Not so much a biography- more my story of life with C2!

My passionate interest in Health Inequalities began in the late 60’s as a student nurse in London when I witnessed the alarming disparities in health between families living in low-income Deptford and their affluent neighbours just up the hill in Blackheath. The deep unfairness of it impacted me deeply.

Deciding that a frontline role as a Health Visitor was the best route to possible solutions, the breakthrough came in the 90’s when a fellow HV and I co-founded the multi-award winning Beacon Community Regeneration Partnership in Falmouth. Community led from the outset and with no start-up funding, Beacon dramatically reversed the decline to transform people & place, health & well-being in this deeply stigmatized social housing estate – in just 2 years.

Recognition for this (OBE in 2000) led to a Senior Research Fellowship with the University of Exeter (UoE) and together with a wonderful team of academics we created a transferable Place Based 7-Step Partnership approach, based on Beacon, called Connecting Communities, quickly nicknamed C2. It stuck and is our brand name nationally. We’ve joyously partnered with UoE ever since.

We launched C2 in 2004 and travelled the length & breadth of the UK in ‘C2 Roadshows’ telling our story. This led to the creation of many successful partnerships nationally, delivering transformative, lasting outcomes to this day. These now form C2 National Network of Connected Communities a regd. Charity.

Looking back these were workaholic ‘crazy’ & often very challenging years of pioneering our approach, ‘learning by doing’ and walking the C2 7-Step journey alongside many amazing people, communities and organisations, some globally. An abiding memory is breakfast with Archbishop Desmond Tutu in India 2013.

Ten years on the need for strong, well-connected communities has never been greater. My hope is that everyone can benefit from our immense learning & decades of experience. ‘It’s Not Rocket Science’ is my legacy as I step back, and my wonderful team step up, to lead C2 into the future.

Our common-sense learning package is the practical ‘how to’ create conditions for communities to self-manage their own health & well-being via the creation of Place-based Partnerships. It features, in no small measure, the expert ‘voices’ of C2, the so-called ordinary people who’ve achieved extraordinary outcomes to create health & well-being where they live. We hope you enjoy the journey!

For me getting to this point has been one heck of a journey but pleased to say I’m still happily married to Geoff, long suffering husband of over half a century and enjoy an active family ‘beach life’ in stunning West Cornwall with our 3 sons, wives & partners & 3 beautiful grandchildren. Doesn’t get much better than that!

C2 the book is in the pipeline, with a nod to my nursing background and that super Sunday evening TV series, maybe I’ll even call it ‘Call the Welfare?’!!

Hazel Stuteley OBE

“Health creation is the enhancement of health & well-being that occurs when an individual or community achieves a sense of hope, purpose, mastery and control over their own lives and immediate environment.”
Hazel Stuteley OBE 


Hazel talks to Julian Abel about the origins and transformative nature of her C2 work (part 1) and how It’s Not Rocket Science (part 2) on Survival of the Kindest

Message from Stoke

You have changed many peoples lives and we still continue working with all the principles, care and understanding in our areas of work that you guided us through. Your legacy will continue for many years to come through all the good work your C2 family do and you should be very proud of your achievements.

Gill Jones
Specialist Community Development & Engagement Practitioner
Community Ventures Development Services CIC

“Lacking a sense of control and influence over one’s life and immediate
environment, is the root cause of damaging health and social
behaviours leading to costly management of chronic illness and
community breakdown.”
Hazel Stuteley OBE 2014

Community-led Health Creation: the stories, practice & theory behind successful place-based partnerships

“It’s not rocket science!”

Jury’s Inn & University of Exeter campus: 12.30pm, Monday 12 September – 1pm Wednesday, 14 September 

‘C2: giving communities back their self-belief by creating hopeful futures’

Our C2 gathering, in partnership with the University of Exeter, is designed to be a fun, informal space to share learning but with a very serious purpose. Post pandemic our communities & workforce nationally now face the same ‘perfect storm’ of unprecedented health, social, economic & demographic challenges that threaten the very fabric of our society.

