The Space to Connect Learning and Evaluation Team

This is the team who will be working on the Space to Connect Learning and Evaluation programme.

Jo Trigwell

Role: Jo is the day-to day contact for the Learning and Evaluation Programme. She will also be co-leading the rapid reviews on community development knowledge and work collaboratively to develop tool kits.

Experience: Jo is a Senior Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University. As an experienced social researcher, Jo is skilled in quantitative and qualitative designs and a member of the ethics committee for the School of Health and Community Studies. Jo’s interests surround healthy lifestyle interventions, community participation and health inequalities.

Mark Gamsu

Role: Mark is the Principal Investigator for this programme, this means being responsible for its overall design, delivery and impact. He will be actively involved across the programme and is looking forward to meeting with many of the organisations funded through this programme and hearing their stories.

Experience: Mark has worked in the voluntary, local government and health sectors. He is particularly interested in the relationship between the public, communities and local health and care systems. He has; 

  • established community health champion programmes, 
  • written with colleagues about the contribution that citizens and and communities make to health and wellbeing, 
  • evaluated the impact of volunteering projects funded by the Department of Health 
  • reviewed how NHS Trusts  listen to and involve the public. 

He is a trustee of a number of local voluntary organisations in Sheffield.

Kris Southby

Role: Kris will be co-leading the rapid reviews on community development knowledge and work collaboratively to develop tool kits.

Experience: Kris is a Research Fellow in the Centre for Health Promotion Research at Leeds Beckett University. Kris is an experienced social researcher, particularly around wellbeing, communities, volunteering, and inclusion. Kris is a member of the ethics committee for the School of Health and Community Studies.

Sarah Frost

Role: Sarah will lead on the development of Case Studies and capturing stories of Most Significant Change. She will also co-facilitate some of the workshops.

Experience: Sarah is an evaluation specialist and skilled facilitator experienced in supporting learning from practice and the development of evidence based approaches. She has worked in and with the voluntary and community sector for 25 years and is skilled in participatory and qualitative evaluation approaches. Sarah’s interests include asset-based community development approaches to health and well-being, health inequalities and social capital. She is passionate about community building as a mechanism central to addressing loneliness and isolation.

Simon Anderson

Role: Simon has responsibility for leading the evaluation strand. He will conduct an analysis of the funding applications of the successful projects, consult with those involved in commissioning and draw on data collected during other elements of the evidence, engagement and learning strands in order to assess the overall contribution of the programme.

Experience: Simon is an applied social researcher and evaluator with almost 30 years’ experience as a research commissioner, practitioner, methodologist, senior manager and strategist. From 2003 to 2014, he was the founding Director of ScotCen Social Research – the Scottish arm of NatCen – and also spent time in London as Acting CEO of the national organisation. Since 2014, he has been an independent consultant, helping organisations to design, commission, fund, conduct and use social research more effectively.

Simon Rippon

Role: Simon will collaborate on the design and facilitation of the workshops to then develop Case Stories and Learning Tools

Experience: Simon brings a wider range of skills and experiences in working on community projects as an evaluator and facilitator. His experience in designing and undertaking qualitative evaluation and research includes recent work on Housing Needs for Older People, Developing a Learning Network in large scale community development programme and Evaluations of Local Area Coordination schemes in England. Simon has authored a number of recent publications on asset based approaches and community development.

Menna Bharadwa

Role: Locality are really pleased to be part of this team and will support the process of developing and sharing of the findings. We will use what we find to develop short, practical and relevant briefings and guides for the programme and beyond.

Experience: Meena is a community development professional with 20 years experience working in and with communities and community organisations. Meena works as a Development Manager for Locality, the national network of community organisations that believe in the power of community to build a fairer society. With 700 members nationally Locality is leading on community-led action including community development and ownership of assets