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.

Join now

Syndicate content


Election of Trustees at SSEC AGM - 29 September 2017

Friday, 31 August, 2017 - 11:04

As we are proposing to dissolve the company and charity, the existing Board members will be seeking your support at the AGM to manage the dissolution process from January 2013 onwards. If any SSEC member wishes to join the Board at this difficult time, there is still one place available on the SSEC Board and you are entitled to nominate yourself for election at the AGM by contacting admin@cdx...

Read full news article

Farewell from Paul

Thursday, 30 August, 2017 - 12:45

On 31st August I will be leaving SSEC, and starting in a new post at Our Life in Manchester from September 3rd. I want to say a huge thank-you for your support and commitment to community development and SSEC. While we face the proposed closure of SSEC as a charity and company after December 2017, we are not shutting-up shop on CD or on our alliance with each other. Community Development is bigger ...

Read full news article

Free membership until March 2013

Thursday, 16 August, 2017 - 14:07

SSEC is no longer seeking payment for new membership. SSEC is pleased to now be able to offer free full membership to all its members. This move is part of the SSEC strategy to move towards a less structured organisation, known as the starfish. The SSEC Charity and Company will be dissolved by the end of March 2013 due to the current financial situation. You can join SSEC for free by filling in ...

Read full news article

The future of SSEC

Tuesday, 14 August, 2017 - 13:19

Dear SSEC members, friends & supporters   The future of SSEC   As so many of you will know from experience, it has been a very difficult period for community groups and those who support them. National charities such as SSEC have faced severe challenges in the past year, after Strategic Partner funding was withdrawn by the Government from April 2018. Since then, we have been survivi...

Read full news article

SSEC office times & contact details

Wednesday, 18 July, 2017 - 09:57

Over the next few weeks the SSEC office will not be open due to holidays and work committments. If you need to contact us about anything please either email or call Sue on 0121 122 1111  ...

Read full news article

SSEC and engaging together network event (West Midlands starfish)

Thursday, 12 July, 2017 - 11:55

Lorna Prescott has kindly put together the tweets from the West Midlands event. [View the story "SSEC and engaging together networking event" on Storify]...

Read full news article

SSEC and engaging together network event (West Midlands starfish

Thursday, 12 July, 2017 - 11:46

Lorna Prescott has very kindly put together the tweets from the West Midlands Starfish for us. They can be seen below.   <script src=""></script><noscript>[<a href="" target="_blank">View the story ...

Read full news article

SSEC office times

Tuesday, 16 August, 2018 - 10:42

 Please note that the SSEC office will now be open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. If you have any enquiries about our forthcoming AGM and conference,(22 October) please email ...

Read full news article

SSEC deeply saddened by failure of OCS Strategic Partners funding bid

Wednesday, 9 March, 2018 - 12:56

SSEC are deeply disappointed and saddened to hear that we have not been successful in our bid for Strategic Partners funding from the Office for Civil Society (OCS). Previous OCS funding amounted to 87% of SSEC funding, meaning that SSEC will have to dramatically reconsider our position and future direction. We are concerned that organisations such as SSEC and TimeBank - ideally placed to deliver and ...

Read full news article

SSEC Magazine - Issue 64, Spring 2018

Wednesday, 2 March, 2018 - 19:01

Issue 64 of SSEC magazine is out now, featuring articles on: An urgent appeal for your support… The Big Society - community organisations and community development The campaign for community development Big Society realities, and the need for Our Society The Toone Army: How SSEC has evolved over the last eight years SSEC members and Big Society 2018: The year political activism and progr...

Read full news article

New video: Future Footprints - young people, climate change and leadership.

Wednesday, 2 March, 2018 - 17:50

Over the past year, groups of young people from the North of England have been working on climate change projects, supported by Groundwork Youth workers. Using the Liberating Leadership model, the young people have been developing their individual and collective leadership roles. They want everyone to know that young people can lead the way and make a difference in the world. Here are just s...

Read full news article

SSEC Magazine - Issue 63, Winter 2016 - OUT NOW!

Tuesday, 14 December, 2016 - 16:41

The latest, slightly delayed edition of SSEC Magazine is winging its way to SSEC members now! Focusing on all things Big Society, Issue 63 includes: Big Society: Sewing seeds on scorched earth. Will a Big Society lead to fairness? Community Organising: The way to go? Does Community organising empower or opress? Free online resources to help demonstrate impact Who holds the power? Why...

