About Us

Supporting people and communities to thrive and flourish!

Times are hard for people and communities and we help churches, other faith groups, charities and civic society to improve lives and empower community-building.

We were formed in 2014, a Joint Venture between the Diocese of Lichfield and the Church Urban Fund Together Network.

Our work takes an Asset Based approach in four main areas:

  1. Social and Financial Inclusion
  2. Health And Wellbeing
  3. Community Cohesion
  4. Developing Work

Our key values are:

  1. Listening: This is the most import place to start. Enabling people to be heard is at the heart of our work. We believe that residents have to best ideas in knowledge to enable their communities to flourish.
  2. Partnership: This is key to everyone thriving and flourishing, as no one person or organisation has all the answers and resources.
  3. Celebrating: Excellent things are happening in communities and we can be a voice to magnify this!
  4. Empowering: People want to be part of making the change happen, so we can provide training and encouragement, advice and support to encourage this to happen!

Our team

Shaz Akhtar Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator

Shaz Akhtar

Black Country Near Neighbours Coordinator | Black Country

07530 741923 Email
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James Henderson

Senior Development Worker | Black Country

07946 771495 Email
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Rev Cassius Francis

Just Finance Development worker | Black Country

07891 611760 Email
Gurj Shergill

Gurj Shergill

Overcoming Shocking Debt Development Worker

07519 910830 Email
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Su Parker

Places of Welcome Facilitator – Black Country & Black Country Dementia Friendly Churches Enabler | Black Country

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Helen Titterton

Places of Welcome Team Leader | Staffordshire

07539 031410 Email
Gulsoom aslam

Gulsoom Aslam

Burton Places of Welcome Facilitator | Burton


Judith Parry

East Staffordshire Places of Welcome Facilitator

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Sarah Thorpe

Northern Shropshire Dementia Friendly Churches Enabler | Shropshire

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Mike Bridgewater

Staffordshire and Stoke Dementia Friendly Churches Enabler | Staffordshire



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Chair: David Primrose

Director of Transforming Communities at Lichfield Diocese | Black Country

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Treasurer: Kim Benton

Independent Financial Adviser

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Jon Miles

Director of Development, Church Urban Fund

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Fiona North

Parish Projects Officer, Lichfield Diocese

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David Cope

Chair of Heathfield Park Neighbourhood Plans Forum

Church Urban Fund

Church Urban Fund (CUF) was established by the Church of England as a practical response to unmet need and has been active in local communities for over 30 years. CUFs vision is to see people and communities all over England flourish and enjoy life in all its fullness.

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Together Network

The Together Network is an alliance of 21 charities, known as joint ventures linked by faith and driven by the desire to see communities flourish throughout England.

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