First national conference dedicated to community investment

Mar 27, 2019

Every year, social housing providers invest millions of pounds in their communities, whether through employment schemes, youth work, financial capability initiatives, grant-making or a range of other activities.

This year, for the first time, the Centre for Excellence in Community Investment is hosting the first national conference dedicated to community investment.

Tuesday 21 May 2019
09:00 – 17:00

The Rowton Hotel
145 Alcester Street
Birmingham   B12 0PJ


Download the agenda

Opening keynote speech: The future of civil society: where do housing associations fit in?
Asif Afridi (Panel member, Independent inquiry into the future of civil society, and Deputy CEO, Brap)

Panel discussion: Can community investment deliver resident involvement?
Jenny Osborne, CEO, Tpas; Charlie Norman, CEO, MSV; Rachel Honey-Jones, Head of Community Regeneration, Newydd Housing Association

Workshops (morning sessions):
How do we support Boards to become the champions of community investment?
Gary Fulford, Group Chief Executive, whg; Jon Fisher, Head of Communities, Sovereign; Jennifer Dykes, Board member, Sovereign; Andy Zuntz, Chair of the Board, ForViva (Chair)

Stepping into the spotlight – youth engagement and the Spotlight Centre
Daniel Rose, Director, Spotlight

Using and collecting evidence to shape community investment services
Stephen Burns, Executive Director, Care and Communities, Peabody;Ceris Anderson, Knowledge and Insight Manager, Streetgames; Dr Frances Harkin, Research Lead, HACT

Developing community investment’s approach to professional development and qualifications
Dr Val Harris, ESB; Nicky Gelder, Community Investment Manager, Hexagon; Rebecca Clarke, Head of Membership, CIH

Lunch: Meet Your Network Lead session

Sub-plenary 1: Five years of 5 the UK Social Value Bank: how to use social value to demonstrate the value of community investment
Sheila Maxwell, Community Regeneration Officer, Link Group; MK Rallings Adams, Deputy Chief Executive, HACT; James Williams, Head of Social Impact, HACT

Sub-plenary 2: The inside story of GUAC’s Communities that Work campaign
Lynsey Sweeney, Managing Director, GUAC; Jon Fisher, Chair of Board, GUAC

Sub-plenary 3: Using social investment to deliver community investment outcomes
Jules Tompkins, Investment Manager, Community Impact Partnership; Helen Wilson, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Projects, Clarion Futures

Workshops (afternoon sessions):

How to change the national discourse around housing to include community investment
Mark Lawrence, Editor, 24 Housing; Jen Barfoot, Chief Executive, Homes in Sedgemoor; Andrew van Doorn, CE, HACT (Chair)

How to use procurement as a vehicle to drive and deliver community investment priorities
Barry Malki, Head of Communities, HACT; Alison Wilkinson, Group Customer Development Manager, Mears; Gary Jackson, Group Director Marketing, Comms & Customer Success, Mears

Sharing social impact measurement skills
Sheila Maxwell, Community Regeneration Officer, Link Group 

Upskilling frontline staff to deliver community investment
Helen Scott, Performance and Evaluation Manager, Wheatley

How to deliver community investment in a diverse cultural climate
Panel discussion: Chaired by Julie Haywood, Director of Community Investment, WHG; Tim O’Malley, Community Development Manager, Clanmil; Sahil Khan, Head of Gateway and Community Services, Catalyst; Lyn Mangisi, Community Development Officer, Radian

Closing speech: How do we ensure that community investment is at the core of social housing?
Sally Thomas, Chief Executive, SFHA

Panel discussion following Sally’s speech featuring Sally Thomas, Sahil Khan, Stephen Burns, Nicky Hazelwood, and Julie Haywood, with Andrew van Doorn (Chair)

The Venue

The Rowton Hotel is located 15 minutes walk from central Birmingham.

Hotel rooms are available for the night before and after the conference, at discounted rates. These are available on a first-come-first-serve basis so please email as soon as possible if you require a room.

Car parking space is limited and available on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you wish to arrive by car please email




We are grateful to both Mears and Walsall Housing Group for their sponsorshop of this conference.

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