Dr Dave Furze is one of the UK’s leading practitioners in Community Development. In his 30 years involvement at the cutting edge of community work he has worked in a wider range of situations and contexts. He is passionate about relational community work, taking person-centered strategies and to the design and delivery of innovative services to increasing social capital and improving community wellbeing.
Dave is founder director of “Footprints”, a community development consultancy established in 2008. This focuses on helping communities thrive and encouraging sustainable community wellbeing by; walking with voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise organisations, offering advice on community engagement, guidance for funding, community research and promoting social impact measurement. He also spends his time at grassroots level by involvement in local community development projects and mentoring. Most recently, establishing community hubs and community gardens as sustainable physical and social spaces that promote healthy life-styles and wellbeing.
He is currently chair of trustees of the Churches’ Community Work Alliance UK, CCWA, a board director of the Social Audit Network, SAN, www.socialauditnetwork.org.uk. Combining these associations, a key area for his work has developed in promoting measurement of social impact and social value amongst voluntary, community and faith organisations. He is an accredited social auditor by SAN and is the SAN regional coordinator for England South Central. He has recently become an associate community consultant of Leap Design Group; architects taking a multi-agency approach to building design specializing in designing buildings to resource the mission of the Church.
Trained as a materials engineer, he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree and obtained a doctorate in Tribology and Nanotechnology at Brunel University. After 10 years working as a research scientist he and his family moved into Harpurhey, an area of high deprivation in North Manchester to follow their passion for the wellbeing of disadvantaged people. They were there for 7 years; Dave working as project leader of an organisation called Urban Action Manchester, part of Youth For Christ.
On returning to Chalfont St Peter he joined Wycombe District Council’s Community Development Team for 10 years, where he became Rural Community Development Officer and eventually Community Development Team Leader. There he worked with a wide range of community types: rural and urban, young people and older people, with faith groups, and in areas with contrasting socio-economic profiles. He has pioneered arts, sport, environmental action and community safety projects as a means to gain community involvement, empowerment and participation in community action planning.
Dr Dave Furze
Social innovator and entrepreneur