ABCD Europe

Asset-based community development in action, all over Europe.

All Blog Posts (105)

Cutting the costs for attending the big event

Hello all ABCD friends

Cormac Russell has asked me to let you know that there are still bursaries available for the ABCD celebration event to be held in mid June (more information available on this website) which reduce the costs for the week to a £160 - so if you were concerned about costs and so on this could be a great opportunity to get on board? 

Cormac can provide more information

all best wishes for a happy weekend and hope to see you at the BIG…


Added by Marc Mordey on May 15, 2015 at 16:23 — No Comments


WE HAVE SOME NEW INFORMATION AND IDEAS TO SHARE WITH ABCD FRIENDS - please see our website  for the following :



SITRA  -  a national membership organisation that provides expertise, training and consultancy in housing with health and social care support, have evaluated Vintage Communities work in the two demonstrator sites in Balham and Dagenham.



Added by Marc Mordey on December 17, 2014 at 12:11 — No Comments

ABCD Europe Workshop - notes from the July 2014 meeting

ABCD Europe Workshop July 22 - 24 July 2014 sponsored by The Barnwood Trust



Attended by:

Cormac, Martin Simon, David, Steve, Sally, Maureen, Sam, Martin Johnstone, Al ,Philip ,Tom ,Ellie ,Marc and Tom Dewar


These notes are an attempt to capture a sense of the scope of our ideas, thoughts, discussions and conclusions.

We had no mandate to make any decisions on behalf of the main ABCDE…


Added by Marc Mordey on October 24, 2014 at 17:18 — No Comments

The 7 Tactics of Hidden Persuaders by Cormac Russell

In 1957, The Hidden Persuaders was published. It quickly gained national attention and launched Vance Packard's (the author) career.

The Hidden Persuaders lays bare the use of consumer motivational research and other psychological techniques,…


Added by Laura Byng on October 19, 2014 at 19:30 — No Comments

Black Swans, White Swans, and Ugly Ducklings by Cormac Russell

The Black Swan (Cygnus atratus) is a large waterbird, a species of swan, which breeds mainly in the southeast and southwest regions of…


Added by Laura Byng on October 12, 2014 at 13:49 — No Comments

7 Habits of Institutional Radicals

In last week’s post I shared some thoughts on the habits of non-credentialed connectors. This week I want to explore the 7 habits of highly effective institutional radicals.

Between ’90 and the summer of ’92 I trained to be a Roman Catholic…


Added by Laura Byng on October 5, 2014 at 12:05 — No Comments

A PacMan in the Village

Growing-up in rural Ireland has defined me in more ways than I can consciously articulate. The word that sums up the experience is 'sufficiency'.

My family friends and I mostly occupied the world of 'enough', my parents had an internal ration book; they shopped for necessities; holidayed in Caravans by the West Coast of Ireland; and ate out a handful of times throughout my childhood. My first trip to the cinema was in 1979 when '…


Added by Nurture Development on August 1, 2014 at 15:59 — No Comments

Just John

Just John - a poem by Heather Lynne Henry
Just John

Jaunty air

Casual 'Hiya mate'

Belies an urgent mission

Starved men

Receiving a gift of contact

Each with the other

John is a cog

That turns the wheel
So men may rest their weary…

Added by Heather Henry on June 24, 2014 at 21:52 — No Comments

A father's biggest regret

I hope you are enjoying my poetry - my work is about finding exceptional fathers who have managed to address problems and teach it father to father. Here is what one grandfather has learnt:

A father's biggest regret

My father was strong

He taught me to be a man

I knew he loved…


Added by Heather Henry on June 24, 2014 at 21:42 — No Comments

A Father’s Challenge

A father's challenge

The door clicks open
The light goes on
Decision time again
Half the fridge stacked with water
Half with cold cold beer
Will I do the right thing
For me kids?
Each night in bed I speak to them
They are not there of course
 But I picture them in me mind
Some day they will return to me
I'm fighting to be the dad they…

Added by Heather Henry on June 24, 2014 at 21:30 — No Comments

Nursing Fathers in the Last Chance Cafe

Trying a bit of poetry about working with Salford Dadz. Here is one about how we begun to bring fatherstogether to help them help themselves in order to improve their children’s wellbeing…

Nursing Fathers in the Last Chance Cafe

This time, I have no medicine

Just ears to hear their…


Added by Heather Henry on June 24, 2014 at 21:00 — No Comments

Allopathy, recovery and rehabilitation

As a historian cum anthropologist cum criminologist, it will come as little surprise that I am drawn to historical perspectives of the development of behaviours, cultures, norms, attitudes, practices and policies as much as I am to the behaviour, culture, norm, attitude, practice or policy, itself. The journey to the endpoint is almost always a fascinating combination of factors that are wholly revealing about why we – as a society - are in the predicament we are, especially when we…


Added by Nurture Development on April 3, 2014 at 11:40 — No Comments

Power from the people. Power to the people.

This is the third and final blog within the short series: Connectors, Conductors and Circuit breakers. You can read the first instalment here and the second, here.

In the first two…


Added by Nurture Development on March 24, 2014 at 11:40 — No Comments

Does social change always need a great leader or innovator?

This is the second in the three part series of blogs: Connectors, Conductors and Circuit breakers. You can read the first instalment here.

All too often we assume social change just needs the right leader or innovator, and that somehow, that alone, will determine whether…


Added by Nurture Development on March 14, 2014 at 13:43 — No Comments

ABCD: Connectors, Conductors and Circuit Breakers

This is the first of 3 blogs in which Cormac will be exploring issues of citizenship, power and democracy and what these mean to asset based community development.

Recently an ABCD Community Builder in Gloucestershire commented that in the neighbourhoods where he works there are three kinds of…


Added by Nurture Development on March 6, 2014 at 14:25 — No Comments

The Canary in the Coalmine: personalisation, deinstitutionalisation & communitalisation

The following is a piece of imaginative writing, with no recourse to the historical facts. But I would ask the reader not to let the absence of fact get in the way of the story, because ‘non-fact’ should not be confused with fiction, this is no more or less than a story…in that regard it is both really real, and truly true.

Recently the Canary Times reported on the hidden dangers of ‘independent living’ for once institutionalised…


Added by Nurture Development on February 26, 2014 at 16:07 — No Comments

Bridging the Social Divides

Here is an article from Nursing Times describing my asset-based approach to nursing

Added by Heather Henry on February 18, 2014 at 10:30 — No Comments

Are we all addicted?

You’ve probably heard people state that addiction is blind to status, fortune, and situation. It’s often said when talking about drug or alcohol addiction and you’ll be directed to the sad deaths of the rich and famous to make the point all the more resonant, offering a stark alternative to the stereotypical image of the gaunt, penniless, criminal heroin addict so often…


Added by Nurture Development on February 12, 2014 at 9:35 — No Comments

Sitges Weekend

It was a huge honour to be asked to join the 26+ ABCD enthusiasts in Sitges (Spain) this weekend. A huge and heartfelt 'thank you' to Martin Simon and Cormac Russell for bringing us together with shared purpose in one place. Thank you to our hosts, inc Elvira and Fernando, who lavished us with such abundant hospitality - turning meeting into party! As the tweet announced: "all very low brow from here till Sunday Mole: wine, friendship, community & t hope of many laughs...rumours of…


Added by Mole Chapman on February 5, 2014 at 17:06 — No Comments

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