was Reckitts blue from Holiday Pigments. The building won a regional RIBA award. The organisation worked in schools and with communities as well as with the planning department and convening planning review panels, Karen Tozer was part of the engagement team. Gill left ‘ar’c in 2011. Some really creative work was done with communities and it sadly closed a year or so later due to lack of funding – this is the story of the sector all over – good engagement work then nothing – and this adds to the discussion above on disillusionment.


The Labour government brought out the Learning Curve, which related to skills and knowledge required for Neighbourhood Renewal. In Hull CityVenture funded the development of regeneration with learning opportunities using Neuro-Linguistic Programming promoted by Isabelle Tracy [Volcom], which identified as a different way of approaching the identification of solutions to address needs locally using tools to enable people to look beyond barriers. A voluntary/community sector team of [including Tish, Isabelle, Coral Gladstone [DOC], Rob Pritchard [Longhill Linkup], City Council and CityVenture staff and Gill at the University developed this into a University Certificate. The programme ran in East Hull with the local Community Partnership initiated by Rob Pritchard and Sylvia Bilsby [Hull City Council], which included fire, police, varied council employees from the Area team, libraries, anti-social behaviour, CCTV and so on. It enabled the partners to understand each other’s ways of working and how they might best respond to listening to and meeting community needs. The programme was also delivered in West Hull via Tracy Dearing at Goodwin Development Trust, with Community Wardens.


Gill was transferred from the Institute for Learning, Centre for Lifelong Learning to the School of Social Sciences at Hull University.


Centre for Lifelong Learning was closed and the short course programme ended


Merger of Social Sciences with Education – School of Education and Social Sciences

All the short courses and degree programmes were based on the principles of two-way learning experiences, following the work of Paulo Freire (1970) to recognise that people come to the courses with a wealth of knowledge – not as empty vessels to be filled, so a co-learning approach is taken to validate and appreciate what students bring to the course from their own knowledge and experience. The programmes have enabled students to build networks of contacts as well as enhance their knowledge, skills and further their experience. Margaret Ledwith’s work inspires the programme – her latest work puts Freire in to action in Communities.

YWCD (Youth Work Community Development) offers students three substantial placements from its wide array of opportunities in the city. 

Whilst the youth and community sector has been decimated by austerity cuts since 2010. The sector, despite cuts, is fairly vibrant in 2017– often related to issue based funding such as Head start for mental health which is a recent addition. There is Big Local Lottery funding in Greatfield [see Dave Burnby as the Big Local Rep]. Hull retains a lot of innovative practice and thus placements for students. Some retain the traditional Community Development (CD) forms but other elements that have been developing draw in new aspects of CD, which move beyond the traditional financial models into mutual aid, in order to support the people of Hull and East Riding.

The Society we want and #thehullwewant


There was an event in 2015 in Hull at Wise Community Action in Times of Austerity, it was funded by Webb Memorial Trust and Barrow Cadbury. About 35 people attended from across the UK and Ireland. It was facilitated by Barry Knight of Webb Memorial and Avila Kilmurray ** and organised by Sinead Gormally [formally Uni of Hull now Glasgow] and Gill. Attendees from Hull were Andy Dorton, Paul Spooner, Karen Tozer. Barry Knight used his research from the ‘Society we want’ (2015) to generate discussion. The consensus of the meeting was that scripts should be torn up to produce new narrative emanating from an assets-based approach to speak back to government. There is a need to work with unexpected allies to move beyond and re-think poverty.


There have been several meetings since cascading ideas; from the 2016 meeting the current steering group consists of Andy Dorton [Hull City Council cllr/DOC/CVS etc], Paul Spooner [Maximum life], Lloyd Dobbs [Goodwin], Karen Tozer [Groundwork], Dave Shepherdson, Lisa Bovill [both worked for Hull City Council now Hull Coin], Kate MacDonald [Timebank],Sarah Hatfield [formerly Child Dynamix], Julie Rippingale [Uni of Hull] and Gill. We began to develop ideas of working in areas of Hull to identify what the people of Hull would see as a good society and a good Hull society.

Barry Knight is interested in the energy and creativity he senses in Hull from meeting Kate and Dave who want to do things differently. People in Hull are still trying to do Community development with little money available – “We are trying to keep community development going”.

