State of Us 2022 Friday 18th November
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Read more about the Speakers
Find out about State of Us 2021
State of Us Friday 18th November
Book your ticket
Meet the Speakers

Speakers & Facilitators


Hannah Sloggett, Director/Founder – Nudge Community Builders, Plymouth

Hannah is Co-Director of Nudge Community Builders with Wendy Hart. They set up Nudge in 2017 to bring buildings back into use on Union Street in Plymouth for lasting local benefit.  Nudge now runs five buildings along the street as well as a range of events along the street. She was nationally recognised for innovation and community engagement whilst working as Neighbourhood Planning Manager at Plymouth City Council. Previously she led on audience development programmes at Plymouth City Museum, the Ragged School Museum and the Science Museum in London. She loves finding creative ways forward with tricky challenges, she is passionate about communities finding their own solutions.

Angie Wright, CEO – b inspired, Braunstone, Leicester

B inspired is a neighbourhood-based charity operating as a community business, with a wholly owned trading company. Established in 2010 to carry forward the ground-breaking work it spearheaded from 1999 through the New Deal for Communities programme; it has worked alongside local people to change Braunstone for the better. Under Angie’s leadership b inspired has continued to grow its ownership and improvement of important local buildings, resulting in a portfolio including social housing, health facilities, Community Hub, sports facilities, managed workspace and commercial offices.  All its profits are re-invested back into the neighbourhood and through this local economic power comes increased participation and influence.

Claude Hendrickson, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Associate – Community Led Housing Advisor, Community Land Trust Ambassador, Community Housing Leeds

Claude is a strong and longstanding advocate of community self-build housing and the BME community. From 1989-1995 he was project manager for the Frontline community self-build scheme in Leeds, which enabled unemployed African-Caribbean men to build houses for themselves and their families. Through this project, the participants gained qualifications and develop a sense of self-respect and the respect of their peers and community. Many of the participants have continued to work within the construction industry.

Claude brings knowledge and experience of working with BME groups across Leeds and has contributed significantly through research and publications to the self-build movement. In 2016/17, commissioned by Leeds City Council he produced a 10-year strategy around self-build, custom build and community led housing, which led to the creation of the Leeds Community Homes enabling hub to support community-led housebuilding schemes across the city. He is also a founder member of the Community Self-Build Agency; a non-profit organisation established in 2000 that promotes self-build housing initiatives for those in housing need, such as the unemployed, people on low incomes and the young. In 2012 became CSBA’s (voluntary) Northern Development Director.

Claude remains a passionate advocate for BME & minority groups to undertake community-led housing and associated training. Over the last 15 years, he has worked face-to-face with individuals and groups from all walks of life, diverse backgrounds and abilities. He offers consultancy around Self-Build and Black male role models and sits on a number of Strategy Boards in Leeds and West Yorkshire.


Karen Pilkington, Founder/Director – The Village Hub, Stoke, Plymouth

Karen is a founder member of The Village Hub, a charitable community benefit society focussed on doing things with not for the people of Stoke and Morice Town in Plymouth. She is also a founder member of Change For Plymouth, a movement in the city building towards participatory democracy and more positive, creative and respectful local politics.

Sacha Bedding MBE, Manager – The Annex, Wharton Trust, Hartlepool

Sacha is the Manager of the Wharton Trust, a small estate-based charity and community anchor operating out of the Annexe Community Centre in the Dyke House area of Hartlepool.  Over the last decade, as well as overseeing the delivery of community focussed services such as a youth club, job search and library, Wharton Trust has trained over 150 local residents in community organising and supported hundreds of individuals to take action on things they care about.  Sacha has also been instrumental in the transformation of the Charity, which now owns its own building, has successfully launched Annexe Housing a community led housing scheme, a community shop and has helped catalyse six other community businesses.

In addition to his work in Dyke House, Sacha is Chair of Community Organisers, the home of community organising in England and is a community leader member of the national We’re Right Here campaign for a Community Power Act.

Sasha – Co-founder and Director of Breathe, Community Organising for climate justice.

Sasha is a community organiser and political strategist with decades of experience in communications, participatory policy and climate justice organising

Sofia Deria – Annetta House and Assemble Studios

New to the field of systems thinking, Sofia Deria explores the nuances of culture and community. Having an education rooted in the arts, Sofia critically navigates the shifts between her heritage and upbringing in the west. Often described as a facilitator over participator, she experiments with film and language as a way to preserve and celebrate black bodies and black stories. Currently, Sofia is working on the House of Annetta; a directory of ideas, collaborators and users growing among the fragmented floors of the house. Typically you will find her reimagining how we can create with the world, rather than against or for it. Her future is driven toward creating a resource hub on black and African art and design. Her present self is sifting through memories, poetry and other archival material to build this wealth of knowledge. 


Pam Barrett, Founder/Director – B-Buckfastleigh CIC, Buckfastleigh, Devon and ex-town Mayor

Pam is a community organiser and strategist working on health, social and economic inequalities in left behind communities, especially small, rural towns.   She has worked for 30 years as a senior manager in civil service policy and organisational development and is the founder and managing director of Be Buckfastleigh, developing new models of economic development and engagement in and around south Devon.  She is a lead advocate for Flatpack Democracy, helping communities reimagine and revitalise town and parish councils, and making them relevant to the communities they serve.  She is a trustee for a number of youth and swimming pool charities, and when not working, can be found in the woods looking for mushrooms.

Ed Whitelaw, Head of Enterprise & Regeneration – Real Ideas Organisation, Plymouth

Real Ideas is a southwest rooted social enterprise group that solves problems and create opportunities. With a background in environmental science, social economics and education, Ed, leads on the organisation’s Nature and Neighbourhoods business unit. In addition to supporting the develop of Real Ideas’ community buildings over the last 15 years, Ed continues to deliver on a range of community ownership and asset development programmes across the UK and has a particular interest in community enterprise-led solutions to economic development, environmental restoration, and democratic renewal.  He is a founding/director of Plymouth Social Enterprise Network and Borrowed Parts Brewery Coop and is a current Churchill Fellow. 

Frances Northrop, Associate Fellow – New Economics Foundation

Frances is a respected leader in the local economic development sector with over 20 years’ experience and a reputation for being highly effective, emotionally intelligent and solutions focused.

Working across sectors and at a national, regional and local level her background is in community led economic development and she is currently an Associate Fellow of the New Economics Foundation, a Director of Totnes Community Development Society and a Trustee of Annetta’s Trust

Frances has a specialist perspective on how change is created through different means – culture, policy, practice and campaigns – and experience in all four areas. Most recently Frances has begun to specialise in urban development which is community led and actively avoids gentrification whilst generating local wealth and opportunities. To this end her most recent work has been to undertake action research on High Streets and town and city centre decline and revival and to actively support groups across the country who are seeking to develop buildings and other assets to meet local need.

As part of this Frances has been a co-investigator on the Leeds University led Understanding and Enhancing the Community Value of Traditional Retail Markets research project, is working with the Latin Village campaign on political strategy and developing their community plan and also with the People’s Property Portfolio: Bradford on bringing forward a City Centre property as an arts/creative centre.