Published: 20th Mar 2009

One thing always strikes me when I meet local people who want to change their communities. It’s their passion and determination to make a difference, often against all the odds. Community reps, local activists, residents, ordinary people: call them what you will, they’re the people who work, often without pay, to improve the lives of their friends and neighbours. I’m thinking of people like Emma Jenson at Liverpool’s Rotunda College, who made delegates to last year’s British Urban Regeneration Association conference sit up and listen when she described her community’s fight to improve a small strip of land. People like Diane Cocker, whose drive and determination turned a neglected set of allotments in north Sheffield into a practical learning centre on horticulture and healthy eating. Or Pam Stewart, who battled ill health to become a volunteer director of a women’s refuge in Leigh, Lancashire, and chairs Urban Forum, a network … (To read the full article, subscribe below)