Bob is co-founder of a UK community interest company LivesthroughFriends dedicated to building interdependent communities; helping people who are dependent upon social care to get a life and helping the people and agencies that assist them to be effective contributors to this outcome.
Prior to that Bob founded and led TACT UK in 1991 – becoming over 15 years a nation-wide organisation that supports people with intellectual disabilities and often very challenging reputations to live in inclusive and contributing ways. He led its development until his semi-retirement (unrealised) in 2006.
Bob has a background in community organising, mental health services, social services and NHS leadership, and social enterprise in the UK and overseas. He spent much of the middle part of his career ‘managing change’ and ‘re-providing’ services for people with intellectual disabilities. It was in this context, “where the emphasis seemed to be on where folk lived rather that how they lived”, that he “woke up” to the limitations inherent in services and the need for services to integrate themselves within the neighbourhoods in which they operate.
LivesthroughFriends is, in essence, a coming together of innovative people and community focused associates who are concerned with the realisation of an inclusive society and kinder, more interdependent and gift centred communities. Associates include leaders in the PLAN movement, the Asset Based Community Development Institute, from the business development and leadership world, in Local Area Coordination, and experienced, reflective and proven practitioners and innovators in sustainable ‘ordinary living’.
Bob was an Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003 and is the author of the recently published, Much More to Life than Services. An FRSA, he is presently Chair of The National Brokerage Network and a non-executive director or trustee of a number of grassroots community organisations in the UK and overseas.
His passions alongside his vocation are his family, rugby union, music and people.