The Community Renewal Centre

Welcome to Nurture Development's  e-learning platform.
For organisations that are getting started, each of our courses provides an entry point towards more community-centred ways of working.
For organisations who want to go deeper, our courses are best viewed as interdependent and we can support you to co-design a whole systems approach to working in citizen space.
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Training for Professionals Working in Citizen Space

We deliver training to organisations that want to strategically and practically embed Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) in the way that they work. Organisations can be at one or more points of entry to more community-centred ways of working and we can tailor our supports to match your current reality. 


Rapid Participatory Review

This is an opportunity to create a baseline assessment of ABCD within your organisation and to horizon scan for opportunities to embed more community-centred approaches within policies and practice.  
We use this real world knowledge, gathered using surveys and one-to-one insight gathering interviews, to offer practical next steps towards working more elegantly and sustainably in citizen space.
This process culminates in a written report which sets out clear touchstones towards a more citizen-centred democratic future.
Five Step Process


Discover ABCD Training

This course focuses on ABCD key concepts and practical tools for professionals working in citizen space. 
You will deepen your experience and competence in community building through coaching in the use of our tools and techniques. Ultimately, you will be able to take ABCD into action in living neighbourhoods in a way that is respectful of the local context; and ultimately support citizens to collectively create safer, healthier, more economically and environmentally vibrant places to live.

Eight Module Course

(Whole System Approach)

Commissioning & Service Transformation

This Commissioning and Service Transformation course supports you to develop a strategy through the lens of ABCD that promotes more community centred outcomes. To begin, we work with you to develop a baseline analysis of your current reality. During the course, we support you to develop an ABCD commissioning framework, a business case, an evaluation framework and an operational plan for your organisation.n.

Five Module Course


Keynotes & Masterclasses

Masterclasses support leadership to nurture ABCD in practice. Keynote addresses reach hearts, inspire minds and start new community conversations.

Both are ways of fostering partnership and collaboration around ABCD and community building. 


ABCD Guide Training

ABCD Guide Training creates a local legacy in effective ABCD practice. A group of ABCD guides will have the ability to embed authentic ABCD across the locality. On completion of the training, the ABCD guides will be able to host a Community of Practice around ABCD, support the growth of ABCD conversations in their area
and bring practitioners together to share learning.
Eight Module Course


Stewardship Circles

This course is for city/county/regional  cross-sectoral leaders who are interested in embedding ABCD at a strategic level within their own organisation and in collaboration with leaders in other organisations and associations. This is a practical way of building legacy and also building a coherent place-based model of integrated community care. 

Six Module Course

A New Way of Learning

There are five elements to our learning framework and when combined, they accelerate and deepen learning. 
Each of these five elements is detailed below. 

To find out more, register for our free demonstration course and discover some of the main elements of our e-learning platform 



You will have life-long access to a library of e-books and written resources developed by Nurture Development.


Video Tutorials

Cormac Russell takes you through the key principles of the  course modules in videos that you can access where and when you like.


Zoom Sessions

You deepen your understanding and practical application through discussions, peer mentoring and skilled facilitation with our tutors.


Reflective Practice

Facilitated reflective practice deepens understanding and embeds learning.


Action Learning

You learn by doing - applying your new knowledge and skills in real community situations.

Open Courses for Individuals


Meet our Team

Cormac Russell

Managing director

Cormac is a social explorer, an author and a much sought-after speaker. He is the Founding Director of Nurture Development and a member of the Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) Institute, at DePaul University, Chicago.

Over the last 25 years, Cormac’s work has demonstrated an enduring impact in 35 countries around the world. He has trained communities, agencies, NGOs and governments in ABCD and other community-based approaches in Africa, Asia, Australia/Oceania, Europe and North America.

His most recent books are The Connected Community- Discovering the Health, Wealth, and Power of Neighborhoods (Coauthor John McKnight); Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2022, and Rekindling Democracy – A Professional’s Guide to Working in Citizen Space; Cascade Books, 2020.


Cormac’s TEDx talk can be viewed here

Colleen Quinn

 Chief Executive
Having spent many years in the corporate world, Colleen is now responsible for the ongoing development and management of Nurture Development's e-learning platform and the delivery of our training offer. 

Tom Dewar

Tom taught International and Community Development in Johns Hopkins University and was also a Professor at the University of Minnesota for over 20 years. He was Director of Evaluation for the MacArthur Foundation. 
Tom’s experience includes citizen leadership, new forms of organising, and the dangers of an over-reliance on professionals. 

Tim Evans

Tim was CEO of a national Youth and Community Work organisation for 19 years. Now he is working alongside other community organisations, churches and neighbourhoods and mentoring leaders to develop intergenerational ABCD approaches and facilitate organisational change. 

Angela Fell

Angela has 30 years experience of working alongside and within communities. She has always been passionate about community driven change. Angela has recently returned home to Wigan to community build with friends and neighbours.

Mick Ward

Mick retired in June 2020 as Chief Officer, Transformation and Innovation, for the Adults and Health Directorate in Leeds City Council.
He has a strong commitment to the social model of disability, citizenship, communities, innovation, culture, equality and diversity, and working in partnership. 

Judah Armarni

Judah is the designer in residence at InnovationRCA, Head of Social Impact Lab within the design team at the Royal College of Art, a senior design researcher at Central St Martin’s and a visiting fellow at Rhode Island School of Design. His work over the last twenty years in applying design, craft and co-creation (Liberative Design) to areas of homelessness and the criminal justice system has nurtured award winning initiatives developed with and by neighbourhoods. 

Claire Byrne

Office Manager

Claire brings extensive experience as an Office Manager and is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of the administrative infrastructure as well as providing support to our team, our learners and our clients.

Jon Massimi

Jon Massimi has over 20 years experience in both community and municipal space. He has helped in the development of several strategic initiatives aimed at building collaboration between sectors and strengthening communities.
Jon is an adjunct professor, conference speaker and guest lecturer. 

Susan High

Susan has worked in health care for almost 40 years. For 20 of these years, she worked as a Community Clinical Nurse Specialist in Palliative Care with Strathcarron Hospice in Scotland’s central belt. She stewarded the development of a team of skilled community builders during the early years of the pandemic.

Interested in ABCD Training?

We can support you to identify a course to get started
or you can go deeper by co-designing with us a suite of training
that leads to whole systems change. 

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