Our Team

Sally Thomas

Sally is a director at Social Regeneration Consultants (SRC). Prior to establishing SRC, Sally was Assistant Director at Tyne and Wear Development Corporation, responsible for setting up and managing multi-million pound programmes of community grant aid, social housing and public art and managing a team of eight people. Before that, Sally held a national role, responsible for overseeing tenant involvement in housing at the Housing Corporation. She was also Coordinator at a community-based housing association in south London, leading a 25-strong team.

Sally is a former board member of the Northern Rock Foundation and the Northumberland Health Authority and former chair of the Customs House Trust, an arts and entertainment centre in South Tyneside. She currently chairs Governance Works, promoting and supporting good governance in the not for profit sector 

She is, or has been, a member of seven national steering, working and advisory groups for government departments, quangos and industry bodies, and a guest speaker at more than 30 national and regional conferences and seminars, including several organised by the Royal Town Planning Institute. 

Sally has acted as long-term advisor to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation on the social and community aspects of their pioneering model village at Derwenthorpe in York, something which has led to other work for both the Foundation and the Housing Trust. In 2012, Sally began work for North Star Housing Group on Teesside, leading their community investment work. She has been leading SRC’s work on developing a national Community Investment Framework for housing associations, through HACT, which has also involved running a series of masterclasses across the country. She now divides her time in her North Star role with her work for SRC.

Pete Duncan

Pete is a director at Social Regeneration Consultants (SRC). Pete comes from a traditional planning background, having graduated from Newcastle University’s Planning School in the 1970s and worked for local authorities in the early part of his career in the North West and North East.

He coordinated South Tyneside’s Housing Action and General Improvement Area programme for three years before moving on to set up and run Banks of the Wear Community Housing Services in Sunderland, which helped establish and support 25 housing co-operatives across the region. He moved into consultancy work through a two year commission with the Housing Corporation to set a new strategic direction nationally for tenant-led housing and its supporting infrastructure.

At SRC, Pete led a £300,000 community housing plan project in Hartlepool, with a team which included Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners and involved the recruitment and training of local residents. This project is widely regarded as one of the UK’s most comprehensive and successful community planning projects. Pete has led a succession of highly successful community planning commissions for local authorities, the most recent a locality Plan for Cockermouth, following the 2009 flood disaster. His SRC report ‘Manningham: the Social Dimension’, for Bradford City Council, was widely regarded as a template for engaging with communities in high stress, multi-ethnic neighbourhoods.

More recently, Pete has just completed a major external review of PATH Yorkshire, the black and minority ethnic jobs and training organisation based in Leeds. He has also led on the development of community investment strategies for Isos Housing and North Star Housing and is delivering major community engagement programmes for two of the North East’s Big Local programmes - North Ormesby, Middlesbrough and Lynemouth, Northumberland. He is working directly with the community in Distington, West Cumbria. 

Pete is a Parish Councillor, a former board member of the North East’s first local authority stock transfer association and of North Tyneside City Challenge. He has been a guest speaker at many national and regional events. Pete Duncan is also the chair of Stocksfield Community Association Trading Arm (SCATA), a not for profit trading company, operating as a Community Land Trust, which is carrying out development activities in the village for community benefit. 

Pete and Sally are both closely involved in connect4change, established in 2011, to deliver Northumberland County Council’s funding programme to the community and voluntary sector. Connect4change is responsible for allocating nearly £1 million of council funding to the sector over 3 years to 2014. SRC chairs and acts as secretariat to the Partnership and specifically carries out performance management work on programme delivery.

The SRC team also includes a mix of employed staff and associates. Currently working for us on a variety of commissions are:

Yvonne Probert

Yvonne is an associate for Social Regeneration Consultants (SRC). She specialises in project management, organisation development and sustainability planning. She is also adept at research, fundraising, stakeholder engagement and community planning.

Prior to SRC, Yvonne was the Chief Executive of Prudhoe Community Partnership and was responsible for delivering a comprehensive range of economic, social and community based projects within the town and the surrounding communities. She has also supported a local Hexham based MP to engage with local community and coordinate a resident’s survey in the constituency.

Yvonne's role at SRC has involved developing the State of the Sector Report, a piece of work commissioned by Northumberland County Council that aims to inform, help and support the voluntary and community sector through a changing political and economic landscape. She is also involved in supporting lottery funded Big Local Initiatives in the North East, working on a range of community engagement activities.

Laura McCall 

Laura is the project officer for Social Regeneration Consultants (SRC) and specialises in community engagement. She has a BA in Geography and an MSc in Town Planning from Newcastle University. She is the treasurer of a housing co-operative in Newcastle and prior to joining SRC, was a volunteer for Your Homes Newcastle.

Laura's role at SRC focuses on supporting lottery funded Big Local Initiatives in the North East. This involves designing and facilitating audience appropriate workshops and focus groups for a range of community groups in urban and rural locations. Laura is also responsible for undertaking qualitative and quantitative research for SRC. Recent examples of this include conducting business surveys as well as collecting and analysing information about the voluntary and community sector in Northumberland as part of the connect4change partnership work.

Lisa Grabham  

Eljay Research and former Research Director at Newcastle City Council. Eljay specialises in qualitative and quantitative social research. For further information on Lisa's work, please visit http://www.eljayresearch.com/ 

Simon Underwood

Former Head of Social Inclusion at Newcastle City Council, but now a freelance consultant. 

For further information on the work we do, please visit our projects page.