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Services We Offer

CEA have built our skills over 22 years. The services we offer reflect our skills. They include:


Supporting and stimulating community engagement

This is at the core of our work. Lasting change in any locality will only happen if people and organisations are genuinely engaged. We can design and run programmes and events, advise on projects and help solve problems and challenges. We have worked across the UK and Europe, in urban and rural area, and with some of the poorest communities in London. In 2012 Chris Church is working with four marginalised communities now getting support from the Lottery ‘Big Local’ programme to develop 10 year action plans. Jan McHarry is working closely with different faith communities in Tower Hamlets. For information on this and other examples of our work check our news page.


Project development and support

We’ve helped set up a great many projects over the last 20 years from new national organisations to tiny local green spaces. We know what works, and we know the pitfalls. We can help at every stage from blue-sky thinking through design and fund-raising to implementation, evaluation and learning. (we need to add case studies linked to this later)


Event organisation

We’ve run many events from community consultations and focus groups through to multi-day international conferences. We can help with planning and developing the agenda as well as the essential administrative tasks from speaker liaison to delegate booking and on-the-day management. Our experience can usually help avoid the problems rather than having to solve them.


Presentations for workshops, conferences, and seminars

We’re good presenters and this is consistently confirmed in event evaluation forms. Chris Church is a positive and entertaining speaker and he has spoken at every level from international conferences to small Scottish villages and east London housing estates, and in places from New Zealand and Kazakhstan to New York and Norway (and 20+ countries in between). Contact us to discuss your ideas and needs here and check Chris’s own page for more information.


Research, data collection and analysis

We have good links to various universities and have worked within academic research projects on various occasions. Our work with Mapping for Change also gives us useful insights into new ways to collect and analyse data using a range of on-line and community-sourcing techniques. Contact us for more information.


Training and facilitation

We offer some of the best facilitation and training around – see here. Both Chris and Jan are skilled facilitators and we work with other people whose skills we respect. Chris trains on facilitation skills several times a year with consistently excellent feedback. He regularly chairs conferences and similar events. We’ve worked in planet of challenging situations and we can work with you design a process or course to meet your specific needs.


Policy development and review

Our focus is local work, but we recognise that getting the plans and policies right is essential as way to create the space for good community work. We have worked on UN, EU and UK government policy development processes and have a good understanding of policy work in Defra, DECC and CLG. We’ve also designed, led and supported targeted campaigns and we’re equally at home advising communities on how to engage with local councils to shape local policy. Contact us if you’d like to discuss ideas.


Evaluation of projects and programmes

We’ve done a lot of evaluation – see some of our cases here. We are happy to offer services for any work and can also help design evaluation work: we have experience of a wide range formal and informal processes and techniques.


Neighbourhood, community-led and organisational planning

Community-led planning is at the core of much of our work (see some of that work here) and we have a good understanding of the emerging agenda around Neighbourhood Planning. We can advise at any level from simple facilitation to design, process, management and plan writing. We also offer organisational planning on work ranging from issue-specific work on food and energy to development of business and action plans.


Production of resources, tool kits, and guidance materials

We have written many guides over the last years – some examples are here (resources page). We are skilled at work in plain English, and wrote a CDF guide to sustainable development that got the ‘Crystal Mark’ for clear writing. We are fully aware of the challenges in producing materials that will be both useful and well-used. We are also used to combining written materials with on-line and social media resources.


Community development towards sustainability

Much of our work is about community development – supporting local organisations to bring about lasting changes where they live, while building their skills and confidence. We have both been Associates of the Community Development Foundation for many years. We link community development techniques with issue-focused work, often within funding-defined timescales and recognise the challenges and opportunities in this approach.

Sidebar Content

Recent Resources

These are some current resources – see the CEA Resources page for a complete list of what is available.