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David was a great help to us in Blyth Valley in carrying out a review of the VCS infrastructure support in the area. He has extensive knowledge of working in the sector and his final report helped us map out a way forward.

Chris Simpson ,Head of Community Regeneration and Culture
Blyth Valley Borough Council


My consultancy work is informed by the same values as my facilitation role where I aim to bring impartiality and clarity to situations where I feel through my experience I can add value. My approach is informed by my experience of what works (and what doesn’t) and a willingness and ability to observe and listen. I follow a logical methodology from recording an objective appraisal of what I learn from interviews and desk research to formulating practical recommendations to improve client outcomes and management efficiency.

My consultancy interests stem from 20 years experience working in the voluntary sector and subsequent work in neighbourhood renewal specialising in community empowerment and engagement. I was accredited as a Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor (NRA) by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister from 2002 (taken over from 2006 by the Department of Communities and Local Government) until the phasing out of the scheme in December 2008. I was subsequently  appointed as a Local Improvement Advisor (the successor role to NRAs) on a three year contract which expired in 2011. I was appointed an Associate Consultant for the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency (LGID) in December 2008 and have an ongoing working relationship with the National Association of Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA).

Examples of consultancy assignments I have undertaken include:

Evaluations: Utilising a variety of evaluation techniques to establish performance measures based on the quantity and quality of management and service delivery and fundamentally, quantifying the benefit to the service users. Clients include:

Voluntary and Community Sector: Prior to becoming freelance in 2002, experience working in the voluntary sector in community business and infra-structure support roles has helped inform consultancy assignments looking at the contribution made by the voluntary and community sector to (amongst other things) the regeneration and renewal agenda. Examples of work completed include:

VCS and Community Engagement: Government focus on voluntary and community sector engagement in strategic planning and the community empowerment agenda has been an area of particular interest for me. My consultancy work in this area has focused on the governance of partnership bodies and mechanisms to ensure communities are engaged in the decisions that affect them. Examples include:

Governance: Advising on appropriate management and legal structures for partnerships and not-for-profit organisations working in partnership with Charlie Cattell.

Research and Writing: I have also been engaged by clients to research examples of good practice and write up findings for publication. Examples include: