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Useful Resources

SSEC Resources

Below you can download free publications and information sheets, produced either by us or in association with external organisations.

Community development in action

'Day in the life' profiles of community development workers.



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Democratising Engagement

A resource from Demos on international experiences of public engagement.

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Empowering agencies to engage communities

A report of research carried out by Changes to complement the work on the Axis of Influence, but this time focusing on how open public agencies are to community influence.


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Empowering Evaluation: Evaluating empowerment

A practice sharing report from SSEC, which draws on a conference held in 2008, on how to evaluate empowerment


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Empowerment in action

Case studies of local authority community development. This report from SSEC is essential reading for local authorities working to increase community empowerment or prepare for the Duty to Involve, and summarises recent research into the provision of community development services by local authorities in England.


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Equalities Case Studies

A collection of case studies gathered from community work practitioners showing a range of community development work and projects that champion the interests of traditionally marginalised and excluded communities.  Please contact us if you would like the contact details of those involved in the projects.

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Prescription or Participation

 Conference report and presentations from the Prescriptions or Participation SSEC conference, held in January 2008.


Andrew Furber PDF

Carolyn Kagan PDF

Mike Robinson PDF

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Strategic Approaches to Community Development

A summary of a SSEC practice sharing event on strategic approaches to community development, held on 29 January 2008

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Strategic Framework for Community Development

SSEC's tool for effective community development


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Summary of Survey of Community Development Workers in the UK

Summary of the first UK-wide research of community workers for almost 20 years, the full report can be ordered from Community Development Foundation


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The Axis of Influence

A guide to a discussion-based tool developed by Changes and Dudley Borough CEN, which community groups and networks can use to assess and improve their ability to influence decision making.

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The Community Development Challenge

A report by SSEC, Community Development Foundation and the Federation for Community Development Learning, looking at the challenges faced by those working in the field. 


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What does 'The Community Development Challenge' mean to you?

Reports and conclusions from SSEC's 2007 regional events


For a report from your 2007 regional event please contact

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What is community development?

SSEC's expanded definition based on the National Occupational Standards.



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What is community empowerment?

A short introduction to understanding community empowerment from a community development perspective

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Who cares about neighbourhoods?

A report from the TPAS/SSEC conference held in November 2007



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Working At Home

Ten guidance notes for supporting residents as paid workers and board members in their community


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Working with Allies

Follow up to conference examining 'what it takes' to form alliances across communities and sectors and the potential pitfalls.

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Other Resources

"Total Place: A whole area approach to public services"

This document sets out a new direction for local public services and significant new freedoms from central control.  It is based on extensive work over the last year by 63 local authorities, 34 primary care trusts, 13 police authorities and other partners, with more than 70 other local areas engaged in similar work.  For more information and to download the final report, visit the Total Place site.

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Anti-Discrimination Training Pack: Developing Good Equal Opportunities Practice in Rural Areas

Peak District Rural Deprivation Forum (PDRDF) Countryside Agency, Comic Relief and Losehill Hall (the Peak District National Park training centre), have collaborated to produce this anti-discriminatory training pack, specifically aimed at tackling discrimination in rural areas.

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Are You Looking at Me? A Guide to Recruiting a Diverse Workforce

Know your organisation should be more diverse, but are not sure where to start? This guide from the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) aims to help you to work out how to attract a diverse workforce.

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Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary and Community Organisations: Their Role and Future Development in England and Wales

Recent years have seen a growing interest in the role of black and minority ethnic-led voluntary and community organisations. This reflects increased recognition both of the voluntary and community sector in general and of issues of racial discrimination and institutional racism, and increased lobbying by black and minority ethnic umbrella organisations.

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Citizens and local decision-making: What drives feelings of influence?

 Following the Duty to Involve, Urban Forum, Ipsos MORI and the University of Manchester have jointly carried out research into what makes people feel more or less likely to be able to influence decisions affecting them.  Their report was launched on 17 March.  Download a copy here

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Civil Renewal, Diversity and Social Capital in a Multi-Ethnic Britain

David Faulkner's invited paper on Civil Renewal, Diversity and Social Capital published by The Runnymede Trust was the first in a series of occasional papers - Runnymede Perspectives.

