Community builders. Pioneers. Storytellers. Believers. Connectors. Visionaries. Activists. Thinkers. Creators. Fighters. Leaders. And you.
Completely blown away by these fantastic speakers. The passion and dedication brought tears to my eyes.
- Cheryl Flavell, Placemaking and Partnerships Manager, Orbit Group

Alison Haskins, CEO Halifax Opportunities Trust

Bio Coming Soon

Tony Armstrong, CEO Locality

Locality is the national membership network supporting local community organisations to be strong and successful.  Tony has led Locality since 2014 and oversees all aspects of the organisation.

He has a background in supporting communities to have more say over their local areas in the third sector and the public sector. He led the national charity Living Streets between 2008-14.

Before joining the sector, he was a civil servant for 9 years and held a number of senior policy adviser roles in Government. He worked on neighbourhood regeneration and renewal and health improvement and was one of the original members of staff of the Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Unit from 2001.

Fatma Mohiuddin, Young Poet Laureate Birmingham

15 years old Fatma is currently the Birmingham Young Poet Laureate. She particularly focuses on spoken word, and hopes to use her poetry to challenge stereotypes by writing about a range of topics such as equality and mental health. She also hopes to inspire other young people to start writing and performing. So far, she has done many performances around Birmingham as well as running school workshops and recording poems for Holocaust Memorial Day and and the COVID commemoration day.
You can find her on:
Twitter: @fatmamohiuddin
Instagram: @fatma_mohiuddin and  @fatma_poetic_words

Alison Haskins, CEO Halifax Opportunities Trust

Bio Coming Soon

Tony Armstrong, CEO Locality

Locality is the national membership network supporting local community organisations to be strong and successful.  Tony has led Locality since 2014 and oversees all aspects of the organisation.

He has a background in supporting communities to have more say over their local areas in the third sector and the public sector. He led the national charity Living Streets between 2008-14.

Before joining the sector, he was a civil servant for 9 years and held a number of senior policy adviser roles in Government. He worked on neighbourhood regeneration and renewal and health improvement and was one of the original members of staff of the Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Unit from 2001.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands

Before becoming the first ever West Midlands Mayor, Andy combined a career at John Lewis, Britain’s most successful workers’ co-operative, with a host of high-profile economic development roles, working with local and national government.
Starting on the John Lewis graduate scheme, Andy rose through the ranks to become managing director, overseeing the company for nearly a decade during one of its most successful periods in history.

Outside of work, Andy is passionate about the arts, particularly in the West Midlands, having previously served as vice chairman of Performances Birmingham Limited, which is responsible for running the city’s Symphony and Town Halls.
He was re-elected for a second term as Mayor in May this year

Sophia Parker, Director of Emerging Futures Joseph Rowntree Foundation

Sophia leads a major new programme of work at JRF, to imagine, seed and grow radical new approaches to tackling poverty. Previously, Sophia was CEO of Little Village, a London-based charity that she set up in 2016 that works to tackle child poverty. She’s held senior roles at the thinktanks Resolution Foundation and Demos.

Aftab Rahman, Legacy West Midlands

Aftab passion lies in serving the community.  He is the founding Director of Legacy WM in 2010 an organisation that delivers services for wellbeing, heritage, arts and young people. Aftab was the founding Chair of Bangladeshi Youth Forum and then worked as a Senior Civil Servant.

Rebecca Debenham CEO of Northfield Community Partnership

Rebecca is Passionate about people and communities enabling them to fulfil their potential through a holistic range of support which is locally led. Working for 10 years to develop a vibrant community Anchor working with over 20,000 Citizens per year.
Chair of Northfield Stakeholders Group leading on an emergency Covid response across the constituency, delivering over 99,000 meals during the pandemic. Rebecca is leading a recovery plan with key stakeholders and the Local MP which will help to inform the levelling up agenda for the Northfield Constituency. Twitter: @NorthfieldPship

Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive of Power to Change

Vidhya is the CEO of Power to Change, an independent trust supporting the growth of prosperous and cohesive communities through community businesses. PtC has invested £100 million into the sector through targeted grants and support programmes. In 2021 Vidhya received an OBE for services to Social Equality. Vidhya is a board member of the Resolution Foundation, More in Common, and the Young Foundation; and regularly advises government on community regeneration.
@vidhyaalakeson

Judy Ling Wong CBE, Honorary President Black Environment Network

Judy is a painter, poet and environmentalist, best known as the Honorary President of Black Environment Network  (BEN). For 27 years she was the UK Director of BEN, with an international reputation as the pioneer and creator of the field of multi-cultural participation in the built and natural environment. Judy is a major voice on policy and practice towards social inclusion. She is recognised as a visionary advocate for diversity and equality. Find Judy on Twitter: @ling_judy

Dan Stone, Project Manager / Town Planner, Centre for Sustainable Energy

Dan Stone is a chartered planner, working for the Centre for Sustainable Energy. Dan wrote CSE’s guidebook “Neighbourhood Planning in a Climate Emergency” and led CSE’s neighbourhood planning programme. Dan is now leading a project exploring a bottom up approach to local plan community engagement around renewable energy in order to accelerate deployment, whilst maintaining public support.

