Dr Suzanne Carter is a freelance Community Engagement Consultant-Practitioner, specialising in developing and delivering Heritage Lottery Funded Activity Plans, community consultation and engaging ‘harder to reach’ groups with heritage. She has over 17 years’ experience which includes developing and project-managing community projects and events, facilitating workshops and organising national conferences.
Current live projects/contracts (updated May 2018):
- Youth film project for Birmingham Civic Society; working with a primary school, secondary school and youth group on local heritage and active citizenship film projects in celebration of BCS’s centenary celebrations (fixed term commission)
- Community engagement and consultation activity and report for the RBSA’s gallery redevelopment project (fixed term commission)
- Part time Community Relationships Manager for the Ruskin Mill Land Trust. Delivery of outreach, access and community engagement activity in relation to the New Standard Works project in the Jewellery Quarter, including the development of The Hive Heritage Hub (opening July 2018)
- Project Manager of pilot audience development work for The Gardens Trust at Warley Woods as part of the Sharing Repton project 2018 (fixed term commission)
- Creative Director of Heritage Trust Network’s 2018 national conference (fixed term commission)
- Volunteer for Stirchley Community Cinema. I am part of the development team working on a new community-led project which uses cinema to bring people together through shared interests and access needs, and to build stronger communities
- Volunteer at Birmingham Conservation Trust and the Newman Brothers Coffin Works Museum.
Below is a summary of previous projects and clients:
Two-year commission for Birmingham City Council. Community Heritage Coordinator for Stirchley Baths Project
Commission for Birmingham Conservation Trust. Development of educational resources for online collection archive www.archive.coffinworks.org
Commission for University of Birmingham at the Lapworth Museum of Geology. Facilitation of workshop series and production of museum best practice case studies
Commission for Heritage Trust Network (umbrella organisation for building preservation trusts across the UK). Organised their 2017 national conference in Hull. www.heritagetrustnetwork.org.uk/conference/
Commission for Heritage Trust Network to develop and deliver a new website and on-line guidance and resource ‘toolkit’
Co-production of an Education Pack for Birmingham City Council‘s Stirchley Baths Project. Visit www.stirchleybaths.org/learning
New Standard Works Project Activity Plan (author) for Ruskin Mill Trust 2016. Follow my work on www.newstandardworks.wordpress.com Funded 2017. Testimonial below:
“Suzanne has a fantastic reputation for her enthusiasm, dedication, inspiration and ability to deliver. We found all these qualities to be not only true but exceeded in every expectation. She is a pleasure and delight to work with and her networking skills are second to none. We were also extremely impressed with how Suzanne recruits, manages and looks after an enthusiastic team of volunteers. I cannot recommend her highly enough. What a dynamo.”
Janine Christley, Director of Fundraising, Ruskin Mill Trust
Interim Events Manager for the Jewellery Quarter BID (January – April 216)
Birmingham Conservation Trust (May 2012 – December 2015)
For over three and a half years I worked for a brilliant building preservation charity, Birmingham Conservation Trust (BCT), managing the delivery of the HLF Activity Plan for the multi-award winning Newman Brothers Coffin Works building restoration project in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter. This included setting up a volunteering programme, working with schools, colleges, community groups, running and programming public events and exhibitions, marketing, developing and maintaining the website, leading the set up of a new and highly-rated museum and managing the museum staff. I am extremely proud of what we have achieved on this project and I continue to support their work as a volunteer.
Whilst at BCT I also undertook the following consultancy commissions:
Jewellery Quarter Townscape Heritage Project Activity Plan (author) for Jewellery Quarter Development Trust. Funded 2015
Jewellery Quarter Cemeteries Project HLF Activity Plan (co-author) for Birmingham City Council. Funded 2015
Standard Works Community Engagement Activity & Report (author) for Ruskin Mill Trust. HLF development grant funded 2015
Cadbury Barn Options Appraisal 2015 (co-author, leading on community engagement) for Bournville Village Trust
Stirchley Baths HLF Activity Plan (author) for Birmingham City Council. Funded 2013
Moseley Road Baths Restoration Project HLF Activity Plan for round 1 application (author) for Birmingham City Council. Project put on hold.
Previous Clients – Freelance Work (March 2011 – present)
UK Association of Building Preservation Trusts: Conference Facilitator 2015
Compton Verney Trust: Historic landscape restoration project HLF Activity Plan (author). Funded 2014
Northampton Borough Council: Delapré Abbey Restoration Project HLF Activity Plan (co-author, leading on community consultation). Funded 2013
Abberley Lives Project (Heritage Lottery Funded): Oral history training for community participants 2012
Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council: Feasibility study for developing a new ‘In Bloom’ style community campaign in Brierley Hill on behalf of the Brierley Hill Community Forum. Report written 2012. Scheme Implemented 2014
The Prince’s Regeneration Trust: Audience Development Plan for Middleport Pottery (co-author, leading on community consultation) Funded 2012
The University of Worcester (2012): Community outreach element of World of Kays digital archive project (Kays Catalogues). This involved an oral history project with ex-workers, facilitating events and workshops
Dudley Arts Council (2011-12): Project-managed Brierley Hillness, a large arts and heritage project, which engaged a wide range of local residents in Brierley Hill, Dudley with the development of future design guidance in the context of the town’s regeneration. Details www.brierleyhillnesstoolkit.wordpress.com
English Heritage Outreach Manager (2003 – 2011)
During my eight years with English Heritage I developed and project-managed a wide range of grass-roots community heritage and arts projects (25+). Working specifically with ‘hard to reach’ groups and across communities, including work with families and schools. Read case studies for some of my access and cultural heritage projects in our Outreach Publication 2012. These are featured on the following pages: 24, 27, 28 and 30.
50% of my time was spent growing the annual Heritage Open Days programme across the West Midlands, specifically; increasing the participation of historic venues and properties in ‘cold spot’ areas; building capacity with voluntary groups and faith buildings to run and interpret accessible events; and developing new audiences to encourage visits from non-traditional heritage audiences.
Writing two toolkits about consulting with Disabled people at heritage sites based on project case studies which were disseminated nationally. Produced a Disability Awareness Training DVD for English Heritage front of house staff
Developing free resources for teachers including DVDs exploring ‘Faith Buildings’ and ‘Cultural streetscapes’ and downloadable teaching resources which use the theme of the corner shop for cross-curricular learning www.thecornershopproject.co.uk
Championing access and workforce diversity through setting up a pilot Visitor Operations traineeship for person with a learning difficulty.