Their main aims, in 2000, were for TDC to work with local people and with organisations from the statutory, voluntary and community sectors to:
- Find ways of bringing new resources into community development, including the employment of more neighbourhood community development workers
- Pool experience and knowledge of ‘what works’ more effectively
- Provide more support to those local groups, networks and organisations that already exist.
TDC’s origins lie with a long established dedicated community development organisation called The Hangleton & Knoll Project, based in Hove, which provided support for communities in its local neighbourhood. The idea for TDC was formed when, in the late 1990’s, the Hangleton & Knoll Project was taking numerous requests to extend its boundaries to work in other parts of the City. Other evidence of the need for a citywide community development organisation came in 1999 when a Primary Care Trust consultation around health improvement explored how community needs should be met. Residents across the City also identified the need for dedicated community development worker support in a consultation carried out by Barry Hulyer, for the Hangleton & Knoll Project, under the Single Regeneration Budget 5 programme in 2000.
TDC was established in 2000 and is a not-for-profit company with charitable status. Its Board of Trustees is drawn from all sectors with a common interest in community development as well as the local communities with whom TDC works. In December 2002, TDC employed its first member of staff, the Chief Executive and in 2004 the organisation finally achieved its charitable status.
With high demand for our services the Trust for Developing Communities grew quickly from one member of staff in 2002 to around 16 in 2008. TDC then restructured in 2009 to increase project management capacity, employ dedicated community development workers for another two neighbourhoods. The enhanced project management capacity enables TDC to take on more strategic activities and some additional consultancy work. Between 2009-2012, TDC has been the lead partner (with two other organisations) for work in 13 neighbourhoods and communities across the City of Brighton & Hove.
The organisation produced a Building Inclusive Organisations Report, an 8-Area Scoping Study, been instrumental in setting up the Communities First Funding Panels in two areas of the City and reached its 10th Anniversary. In the first part of 2012 TDC went through a community development commissioning process lead by Brighton & Hove City Council, restructured the management team and continued to work in the same areas, also piloting the Neighbourhood Governance work in Hollingdean. In 2013 we were successful in the Adult & Social Care and BME psycho-social bids to begin April 2014. We currently employ 18 staff, most of whom work part time.