Here are some of the people behind CommEnt:
Justin is an experienced researcher, taking a reflective approach in the design of networked business models to achieve more than economic gain, building on my previous community development and management experience. A member of the Chartered Management Institute since 2006, his experience includes ten years as Development Manager of Mind in Manchester, turning it around from next to nothing to a turnover of £150K per annum over several years. Managing this involved securing funding, dealing with personnel issues, forming partnerships and raising the organisation's profile. His growing interest in social enterprise governance has to Justin developing research skills while undertaking an MA in Social Enterprise Management at Liverpool John Moores University from 2008-10. Subseqent research for Manchester University in 2011 explored the potential for wider application of open source principles, including to business models. His doctoral thesis research undertaken at Lancaster University from 2013-19 took a reflective approach to the design of new forms of narrative business model in the context of the platform economy. This knowledge and experience has enabled Justin to take a lead in the development of CommEnt as a Community Interest Company with a sustainable loosely guild-like structure. Justin can be contacted through the Social Balance Consultancy website.
Angus has over twenty-five years experience of community-based regeneration and land-use design. He has worked as a business consultant to small organisations including local food producers, recycling companies, restaurants and retail outlets. Previously, he worked internationally in the energy industry as a trouble-shooter and project manager. His current activities include strategy formulation, research, project design and business planning, training and facilitation. His activities have now run across all the major sectors, but mainly drawn to the areas of food security and fuel poverty. Angus has been teaching permaculture for over 25 years, delivering the international permaculture design course in the UK, sometimes in challenging circumstances. He has also worked as an interviewer and facilitator, having undergone facilitator training from Environmental Resolve. Angus helped form CommEnt in 1998, working with the local community partnership to meet the needs in the Breightmet area of Bolton. He serves on the Board as Director of Development. Angus can be contacted through the Northern School of Permaculture.
Charlotte trained in social and visual anthropology at the University of Manchester then worked as a researcher in the university's Education in Urban Contexts group, on projects funded by the DfES, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, NCSL etc, for five years. Research included using creative and collaborative methods to explore and promote inclusive practices, networked learning, children's wellbeing and participation, and local involvement in informal and formal education. A consultant to local authorities, universities, businesses and the third sector since 2006, Charlotte specialises in programme evaluation, developing support packages for schools, sharing good practice, and ethnographic filmmaking. Clients have included Greater Manchester Challenge, MMU, AfSL, Save the Children and the BBC. Training in Permaculture Design with Angus Soutar in 2009 has led to an ongoing apprenticeship with Angus and project design and management including working with young people, volunteers, local enterprise, charities and community networks to create spaces and events for growing, learning and ecological health.
Mark Turner is a Community Development practitioner, qualified teacher, youth worker and sports coach. He has many years experience in the statutory and voluntary sectors delivering successful projects in the health, education, social and economic spheres; always advocating for and involving communities in the design and subsequent management of projects. Whilst managing a large youth project in Canterbury, Mark developed several innovative schemes with young people in the area, including for care leavers, those at risk of custodial sentences and those excluded from school. Mark has also worked for the Amicus Group in providing resources for tenants and residents in his role as Community Development officer. He has also worked as an SRB programme officer in Lancashire, advising and assisting groups engaged with social, economic and environmental projects, enabling them to bring forward bids for consideration of funding. Mark has experience of bid writing and on-going report and financial accounting procedures, including managing a £156K NLCB project for youth homelessness work.
Krysia is a health professional with considerable experience of supporting community projects. In the past she has been involved in nurse education and has run her own complementary therapy business. Prior to her career in nursing, her early working years were spent with the Co-Op Bank. Her community experience includes work as a project administrator at the LETSgo Manchester project (budget £100,000 over one year) and she is a former director of Breightmet Credit Union. She is a long-term supporter of CommEnt.
Roger has seven years experience as a project worker in community development work in Bolton. He was the project manager of our Young Savers project, which included managing volunteers at the collection points in schools and also reporting to the funders on the financial progress of the project. He also worked for East Bolton Regeneration as a Community Participation worker. Roger has previously worked in market research, after beginning his working life in banking. He is trained in project evaluation and community-based evaluation techniques. He also has the City and Guilds teaching certificate and has done teaching work with adults in prisons. He works with young people as a table tennis coach at the Bolton Lads and Girls club.
Zoe works in the field of eco-engineering as a permaculture designer. She has experience of initiating and developing innovative projects that contribute to a sustainable future and a healthy biosphere. She has a particular interest in public health. Working internationally, Zoe divides her time between Manchester and Mauritius. A founder-member of the Permaculture Institute of North Britain, she is currently working on sustainability and health projects in Mauritius.