We know that strong, connected communities are needed now more than ever before, so we’re excited to offer this unique, immersive experience & opportunity to learn from those who’ve achieved just this to transform people & places where they live. The concept and the ‘how to’ is simple. It’s all about common sense & relationships. Definitely not Rocket Science!

Day 1 Monday 12 September: Jury’s Inn Exeter

Midday – 2pm: Welcome, check-in, buffet lunch & registration

2-5pm: The ‘getting us all on the same page’ session

3.30pm: Tea/coffee break

  • Introducing C2 team-our story of where it all started- how far it’s come
  • Group introductions -you tell us 3 things you want to take from our time together
  • From ‘problem’ to ‘possibility’ space- via the 5 transferable principles of C2

6-6.45pm: Pre dinner drinks & speaker- Insp. Paul Morgan (retired)

‘Why & how community-led partnerships work to tackle the major societal issues of today- the story of a Dartmouth partnership part 1’

Biography: Paul Morgan

Paul retired after 30 years of service with Devon and Cornwall Police in April 2019. His police service was predominantly in uniformed roles with a focus on communities and problem solving. In 2007, as the Sector Inspector for South Hams East in Devon, the introduction of  “neighbourhood policing” as a national policing model encouraged his first involvement with the C2 concept.

7 -7.45pm: Dinner and networking opportunity

8 -9pm: After dinner session: ‘The story of young people-led health creation in Camborne, Cornwall’ Sgt. David Aynsley (retired) & Tia Fanelli from the TR14ers

Biography: David Aynsley

Defiant Health Creator with a long track record of helping young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods achieve the “impossible”.

Currently working at the Eden Project in Cornwall. I give previously unrecognised young people space to calm down their anxieties and start journeys towards work and education. My previous employment history is British Army (Ammunition Technician including “in theatre”), Police Officer (Final post Youth Issues Manager located in Cornwall Councils’ CYP Trust), Volunteer Coordinator (including time banks) and Trainer (Volunteer Cornwall), Social Entrepreneur Supporter (UnLtd The Foundation for Social Enterprise) & New Enterprise Advisor (Truro and Penwith College).

Attended the Enter! Youth Week at the European Youth Centre In Strasbourg in July 2019. Shortlisted for the 2018 Arts and Humanities Research Council medal in the Inspiration category, I’m passionate about giving young people access to their human social rights to health.

David talks to Julian Abel about the TR14ers on Compassionate Communities

Biography: Tia

Hi, I’m Tia and I’m a director of the TR14ers. Since the age of 8 I have been with this wonderful group, and at the age of 16 became a director on the board of trustees. Now I am 19, and they still cannot get rid of me, even though I now live in Manchester!

Tia’s being very modest – her short bio nowhere near reflects her achievements both in life and in the world of dance. She’s now at Manchester Uni and won a placement within a highly prestigious dance school there and she now teaches dance. But she’s also been a huge support to C2 over the years contributing to webinars on health creation to a national and global audience. She’s also generously supported and visited other C2 disadvantaged communities as far apart as Skegness & Ramsgate and created dance workshops with the young people there over 2 days culminating in great performances for their families & friends. A true health creator. A big C2 thank you from all the team Tia!

Day 2 Tuesday 13 September: Wellcome Centre, Streatham campus

9am-1pm: The movies & stories session

10.30am: Tea/coffee break

This morning’s interactive session features stories of transformative community-led health creation narrated by the local people who led them. Breakout small group sessions offer you the chance to unpack how the 5 C2 principles were applied.