Kate McDonald and her team at Timebank Hull and East Riding, develop reciprocity between members who share their skills and abilities, and Dave Shepherdson [formerly DOC/HCC] and team at Hull Coin is developing a digital currency to support people without money, again drawing on what people have to offer as social value, thus rewarded by Hull Coin – which can be utilised in shops, for driving lessons and services.


An event took place with the YWCD students to develop their ideas for #thehullwewant. In their placements they will cascade further the work on #thehullwewant looking at ‘How can we build a society that’s just’ based on Barry Knight’s book ‘How can we work outside the State?’

Barry Knight (Webb Memorial Trust) has launched a new book in 2017 – Rethinking Poverty – the work in Hull was represented in the book. Webb Memorial Trust has funded the project to develop the ideas – it is hoped that there will be intergenerational/intercultural and cross community work across Hull through events and student placements, working with Timebank and Hull Coin to award credits and engage people in non-money related activity that can benefit quality of life through collaboration. It is hoped to do some development work as part of this and perhaps bring back How the City Works/Community Leaders/Community development learning.

The Voluntary and Community sector

Gill is optimistic that community development is coming back again! Gill believes that the infrastructure needs to be in place – at one time there were a range of organisations that oversaw the sectors – CVS, DOC, North Bank Forum (NBF). Contracting out and negotiating for funding and the competition changed things. NBF were originally health and social care/community care assessments but then overlapped into CVS work. Now Hull CVS also do work in Doncaster. NBF have now moved back to health work with the Health Watch contracts.

Gill also works with the Vulcan Learning Centre. This is in a deprived part of Hessle Road. It works to help young people excluded from schools.

Dave Ellison developed’ Inspire communities’ is on George Street – might be worth approaching

Some material from an assignment I did on Community Profiling – includes a case study on Goodwin:

The ideal practitioner is a facilitator who applies the National Occupational Standards (CDNOS 2015 online) of ‘equality and anti-discrimination’, ‘social justice’, ‘collective action’, ‘community empowerment’, ‘working and learning together’. The CD NOS (2015: 7) underpins this with the aim to ‘[p]romote the active participation of people within communities’, thus creating the conditions for empowerment.

Gilchrist and Taylor (2011: 10) argue for three integral components underpinning community development ‘informal education, collective action [and] organisation development’. Ledwith and Springett (2010: 14) ‘locate community development at the heart of the process [of participation]. The key purpose of community development is collective action for social change, principled on social justice and a sustainable world.’ Ledwith (2005: 31) further posits that understanding how power plays into the everyday is crucial and through community development as ‘one way of beginning the community profile. In Freirean pedagogy, this begins in the narratives of the people and is set within an analysis of poverty as structural discrimination’. Ledwith (2005: 31) noted that ‘both Gramsci and Freire believed that this would not happen spontaneously’, thus the development practitioner can be the ‘catalyst for critical consciousness’.  The practitioner therefore, needs the necessary skills to enhance community participation, ready to deal with every eventuality, particularly in communities where intersectional differences of age, gender, ethnicity, culture and so forth can bond or divide.

Participatory Appraisal

Participatory Appraisal designed by Robert Chambers (1997) whose techniques for overseas development recognised local communities as ‘experts’ in their lived experience, based on Freirian principles, it encompasses research, education and collective action. He utilised visual tools in order to overcome literacy and language barriers. Due to its adoption and adaption in an urban setting in the UK – ‘Rural’ was removed, it was equally effective in engaging voiceless communities in the UK as overseas.

Chambers’s (1997: 102) posited:PRA is a growing family of approaches and methods to enable local people to share, enhance and analyse their knowledge of life and conditions, and to plan, act, monitor and evaluate…PRA approaches and methods present alternatives to questionnaire surveys in appraisal and research, and generate insights of policy relevance. Past dominant behaviour by outsiders goes far to explain why it is only in the 1990s that these participatory approaches and methods have come together.

Chambers’ (2002: 9) key phrase was ‘hand over the stick’ – translated into the UK as ‘hand over the pen’, so that the people control the process drawing out information literally, without leading from the facilitator. 