Read full news article

Big Society: Some thoughts from t' North

Wednesday, 10 November, 2016 - 13:05

At our recent SSEC events in Manchester and Sheffield, we asked attendes to discuss whether they saw the Big Society agenda as an opportunity or threat, both to their work and the work of the sector. Here are some thoughts from a few of the attendees:     The BBC came along to our event in the North East, at Darlington, speaking to our very own Paul Barnes and a few of the attendees...

Read full news article

Neighbourhood Challenge programme launched

Thursday, 28 October, 2016 - 13:08

NESTA have launched the Neighbourhood Challenge - a new programme to support community-led innovation. It aims to show how community organisations – when equipped with the right skills, practical tools and small, catalytic amounts of money – can galvanise people to work together to create innovative responses to local priorities, particularly in neighbourhoods with low levels of s...

Read full news article

It's Trustees' Week!

Wednesday, 27 October, 2016 - 16:51

The Charity Commission and partners are running the first ever Trustees' Week from 25-31 October 2016. The week aims to celebrate the fantastic work done by trustees and to increase awareness and understanding of the trustee role. In support of the week, KnowHow NonProfit has recorded interviews with five very different types of trustee – from young to old, working to retired, from those lo...

Read full news article

Video. Big Society: Threat or opportunity? - Some thoughts from the Midlands

Monday, 11 October, 2016 - 11:09

At our recent SSEC Regional events in Tamworth and Lincoln we asked attendees whether they view Big Society as a threat or an opportunity in the work that they do. Here are some of their thoughts: Places are still available at SSEC events on the following dates & locations, so why not come along and join the discussion? 14 October, Manchester 19 October, Sheffield 21 October, Darlington ...

Read full news article

Big Push for the Big Society in the North West

Friday, 24 September, 2016 - 13:14

Neighbourhoods NW are spearheading a Big Push for the Big Society by rounding up all the showcase events across the region which will increase knowledge and understanding. There are a number of key events being held across the region, including our own SSEC Regional event on 14 October. In date order, here are the hot Big Society events in the North West that you really shouldn’t miss: ...

Read full news article

SSEC Members offer: £300 off IACD study visit to India

Friday, 27 August, 2016 - 14:20

Travel to India with IACD and the Centre for Social Response to build your understanding of community development and its role in creating change The International Association for Community Development (IACD) is organising a study visit programme to India in November 2016, led by Ingrid Burkett, IACD President and Mini Bedi, IACD Vice-President.  SSEC Members can receive a £300 dis...

Read full news article

Feedback for NCVO Funding Commission Meeting

Friday, 27 August, 2016 - 11:41

SSEC Chief Executive Paul Barnes will be attending a consultation meeting with NCVO Funding Commission on 9 September to give feedback on their draft findings and recommendations on the state of Public Sector Funding, which include: Government funding of charities has increased year on year, from £8.4 billion in 2000/01 to £12.8 billion in 2007/08. As a proportion of all income to the ...

Read full news article

Big Society: Fig leaf for cuts or opportunity for empowerment? SSEC Regional events 2016

Tuesday, 10 August, 2016 - 13:56

Is the “Big Society” a fig leaf for public sector cuts, or an opportunity for ‘bottom-up’ community development and collective action? We have now opened booking for our regional events on the following dates and locations: West Midlands: Thursday 30 September, Tamworth East Midlands: Tuesday 5 October, Lincoln North West: Thursday 14 October, Manchester Yorkshire & ...

Read full news article

Become an e-member of SSEC!

Monday, 9 August, 2016 - 11:54

We're today launching a new member category - e-membership. We're working to get more people involved in the debates about government policy and the responses of the community development world, and will help us to bring them closer together through our work. E-members will receive our monthly e-zine, policy updates (PARPs) and occasional news about our work, all for the princely sum of nowt! Bec...

Read full news article

Developing the Big Society in the North

Tuesday, 13 July, 2016 - 14:48

A new forum has been launched to look at developing and discussing the government's Big Society agenda across the North of England. The idea for the forum was first floated by Julian Dobson of New Start Magazine, who explained the need for a Northern forum because "the Big Society isn't anyone's copyright or trademark. It is what we make of it. And we want to make something of it that is...

Read full news article

Feedback request: Independent Expert Panel on Community Development

Friday, 9 July, 2016 - 11:50

As Lorna Prescott, SSEC Chair, announced in her blog on 1 June, she will be representing SSEC at the Expert Panel on Community Development, set up by CDF. The panel will consider the context, future role and the development and support needs of communities and community development in the light of new and emerging policy agendas. The findings will be published and put to key influencers in central a...

