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Celebrating 25 years of life-changing community courses

Usman past learner on the left and Elaine Goddard, course coordinator 2001-2005 on the right. Both smiling
Usman, past learner and Elaine Goddard, course coordinator 2001-2005

This week’s event at Sheffield Town Hall shone a spotlight on how Community Development and Health training courses have been changing lives in the community for the last 25 years.

At the event, over 70 past learners, tutors and people who support these courses shared their uplifting stories and inspiring experiences. Lord Mayor Sioned-Mair Richards presented certificates to some of the current learners.

The ‘Introduction to Community Development and Health’ training courses are offered through community groups in the city and anyone, from any community, can sign up and take part. They’ve been running since 1997 and each course lasts for 15 weeks, five hours per week, covering topics such as What is Health, Power and Powerlessness, Recognising and Building on the Strengths of the Community, Achieving Change for Health, and Developing the Skills to Work with others. Some people who attend the course go on to be tutors, helping others to learn through the courses in the future.

The course builds confidence, creates more empowered communities and can help with future career choices.

Terezia did the course in 2017 and talked with us about what it has meant to her and the difference that it has made to her life.

Lucy and Noreen, from Darnall Well Being talked about their experiences and the course, which they did in 2009:

Sarah talks about the course that she did in 2006 and where it has led her:

Greg Fell, Director of Public Health for Sheffield, said: “These courses are a great example of how working with individuals and communities in Sheffield in an empowering way, can help create a positive approach to health and can reap huge rewards. To see people who came along to a course, which then opened up doors into a role or career in their community, to help their community, is inspirational. The fact that these courses have been running successfully for 25 years speaks volumes. Thank you to everyone involved.”

Community organisations who have supported participants progression are:

Darnall Wellbeing

Gleadless, Arbourthorne, Tinsley, Darnall, Woodhouse, Foxhill, Batemoor & Jordanthorpe Community Forums


Manor and Castle Development Trust

SAVTE (Sheffield Association for the Voluntary Teaching of English)

Sheffield Irish Association


SOAR Works Enterprise Centre

The Terminus

Tinsley and Ellesmere Children’s Centres

Woodhouse and District Community Forum


The next round of CDH will be in September 2023. To find out more about how to do one of these courses in a local area email