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Commissioning and the Community Sector

If you're involved in or thinking about work around Childrens Trusts you may find this publication useful.   Produced by Kindle (umbrella partnership of national charities) and the Commissioning Support Porgramme (CSP), this is the third in the series of Talking Trust publications.  For further information, click here

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Community Stories (Tamworth Borough Council)

Tamworth Borough Council produced this publication "Community Stories" in 2009, drawing together a number of local case studies to look at the experiences of real people working within the communities of Tamworth.

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Faith Matters

In-depth case studies of 19 projects funded by the Faiths in Action programme have now been published in "Faith Matters".  The book offers faith practitioners evidence to inform their projects and to prove the importance of faith work to policy makers to help attract support and funding.

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Guidance for local authorities on how to mainstream community cohesion into other services

New guidance for councils aimed at helping them to embed community cohesion into their services. The guidance draws on current good practice and suggests up to £500m could be saved through increased cohesion.

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New guidance on Funding bids

A short, but useful guide to developing funding bids can be found on the Community Matters website. 

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Public Sector Equalities Duties

In 2009 Urban Forum was commissioned by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to carry out research into good practice by public bodies in involving different sections of the community in local decision making.  The findings from research into 10 case study examples were used by the Commission in their publication 'Involvement: A practical Guide' published in February 2016. The case studies have now been collated into a pdf format portfolio.

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Stronger Together: The Community Engagement Framework

Stronger Together has been published by Tamworth Borough Council to raise awareness and share information about the process of more empowering engagement. It includes a framework for community engagement, a checklist, and other information to support building community empowerment.

The foreward is written by SSEC Trustee Peter Smith, who is Community Development Manager at Tamworth Burough Council.

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Successful Commissioning Toolkit

Published by the National Audit Office (NAO), this toolkit is aimed at commissioners, but also helps third sector organisations become more informed about the commissioning process, and about what they should expect from financial relationship with the public sector.  NAVCA has urged its members to download a copy of the guide to help voluntary and community sector organisations both to challenge poor commissioning practice and to work constructively with local commissioners.  See the NAO website for further information. 

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Total Place and the Third Sector

IDeA and the Cabinet Office hosted a joint conference on 23 March to explore the role of the third sector in Total Place.  A short conference report, including key opportunities (and barriers) to Third Sector involvement, can be downloaded here

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Turn2us: Helping you access benefits and grants

Turn2us helps people in financial need, and those who support them, access the money available to them through welfare benefits and charitable grants.

Turn2us provides a free, accessible website that can help you find appropriate sources of financial help, quickly and easily, based on the particular needs and circumstances of the people you support. Using your free MyTurn2us account, you can carry out, and save, benefits checks and grant enquiries, and access e-learning resources.

Advanced benefits checking for intermediaries
Anyone who supports people in financial need can use the advanced version of the Benefits Checker, for quicker calculations and ‘what if’ and ‘better off’ comparisons.

Manage grant enquiries online
Turn2us provides details of over 3,500 charitable funds. Your MyTurn2us account allows you to run and save grant searches, make enquiries to charities and manage case work online.

Free e-learning resources
Turn2us has developed a suite of free, interactive e-learning resources to help you make full use of the Turn2us tools and resources and enables intermediaries to understand how they can use Turn2us to help front-line workers and volunteers to support individuals in financial need. To access the e-learning visit

Information on free national workshops
Free nationwide workshops give free information and training on using Turn2us and are available to all not-for-profit organisations that support people in financial need. Dates of future workshops are available on the Turn2us website.

Call us freephone
The Turn2us helpline is a confidential service that can assist you by carrying out benefits checks and grant searches, as well as signposting to further sources of help. The service is accredited by The Helplines Association and offers Language Line and TypeTalk support.

Telephone: 0808 802 2000 (calls are free for landlines and for the six major mobile network providers – check with your supplier first).

If you would like more Information on Turn2us, please contact Sue Aldridge, Projects Manager  or 020 8834 9200

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