Read full news article

SMK Campaigner Awards

Thursday, 17 June, 2016 - 12:50

Are you campaigning on an important issue at a local, national or global level? Would you like support to be a better campaigner? An SMK Award is for people who are just starting out as campaigners or want to take their work to the next level. Apply now, or if you know someone else who might benefit from an award you can nominate them in less than two minutes: Apply for an SMK award Nominate som...

Read full news article

Tenders for Urban Forum work in the East Midlands

Wednesday, 2 June, 2016 - 13:33

Urban Forum is seeking to recruit organisations and/or individual consultants to deliver the two elements of their Bridging the Mismatch project which forms part of the Targeted Support Programme for the East Midlands Empowerment Partnership. The Targeted Support Programme (TSP) is a group of seven projects aiming to provide strategic support to 19 local authorities in the East Midlands to improv...

Read full news article

New CDF Guide: Making the case for community development

Thursday, 27 May, 2016 - 13:46

Are you a community development practitioner or manager working in the public sector? The strain of the recession on public sector budgets has put many community development workers’ positions and projects under threat. Many of you will no doubt be fighting to make the case for CD within your authorities. CDF has put together a new, free guidance paper, which they hope will assist community ...

Read full news article

Building the Big Society

Thursday, 20 May, 2016 - 14:57

The Government released more information about their plans for a Big Society following a round table event at Number 10 this week. We're following developments closely at SSEC and will update our members as more details emerge. In the meantime, please contact Sue Peterfield, Development Officer - Policy if you have any comments or would like to discuss the Big Society. Read the Big Society announcement...

Read full news article


Thursday, 6 May, 2016 - 14:22

We all struggle to find ways to explain our job when people ask us "what do you do then?"  The number of times we've wished we'd been plumbers and could say something everyone can relate to - 'I mend leaking pipes and stop your house flooding'. So here's a little competition - can you sum up the role of a CD worker in two short sentences? The best ones will be added to the website. ...

Read full news article

Government response to 'Getting it right and righting the wrongs'

Tuesday, 27 April, 2016 - 14:41

'Getting it right and righting the wrongs' published in June 2009, was the report of an independent review into the 'Communities in Control' White Paper. It made 25 recommendations covering central and local government, and other stakeholders.  The Government's response to the recommendations is set out in this document.  Click here

Read full news article

Are you worried your organisation is losing sight of what it's there for?

Tuesday, 27 April, 2016 - 14:31

The National Coalition for Independent Action (NCIA) is an alliance of individuals and organisations who believe that freedom to join with others in independent voluntary and community activities is in danger.  Its recent flyer highlights the extreme pressure on the independence of the voluntary and community sector imposed by government's drive to use the sector for delivering government ser...

Read full news article

Smarter Government and removal of 18 National Indicators

Tuesday, 27 April, 2016 - 14:24

As part of the Smarter Government measures, 18 National Indicators have been removed as of April 2016.  These include NI 02 (% of people who feel that they belong to their neighbourhood) and NI 03 (civic participation in the local area).  A full update on Smarter Government actions is available at

Read full news article

CD Learning and Qualification Framework

Friday, 16 April, 2016 - 11:56

The England Standard Board have issued briefing sheets and a questionnaire to gather views to inform a new learning and qualification framework for CD.  In addition, a number of events have been held across the regions.  This is a critical issue as all of the existing National Open College Network NOCN level 1-3 qualifications in CD, along with the NVQs come to an end this year...

Read full news article

CD NOS Evaluation Framework

Friday, 16 April, 2016 - 11:52

This partnership project, to develop an evaluation framework, will build on recent mapping and research completed for the National Empowerment Partnership.  To find out more or get involved click here

Read full news article

CD National Occupational Standards (NOS)

Friday, 16 April, 2016 - 11:47

 FCDL is being funded by CDF to develop a 40-50 page guide on using the new NOS, aimed at community development practitioners, employers/manager, policy makers and funders and other professions.  Anna Clarke (Learning for Change), who has been commissioned to undertake the work, is looking for examples of how the NOS, previous or current, have been used, for example around work...

Read full news article

Get to know your Regional CD Networks

Wednesday, 14 April, 2016 - 13:59

  Regional networks have developed or are emerging in most of the nine regions in England (Scotland and Wales also have their own networks).  Representatives from the English regions get together around 3-4 times a year.  To find out about your region, check the 'What we do' page on this website....

Read full news article

Mass localism

Wednesday, 14 April, 2016 - 13:52

  NESTA, a leading independent expert on innovation, has produced a discussion paper called 'Mass Localism' which describes how government can move away from centrally driven projects towards resourcing initiatives developed and led by local communities.  Given the growing pressure on government finances, local solutions are often very effective, as they reflect the needs of specific com...

Read full news article