Annie Wynn, Project Development Manager, Let's Grow Preston

Let’s Grow Preston works tirelessly within the diverse communities of Preston to improve the environment of the City of Preston through cooperative environmental action. Our work and organisational values align with the Preston Economic Model and community wealth building. We have a radical, inclusive and equitable philosophy.
We operate two outstanding community gardens at Ashton Park and Grange Community Gardens, we are the umbrella environmental body for a thriving growing network of community groups such as park friends’ groups, food growing, allotment, environmental and community groups and associations.

LGP’s innovative work has put in place Public Liability Insurance and risk management procedures for all of its members to easily utilise to enable them to green the City of Preston for the benefit of people, wildlife and the environment.

LGP have run training and capacity building sessions with individuals and groups of all ages, backgrounds and abilities enabling them to create and care for community gardens, wildflower projects, food growing initiatives, beautifying grot spots and enriching biodiversity through sustainable planting schemes amongst much more. Our work has created real social and health benefits for those taking part in the volunteering and countless others who appreciate the transformative results in their neighbourhoods.

This has been recognised by the following awards Social Prescribing Community organisation of the year 2021, Community group recognised for making real life changes to communities award by BBC Lancashire Radio Make a difference awards and Green Community Project of 2021 at the recent Best of Lancashire awards.
Familiar with public speaking, Annie has presented to Councils, national conferences and the most scary – the WI!

Polly Billington, Project Chief Executive UK 100

Polly is the Chief Executive of UK100, established in 2016. She is a campaigning and communications specialist with extensive experience in media, government and politics. A former broadcast journalist (BBC 1993-2007), she was special adviser at DECC (2008-10), Director of Communications on Sadiq Khan’s selection campaign to be a London Mayoral candidate (2015), and Head of Communications and Campaigns at Citizens Advice (2013-15).

Dr Miriam Burke, Project ManagerLondon Development Trust

Miriam has worked for LDT since 2013, beginning on the PACT project to engage an inner-city community with impacts of climate change and promote more climate friendly behaviours. Her theoretical research is concerned with the ways that non-experts can engage with the idea of climate change through community craft projects and creative practice.

Beccy Owen

Beccy Owen is a musician, singer, songwriter, performer, producer and musical director. She has performed at the UK’s most renowned venues, festivals and live art programmes. Described as a “formidable and open-hearted musician” (Woodwork UK) and by BBC Radio 6’s Tom Robinson as a “very special talent” Beccy has released seven critically acclaimed albums to date, has shared line-ups with the likes of Elvis Costello, John Grant and Kate Rusby, and musically directs theatre shows alongside her award winning pop-up choirs for all www.popupchoirs.com (check it out and get involved!)

Ishita Ranjan Founder and Director of Spark and Co. and Senior Project Manager at Good Finance

Ishita is the Founder and Director of Spark and Co., a CIC responding to Covid-19 by delivering programmes and campaigns on racial injustice, digital exclusion, healthcare and mental wellbeing. Ishita is also the Senior Project Manager at Good Finance, helping charities and social enterprise navigate the world of social investment. Ishita is passionate about inclusion, equality and taking action.
Find Ishita on twitter: @ishtweets_

Adair Mosley, President and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities

Adair Mosley is the president and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, a pioneering community impact agency. In 2020, he launched Justice Built Communities, an equitable economic development corporation created to prioritize wealth creation in black and brown communities. Previously as Pillsbury’s Chief Innovation Officer, Adair led a $7 million development to build North Market, a first-of-its-kind grocery store and wellness center that’s transforming food access, community health, and economic vitality in North Minneapolis.
Find Adair on Twitter @adairmosley1

LaToyah McAllister-Jones, St Pauls Carnival

LaToyah the Executive Director of St Pauls Carnival and previously worked as the Head of Operations at Ujima Radio. LaToyah has significant experience working across a range of communities and cultural institutions in the city of Bristol particularly with African Caribbean-led community organisations.

She has over 20 years’ experience working in the homelessness sector with complex needs individuals and is experienced working in multi-disciplinary environments, providing support and care to vulnerable individuals.

LaToyah’s experience crosses front-line operational delivery as well as roles with a strategic focus; after managing accommodation services for street homeless individuals she moved in change management, supporting small organisations with a social purpose in strategic team development to increase impact and improve outcomes.

LaToyah holds a number of  non-executive director positions including at Brighter Places, a Bristol and South Gloucester based housing association, Bristol Festivals, a membership organisation which represents festivals and events in the city and Bristol’s One City Culture Board. She is also an Associate Non-Executive Director with North Bristol NHS Trust

LaToyah is a Clore Social Fellow and action learning facilitator.

Joe Earle CEO, Economy

Joe Earle is CEO at Economy, an organisation which works with people, particularly those currently furthest from power, to shape the economy to achieve what matters to them. He is co-author of The Econocracy: on the perils of leaving economics to the experts and Reclaiming economics for future generations and a member of the Foundational Economy Collective.

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