  • ‘The story that started it all’ – Beacon project, Falmouth, Grenville & June Chappell
  • ‘Looking thru the other end of the telescope-pt.1’ brief intro to complexity theory
  • ‘The story of Middleport’ – Amelia Bilson
  • ‘The story of Barne Barton’ – Karen Coombes

Biography: Amelia Bilson

I live in Stoke-on-Trent, but was born in SE London. I came up in 2002 to complete a degree in Dance and Leisure Management and fell in love with the place. I married my husband Richard in 2009, and soon after we felt prompted to sell our belongings and spend some time serving in Bulgaria. We raised enough money to cover our costs for 6 months, so we set off to volunteer among Bulgaria’s abandoned children. We worked in an orphanage of 200 children (0-4 years) – it was heart-breaking – we learnt unforgettably that a child’s development is reliant on personal relationships, not simply basic care.

We returned after 3 years and, with two boys of our own, moved to Middleport. We immediately discovered levels of poor provision and social issues. Homes had been knocked down, businesses had closed and locals felt abandoned.

Having learnt the importance of community in Bulgaria, I felt compelled to do something; even though I didn’t know how. In 2015, I started a community action group called Middleport Matters. We promote community cohesion to reduce isolation and provide roles to empower and nurture confidence. I couldn’t have thought it was possible, without the guidance and encouragement from the team who taught me the C2 principles

Biography: Karen Coombes

Karen has been a valued member of the C2 team for over 10 years. She lives in Barne Barton in Plymouth and refuses to accept her neighbourhood being described as ‘deprived’. She volunteers at St Budeaux community centre and is responsible for its complete rebirth in last 5 years. It now brims with community spirit, and she has been key in helping it become a local vibrant, trusted place, supporting the local community with its many activities.

Karen is also a community research partner with Exeter University and involved both as a co applicant and advisory partner on many projects locally and nationally and she is a community partner tutor on the Exeter Public Health Masters as well as the C2 learning programme.


1-6.30pm: Site visit to hear first-hand ‘The story of a Dartmouth partnership – pt. 2’

3pm: Arrive at Dartmouth- bit of time to wander round, have a cup of tea and enjoy the sights of this picturesque & historic estuary town

4.30pm: Meet in community café: hear from the people & partners who’ve led transformative change for 13 years – in what they describe as ‘a town of 2 halves’

6pm: Communal fish & chip supper

6.45pm: Coach leaves for Exeter. Arrive back to Jury’s Inn 8pm / free time in Exeter

Day 3 Wednesday 14 September: Jury’s Inn Exeter

So far…

9am – 1.00pm: The ‘light bulb’ session: the science behind the stories

9-9.45am: Debrief from Dartmouth, interactive group discussion

9.45-10am: Becoming part of C2 family & staying in touch: C2 Network Natters- Tina Devereux & Penny Myles

10am-11am: ‘Looking thru the other end of the telescope-part 2’ Revisiting complexity theory and understanding how it helps us make sense of how to create the conditions for change. Dr Jonathan Stead, Prof. Katrina Wyatt & Kay Byatt

Biography: Kay Byatt

Kay, an old-school punk rocker, was born and bred in South London but has lived in (Planet) Thanet – on the South East Coast – for the last 22 years. Recognising the challenges faced by people within particularly disadvantaged wards and the lack of hope within communities where people feel powerless, Kay became a Community Development Worker in the hope of helping people to improve their quality of life and well-being. Initially her work focused on infrastructure support, but she became aware of the ‘doing to’ culture of service providers who were not engaging or listening to communities. Soon after joining the Margate Task Force – the multi-agency partnership covering two of the most disadvantaged wards within Thanet – Kay was introduced to C2 and everything clicked into place! C2 is Punk Rock – it is about people doing it for themselves. Kay was fortunate to be involved in helping to set up two resident-led partnerships the C2 way and remains actively involved with ABC (A Better Cliftonville).

11-11.15am: Tea/coffee break

11.15am-12.15pm: How does complexity make sense for how you work/ where you live? GROUP WORK 25 minutes followed by feedback and whole group sense-making

12.15-12.45pm: ‘How was it for you?’

  • Revisiting your aims- any gaps?
  • Tell us 3 things you might to do differently following this course.

12.45pm: SUMMING UP and provision of packed lunch for your journey home.

1pmAu Revoir, see you soon & good luck from C2 family!