Become a member

By becoming a member of SSEC you add your voice to a diverse membership that contributes towards national policy and helps shape the future of community development.

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What we do

SSEC’s aims are:

  • To create and raise awareness of community development
    We believe passionately in community development and its potential to transform the lives of communities and the individuals within. We also believe that funders and policy makers at all levels should understand community development if they are to support communities and improve community living.

    One of the ways we do this is by providing networking opportunities and resources for our members and community development practitioners in order to promote the benefits of community development and inform policy and strategy development.

    We also publicise and promote community development across a wide variety of audiences by speaking and doing workshops at events and conferences across the UK.

  • To influence policy making and social change
    Being an independent membership organisation means we have direct access to a wealth of knowledge and experience and we can use this to demonstrate the benefits of community development or get involved in consultations.

    By ensuring that community development is recognised by policy makers as an effective and efficient way of working with communities, we can achieve our vision of sustainable, inclusive and connected communities that are active in realising their own potential.

    That’s why we work to provide a voice for our members and community development practitioners to enable them to reach and impact on public bodies and decision makers at national, regional and local levels.

  • To strengthen and support community development practice
    We know that the role of a community development practitioner can be challenging and that sometimes it can feel quite isolated.

    In order to support those who are working with communities, we provide opportunities to network, share practice and learn from others.  

    We believe that in order to know where you’re going you have to know where you’ve come from. That’s why we provide practitioners with a wide variety of information on the theory and history of community development. This is complimented by information about current research, policy and learning, that we provide through our conferences, magazine and e-bulletins to give practitioners an in-depth knowledge of their field of work.

  • Networking
    Facilitating networking is central to SSEC’s role to strengthen and support community development practice. In fact, we originally developed as an informal network of people who came together to champion community development.

    SSEC's support for networking has traditionally been in putting people in touch with one another, creating opportunities for people to meet and providing spaces for interaction and learning. This networking can help community development practitioners develop links between different organisations or develop cross-sector partnerships and coalitions.

    SSEC supports networks of community development practitioners around the UK, including regional, sub-regional, local and specialist networks.

  • Regional Community Development Networks (RCDN)
    Regional networks have been established in some regions to promote the values and methods of community development. They aim to influence the work of regional agencies - such as Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), Government Offices for the Regions (GOs), Regional Assemblies - as well as to act as a point of contact for community development activity in the area.

    Each region has a representative who you can contact if you have any questions about networking in your region. These contacts are:

    If you have any queries or ideas about the regional networks, please get in touch with Sue Peterfield.