Chris has 20 years experience of Community Development and Social Enterprise – he started out running music projects engaging young people who were often deemed ‘hard to reach’ but would be better described as easy to ignore. These projects grew into a community run Recording Studio called Connected 2 giving young people a space for creative expression and personal development.
Connected 2 won Social Enterprise of the year in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2004 an award gained primarily because of the growth of the organisation. In 2006 the Social Enterprise was formally wound up because the supposed ‘success’ of the organisation had completely shifted it away from its founding principles. This experience has shaped Chris’ outlook on the pitfalls facing citizen led, neighbourhood scale activities when they come into contact with institutions and funding bodies which are seeking to be ‘helpful’.
Chris went on to spend 10 years working in Community Development at Kirklees Council, starting off as a Community Development Worker before going on to become Manager of that team – a position he combined with a leading role supporting Social Enterprise in the district. Chris then spent five years as a Programme Manager leading a Community Capacity Building programme which alongside approaches to Participatory Budgeting and Community Asset Transfer also included an approach to ABCD in several neighbourhoods across the district. This gives Chris first-hand experience and a unique insight into the opportunities and challenges facing Public Sector organisations in this context.
A skilled and experienced Trainer, Facilitator and Public Speaker – Chris joined Nurture Development in 2017as Head of Business Development supporting the growth of the organisation, cultivating strategic partnerships that support inclusive Community driven change.