The Enabling Social Action (ESA) programme is a partnership between the Department FOR Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the Universities of Sheffield and Hull. They are collaborating with local authorities to support them to design and deliver services with local people, service users, and civil society organisations.

As part of the ESA programme a Regional Champion Network has been set up with champions from local authorities in the North, East, South and West. This will be the first regional event led by the ESA Champion for the North Region, Joe Micheli of City of York Council and the event is hosted in partnership with York CVS. The main purpose of the event is to have space for conversations on the challenges and opportunities of social action and to share ideas for how we might improve collaboration.

The event will mainly be a space for those from different perspectives to come together and share their learning with others in order to shape and build the network. We hope there will be a good balance of commissioners and VCSE representatives and the event will provide participants with the chance to engage in discussions on the issues they face in enabling social action in their areas.

We hope to explore in particular, the links between asset based approaches and social action and how successful outcomes might be achieved through aligning practice and policy. A variety of current ‘community connector’ models will be shared, which are founded on active citizenship and inclusion values, and how through collaboration, we can enable synergy and not duplication.



10.00 Registration, tea and coffee

10.20 Welcome and introduction to the ESA Regional Champion Network – Joe Micheli – City of York Council

10.30 Enabling Social Action Programme update – Dr Jon Burchell, University of Sheffield

10.50 Panel presentations exploring examples of social action, asset based community development and inclusion

  • Mick Ward – Chief Officer Transformation and Innovation Leeds City Council – Proliferating ABCD in Leeds
  • Nick Sinclair – Director National Local Area Coordination Network – Building inclusive & connected communities through citizen action
  • Joe Micheli – applying a Cities of Service approach to building social action – York’s ‘People Helping People’ social action framework
  • Mora Scaife – Connecting People and Place through Community Hubs
  • Alison Semmence & Christine Marmion, York CVS – Ways to Wellbeing – how social prescribing is acting as a bridge to the sector

Q & A from the floor

12.30 Lunch

13.30 Workshop sessions : world café table discussions exploring

  • Enabling social action through social prescribing and local area coordination
  • Enabling social action through ABCD
  • Enabling social action through culture and the arts
  • Enabling social action through place

14.30 Feedback: Key points from discussion

14.45 Discussion: What’s next for a regional social action network moving forward

15.00 Close

Please note: The nearest car park is 5 minutes walk from York CVS on Nunnery Lane. York train station is also 5 minutes walk.

Places are limited so please register as soon as possible. For any queries please contact Dr Jenny McNeill at