Gemma is our Founding Director & innovator of The Four Corners Connected. Along with her passion to connect people for community development, Gemma has a keen interest in equalities, human rights education and global citizenshipClose
On 18th December 2015 it was announced that the Community Development Foundation (CDF) will close at the end of March 2016, this news was met with great sadness across the sector as the CDF holds over 50 years legacy of community empowerment, and support for practitioners. A sign of the times and an end of an era for community work, some might say, others might suggest an end of community development practice altogether.
However, all is not lost. I believe this could be a great opportunity within the history of our practice and profession to create fresh momentum framed firmly with the community development values and National Occupational Standards that we all hold dear.
Since the announcement, very much behind the scenes, practitioners in all our diversity have been moved to share concerns on and off-line about what infrastructure to support and promote community development is left in England, and questions about the future for community development practice, networking, and learning. Through these collaborations, three practitioners - Angus McCabe, Matt Scott and Mandy Wilson - have taken action to convene a simple (but no doubt highly effective!) event on 7th April 2016 (hosted by The Third Sector Research Sector @ University of Birmingham) inviting all those involved or with an interest in community work to attend, to share their context, their aspirations and any ideas about what the future could look like.
I've booked a place and look forward to exploring what collective action we can take to ensure our practice continues in a way that's true to its foundation, true to its value base, to create value within communities for many years to come. I will report back to you all here.