The Participatory Appraisal Network set up in 1995 in Hull embracing the inclusive nature, requiring that researchers adopt the appropriate ethos, attitudes and behaviours, respect local people as experts in their lived experience who can identify needs and importantly solutions. That the focus should be on future transformation with the process as interactive not extractive thus any information shared is voluntarily offered, belongs to the people, and feedback forms a central focus so that it is clear what happens to the information supplied and it is presented back for endorsement or correction. This approach enshrines the crucial aspect of community development – ‘working with’ people in co-production of knowledge, practice and action, sitting well with community profiling. If the profile is generated by an institution the development worker should maintain key principles and values for the community to be as much in control of the process as possible.

Participatory Appraisal begins with a week-long training course to develop ethos, attitudes and behaviours in the first two days, followed by tools and placements in the latter three days. The crucial aspect of participatory research is that the tools can be utilized by anyone but without the ethos they do not represent ethical participatory research.

The Appraisal approach, which takes account of literacy/language and other needs, attempts the inclusion of as many people as possible.

The first major PA in Hull was Case Study A, chosen because PA remained a feature.

Case Study A

Hull, a northern city was voted top ‘Crap Town’ in 2003 (Jordison and Kieran 2003), in 2005 the Channel 4 programme; Location, Location, Location, voted Hull the worst place to live on the criteria ‘crime, education, employment, environment and lifestyle’. The reputation of Hull has been overhauled in recent years to be voted 2017 Hull UK City of Culture.

The Thornton Estate – Hull – The Context

The estate is situated on the edge of the city centre, it was close to the former fishing communities in the west, which fell into decline:

If automation dealt a huge blow to the dockers in the east of the city, in the west the 1970s Cod War killed off the other Hull industry: fishing (the city has always split between the docks and the trawling. (English 2014: online)

Thus, the area struggled with deprivation. The estate’s proximity to the city centre was a magnet for sex workers, people with alcohol and drug issues and crime, it was unemployment that the residents identified as the ‘scourge’ however they recognised this as a ‘wider issue….and beyond their ability to solve’ (Lewis nd: 16).

The estate was built between the 1940s and 1970s, a mix of high rise and low-rise homes. The estate is bordered by ‘four perimeter roads but it doesn’t really have an identity …It is …a giant traffic island’ (Lewis nd: 12). This statement was coined ten years after the Goodwin Trust was formed in 1994 as a result of a resident association coming together to tackle local issues. In 1995 the estate ‘had a population of approximately 3,500. 97.3% of the population was white’ (Lewis nd: 15). Lewis further identified that the majority were considered poor ’74.9% did not own a car, 13.7% were unemployed and 25.8% suffered from a life limiting long term illness’ (nd: 15). Lewis also noted that government statistics demonstrated that the ‘deprivation score for England was 60.4, and for Hull 90, the score for this area was 151.5’.

The catalyst for change was the employment of a paid worker in 1995 – Peter McGurn, who was employed for six months and is still at the helm as CEO in 2017. Lewis explains that Peter came with a skill set to attract money (Lewis nd: 46).

Peter McGurn instituted the first Participatory Appraisal named – The Quality of Life – which set out to understand what the local residents identified as needs:

…[The] [r]esearch was not done ‘on them’ but ‘by us’…[it] was both qualitative and in-depth. Action research distinct from ‘consultant’ research, resulted in collective education because local people participated in both collecting and contributing information (Lewis nd: 46)

Lewis expresses the ethos of PA in his book, which explains the Quality of Life 1 Participatory Appraisal, he states that the ownership remained with the people and that it was interactive than extractive.

The major findings from the first Appraisal were related to fear of crime, isolation that local people wanted somewhere to meet, this resulted in a former scout hut being refurbished to host activities. There were many other findings some of which were ‘quick wins’ – they required no money and could be solved through the networks already in situ. One such was that people found the taxi drivers blowing their horns outside a public house at 11.00pm annoying, as the appraisal used that same public house as a place to display the findings for local people to comment on, the publican immediately said he could solve that issue and would inform the drivers to come into the pub for their passengers.

The local park had been subject to drug mis-use and a bid was made to regenerate it.

The Appraisal was treated as a live document, thus when the Goodwin Trust instituted the Community Wardens they took the report and identified the need for activities for young people and they enlisted a youth worker. A former care home was re-purposed to provide a café, offices, childcare, ‘pre and post school provision including a homework club’ and local service hub.

Pat Moody, a trustee and volunteer ‘I was a mature woman in her sixties who had spent her life talking to others, and now here I was learning how to go out onto the streets of my home territory to ask strangers their opinion about what was to be done in the Thornton area. Of course, I had my own opinions but I was taught to suppress them and relay back to the centre data…I learnt skills…which I would draw on again and again’ (Lewis nd: 50). Pat went onto to embrace lifelong learning.

