The first and most experienced modern-day Community Organiser in the UK.
I am first and foremost, a Community Organiser; seeking talented leaders and young Organisers who have the courage and commitment to work with others democratically to strengthen civil society, pursue the common good and tackle injustice.
I have travelled extensively and worked in the USA and Sudan on civil society projects. Prior to founding Citizens UK in 1988, I worked for 20 years in the public and voluntary sector – with Somerset and Coventry Local Authorities – and later, Save the Children and The Children’s Society in the UK.
My community interests include:
- member of The Society of Friends, for 30 years, and currently an Elder at Westminster Meeting.
- School Governor at my childrens’ schools and a Governor for 15 years at Stepney Green Boys’ School, in Tower Hamlets.
- member of the External Affairs Council of Barts’ NHS Trust.
- life-time member of The Royal Society of Arts
- on the Board of the Match Girls’ Memorial Project.
I am seeking a legacy of a stronger, more powerful and better organised civil society, where people learn the necessity and advantages of working with others, to experience ‘the art of politics’ and ‘organising for the common good’. My experience has taught me that this is best achieved by organising within the core institutions, specifically education, trade unions, faith, health and voluntary associations to act together.
- 2004, named by The Guardian as one of the UK’s most significant public servants
- 2012, made an Honorary Fellow of Queen Mary London University
- 2014, awarded an Honorary Doctorate by The Open University
- 2016, awarded a CBE for services to community organising and social justice.
- 2018, Life-Time Achievement Award, from ‘The Peace Alliance’ and another from the ‘Shiela Mckechnie Foundation’.
- 2018, The Royal Society of Arts: The Albert Medal – which acknowledges the creativity and innovation of those who work to tackle some of the world’s intractable problems.