Mike Pattinson – Chair of the Board of Trustees

Mike is a resident of Brighton & Hove and brings a wealth of experience to TDC. He has been an Executive Director at Change Grow Live for over 20 years, formerly chaired Community Works, and also has experience on the board of criminal justice charity Unlock. Mike has a track record in Community Development, was previously involved with the Hangleton & Knoll Project and is a strong supporter of the local voluntary sector.

As a local resident of the city for the last 35 years I have had a long personal and professional interest in TDC's work that stretches back many years.

I hope that I can bring my experience to help steer TDC through our next stages of development. This will include broadening and strengthening the Board to better represent the communities we serve and to support the team in delivering services and projects, as well as building upon the reputation TDC has grown over many years and continuing to influence the city to become a city of equality and inclusion.

Robert Brown MBE – Vice Chair of Board of Trustees

Robert Brown MBE TDCRobert is a local resident representative from Bevendean. He worked as a clinician in the NHS for 21 years as an Orthotist, and became disabled whilst at a hospital clinic at Dorking Hospital, in 1991. After intensive physio and learning to walk again, Robert was asked to join a lot of Committees within the South Downs Health Trust due to his experience as a clinician, and now as a patient.

Robert received his MBE for services within his local community. He has held many community positions including: Church Warden of the local church, Chair of the Local Scout Group and assistant Cub Scout Leader for 15 years. He was also chair of the local playgroup and youth provision called “Becca”. After having two heart attacks in 2013, Robert has cut down on a lot his voluntary work for health reasons - we are very happy to still have him as a TDC Trustee, and benefit from his extensive knowledge and experience.

The work that has been done so far by the Development Workers on my Estate is really great,  they always back you up and help you when needed. One way a community can help our organisation is to become a Trustee, and I encourage any interested community residents to get in touch and give it a try.

Sarah McConnell - Treasurer

Sarah is a chartered accountant by training and has 20 years experience working in an investment bank.

TDC is a charity I am very interested in as it works with the community to tackle inequality and to help all areas of society, especially relevant following the Covid pandemic.

Above all I want to feel part of the compassion and enthusiasm that are part of the charity’s identity.

Denis Byrne

Denis Byrne TDC | Community Development Brighton Denis is a professionally qualified Youth & Community Worker, driven by social justice values that have led him to support families, young people and communities to challenge disadvantage, inequality and provide creative platforms for voice, campaigning and raising awareness about the issues that matter to people.

Having worked in the sector for 30 years, Denis spent 10 years with the Hangleton & Knoll project then went on to build his experience working in local authorities and a national charity before founding Sussex Prisoners’ Families in 2013.

Alongside being a trustee for TDC Denis also volunteers as an Independent Visitor in Brighton and Hove. Originally from Liverpool, Denis has lived in Hove for nearly 40 years, and loves walking on the Downs, working on his allotment and spending time with his family

Geoff Heath

As a community mediator with Brighton & Hove Independent Mediation Service, Geoff has had the opportunity to work with people across Brighton in a process which is about enabling people to find solutions to the challenges they face. This has a relevance to community development activity and reflects his own commitment to empowerment of people and communities.

Geoff has experience of being a trustee or committee member at a number of voluntary organisations. Most of these organisations were within housing and homelessness plus a period with a neighbourhood law centre and as Chair of Brighton, Eastbourne, Worthing and District Relate. This experience has enabled Geoff to develop a good understanding of the governance and challenges of the voluntary sector.

Rowan Hillier

Rowan has lived and worked in Brighton for the last 10 years,

With a wealth of experience from working in the third sector and education, she has managed projects focused on the young through to the ageing and from community activities through to health. She has developed a detailed community-led strategic plan to serve the older people in Brighton & Hove which has also included leading on a local emergency response to the pandemic involving a large team of volunteers and paid staff.

My approach always comes from a passion to ensure that I deliver and implement creative, high quality and exceptional services that keep the service user at the heart of the project. I am dedicated to delivering person-led, inclusive and responsive projects.

I am aware of the excellent work TDC do in the city. I am passionate, personally and professionally, to ensure that everyone has the ability to thrive and to eliminate the inequalities that prevent them from doing so.

It would be an honour to serve and support an organisation which focuses on making Brighton and my family’s hometown a better place to live.

Tania Skae

Tania has worked as funder, fundraiser, trustee and consultant. She has over sixteen years’ experience in not-for-profit and community development including grant making, programme design, grant process review and consultancy. Tania has supported locally led, inclusive and grassroots solutions across a range of themes including youth, sport, arts, regeneration and heritage, managing partnerships with over 50 corporate, trust and major donor accounts. 

I want to support TDC to fund and deliver successful local projects that bring effective, inclusive and connected solutions. Community-led organisations know and understand the issues in their local area and I am passionate about listening to and working with these organisations to tackle some of our most pressing social issues.

Shaun Kennedy

Shaun lives in Brighton and Hove and brings 25 years of experience working in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to TDC. He is currently the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Peabody and was previously Head of EDI at Change Grow Live. He is an active member of Stonewall, the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion and a network of Heads of EDI from the charity and health care sector.  

Having lived in Brighton for the past 6 years I have become increasingly aware of the inequalities experienced by certain communities in the city. This is particularly the case for people from ethnically diverse communities, young people and older people. It is therefore encouraging to see that there are organisations like the Trust for Developing Communities that are leading work in the City to help address the inequalities that people from these communities are experiencing.

I feel that the opportunity to be a Trustee at TDC is exciting and that the passion and expertise I could bring, based on my experience of working in the field of equality, diversity and inclusion, would enable TDC to achieve its EDI objectives. 


Becoming a trustee

Our Board of Trustees have a wide range of skills, experience and knowledge. We love to hear from new people who are interested in getting involved as a trustee, and are committed to our work, values and the communities we support. Find out more on our page about becoming a trustee.

Trustee skills evaluation

To maintain an effective Board with a balance of skills and experience we undertake a regular Trustees skills evaluation. This focuses on four areas; knowledge of TDC itself, knowledge and experience of the voluntary sector, management and organisational skills, and committee skills. We actively fill any skills gaps through recruiting additional Trustees with specialist skills, as well as through training and time spent with TDC staff and projects.

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