In the first appraisal there was a concern that young men did not take as full a part as would be required, something which was taken account of in later appraisals. Goodwin moved on to PA II in 2000, where 650 people took part, engagement has remained a crucial aspect because the make-up of the estate has changed profoundly with the influx of new communities, the ethnic mix has changed greatly.

In 2008 Goodwin Development Trust employed 350 staff with ‘a turnover of £12.5 million, this was at its height, with community wardens spread across the whole city. Sadly, the Wardens were disbanded during the budget cuts under austerity, but as can be seen in the 2009 profile below there was a request to re-institute, what was a project that employed what could be called ‘agents of social capital’. The wardens, networked, connected and befriended alongside their practical tasks.

In 2009 the third Quality of Life report identified:

‘What’s good?

  • The people and sense of communities depending on where they live
  • Prospects for having more of a community voice in governing the future of the area
  • Improved safety as a consequence of reduced crime and warden/police activity (although there is a feeling of being unsafe after service reductions)
  •  Accessible local health and community services.

‘What is not so good?

  • Moving away from the benefits culture
  • Unemployment and poor aspiration
  • Need for affordable family housing
  • Need for improved image especially in using un-used sites/buildings including local pubs and shops [Goodwin took over a number of such buildings – one ‘pub’ became a youth centre and the other a centre for supporting people with extreme disabilities]
  • Anti-social behaviour in the evening including certain known groups and drinkers’

‘What can/should be done?

  • Addressing anti-social behaviour and requests made for CCTV and the return of community wardens, in making the area feel safe
  • Making best use of empty buildings and urban greenspaces
  • Improving local urban greenspaces including a new or improved park for children and young people and families
  • Bringing investment to the area especially in the form of better local shops’

[The new plan has a great emphasis on green space]

(Thorntonplan.org 2016: online emphasis added)

In 2016/17 Goodwin is engaged with the City Council in generating a community led 20 year neighbourhood plan see this link for detailed profile information:


What is interesting about this engagement – it is partnership with the Local Authority and is a mix of community-led initiatives together with consultation style planning (see document).


Campbell, P. (2001). The role of users of psychiatric services in service development—influence not power. The Psychiatrist, 25(3), 87-88.

Chambers. R (2002) Participatory workshops. A source book of 21 sets of ideas and activities:  Earthscan, London.

Chambers. R (1997) Whose Reality Counts? Putting the first last: ITD6 Publishing London.

Federation for Community Development Learning. (2015). Community Development National Occupational Standards [available at] http://www.fcdl.org.uk/learning-qualifications/community-development-national-occupational-standards/ [accessed 14.12.16]

Freire, Paulo. (1970) Pedagogy of the Oppressed.  London. Penguin Books.

Ledwith, M. (2016). Community Development in Action: Putting Freire into practice, Bristol: Policy Press.

Ledwith, M., and Springett, J. (2010) Participatory Practice Community based action for transformative change. Bristol. The Policy Press

Lewis. B. (nd) Ten Years of Being Awkward Celebrating the Goodwin Centre Hull. Pontefract. The Goodwin Centre in association with Pontefract Press

Taylor, M., (2011). Public policy in the community. Basingstoke. Palgrave Macmillan.

Thornton.org (2016) Thornton Neighbourhood Plan Options for Change. Online [available at] http://thorntonplan.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/ThorntonAreaOptionsNov2016.pdf [accessed 4.1.17]

Gill’s Board Activity to date (2017)

2017 to date The Vulcan Centre – support/mentor prospective trustee

2015 to date #thehullwewant

2011 to 2017 Community Integration Network Board of Director

2004 to 2007 Learning Curve Steering Group Member

2004 to 2006 volcom Board of Directors

2003 to 2011 arc – Centre for Excellence in the Built Environment – a founder member and Board Director

1998 to 2011 Community Focus/DOC – Developing our Communities Board of Directors – (Chair/member Personnel Sub-committee/member -Development sub-committee)

1998 to date Participatory Appraisal Network Partnership Group (member of the network from 1996)

1997 to 2001 The Warren Board of Directors

1996 to 2005 Council for Voluntary Service Board of Directors and Personnel Sub-Committee.