Overall, Bob & Colin feel that LivesthroughFriends is, in essence, is 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’ and co-production.
Prior to founding LivesthroughFriends Bob Rhodes founded TACT UK – an organisation that supports people with intellectual disabilities and often very challenging reputations – in 1991 and 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 has a Master’s Degree in the Applied Psychology of Leadership and the Management of Learning Disability Services, a post graduate Diploma in Community Work, is a Registered Nurse, and holds a teaching qualification (and doesn’t ‘put much store’ in academic ‘tickets’).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.
Bob was Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003 and is the author of the recently published, “Much More to Life than Services”. His passions alongside his vocation are his family, rugby union, music and people.
Colin Campbell has over twenty five years’ experience working for public and voluntary sector organisations as a direct deliverer of support, in operational & quality management and as a Director within a senior management team of a leading UK voluntary organisation. Colin is a qualified Social Worker and has extensive experience developing small enterprises for people with learning disabilities. He has spent much of his career leading major change management programmes and has also taken lead roles in re-providing services which have become stale or outdated. Over the past twenty five years he has also developed a range of innovate services and an advocacy organisation alongside people with disabilities working within the statutory and voluntary sectors. He is committed to creative and flexible person centred support approaches and the real inclusion of people with disabilities, working in partnership with families and other community agencies. Colin firmly believes that when people who are in receipt of care and support are empowered to have more control (social & economic) over their own lives, it leads to improved outcomes and a good life for the individual.