About TCC

We are a very ‘hands on’ team with much experience of work in the ‘real world’. Our charges are reasonable , and we are prepared to work with you ‘up front’ to ensure that what we deliver fits what you want.

Alan Twelvetrees

TCC was established by Alan Twelvetrees in 2008. Alan’s background is community work (CW), doing it, managing it, teaching it and researching it. He has also been a social worker, youth worker and a planner of services for children and young people in a local authority. He has written 11 books in this field.

His latest book can be ordered here.

Community Development, Social Action and

Community Development, Social Action and Social Planning, 2017 

A comprehensive update of Alan's earlier publications with extensive new material, on broad based organising, Evaluation, work with women, black and ethnic minorities, other communities of interest and comprehensive community planning.

'A very important contribution to community development theory and practice, this book spans a wide range of issues, methods and approaches.

The material has been developed and changed over many years through different editions, and has been brought up to date to reflect the current context.

Alan uses his extensive experience from a variety of settings to add examples from his own work, which adds a richness and vibrancy to the text.  In combination, it occupies a unique place in current literature on community development and is highly recommended to both students and practitioners'.


Our Services


Fieldworkers often face a range of conflicting pressures. TCC’s long experience of training and managing both students and staff at field level enables us to offer tailored ‘critical support’ to practitioners.


Social Research & Evaluation

In order to draw useful conclusions about the value of a project or programme it is necessary to identify ‘hard targets’ and to devise ways of working out whether these have been achieved or not. But the researcher also needs to get ‘inside’ the organisation, hear the stories and make judgements about, for instance, which goals might have only been achieved at the expense of others and, sometimes, to identify the ‘elephant in the corner’ which everybody is ignoring. This kind of approach lays the basis for the effective development of the organisation. We have much experience of working in such ways.


Project Design

TCC has designed and developed many community work and related projects, from inception, and developing vision, through to clarifying aims and objectives, hiring staff, bringing stakeholders on board, building ‘capacity’ and setting up management and review systems. We offer a comprehensive service in this respect.


Community Profiles

TCC has much experience of undertaking community profiles, both on an area and on an ‘issue’ basis, (eg, with regard to children and young people). Such profiles need to contain both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ data but also to conclude with an analysis which indicates to the sponsor the most appropriate way forward.

Trouble Shooting

TCC’s experience of project development enables us to go into a troubled project, identify the difficulties and make reasonable recommendations to solve these. This work can also involve, if necessary, managing the project for a short time in order to restructure it.

Training and Lecturing

We specialise in training which has both a theoretical and practical element. Our experience of teaching about, researching and managing community work and related projects enables us to design a wide range of courses and learning situations about all aspects of CW, including: campaigning, negotiation, group work, partnership working, conflict resolution, etc. We use simulations, focused discussions and group work as some of our main teaching methods.

Management Development and Performance Management

TCC consultants have considerable experience of supervising staff, including staff managing other staff. Our experience is that new managers often get no relevant training or mentoring before taking up managerial positions and that they sometimes struggle, as a result of which their own confidence is undermined and, often, that of their staff. We provide guidance in relation to: staff induction, mentoring, quality control, target setting, discipline, ‘wicked’ staffing problems, sickness, appraisals, etc.


Organisational Development and Capacity Building

Those setting up or managing (often voluntary) organisations may be so near to the organisation they cannot see clearly what needs to be done. Or, they may be so focused on the service they wish to provide that they neglect to build stakeholder support or train their committee members effectively. They may also have designed the organisation so that line management and staff roles are unclear. We can, and do assist organisations and their managers to develop better ‘capacity’ to be effective.


Partnership Development and Facilitation

Many so called partnerships are nothing of the sort. TCC consultants are experts in the skills and attitudes which need developing if partnerships are to be effective. There are, in fact, a number of fairly simple skills and techniques in partnership working and facilitation which can be easily taught, either as short training courses for individuals or to a partnership as a whole to assist the members collaborate more effectively.

Book Editing

As an experienced author/researcher, Alan offers a service to assist new writers in this field to write articles and books.

Main Publications

Community Development, Social Action and Social Planning, 2017 

A comprehensive update of Alan's earlier publications with extensive new material, on broad based organising, Evaluation, work with women, black and ethnic minorities, other communities of interest and comprehensive community planning.


Community Work, Macmillan/Palgrave, 1982, 1991, 2001 and 2008

Translated into Italian, Czech, Japanese, Chinese and Catalan, this book is now a standard handbook on the practice and theory of community work.

Community Economic Development: Rhetoric or Reality?, Community Development Foundation, 2000

This book contains 40 contributions from experts in both the USA & the UK on different aspects of ‘CED’, including: capacity building, community enterprise, development trusts, franchising and credit unions. While advocating CED, the book examines the claims of those working in this field, and finds some wanting.


Organising for Neighbourhood Development: A comparative study of community development corporations and citizen action organisations, Avebury, 1989 and 1996

Based on research in Los Angeles this book discusses the development of and problems facing such organisations. In particular, it flags up the paradoxes they face. The 1996 edition makes comparisons with similar bodies in the UK.

An Integrated Approach to Community Problem Solving, Swansea University, 1984

This book describes the CW project run by Alan Twelvetrees in the 1970s. It gives many insights into the realities of practice.

Democracy & the Neighbourhood, NFCO, 1985

This book describes the history of the community association movement and explores how voluntary community activists might act as community development workers. 

Community Associations and Centres – A comparative study, Pergamon, 1976

This book, based on a study of 4 associations and centres in Edinburgh, describes the mechanics of how multi-purpose community centres operate and the problems which large voluntary ‘umbrella’ bodies face. It recommends that staff need to be utilised effectively in order to ensure the full use of large centres and to facilitate the development and work of such umbrella bodies.

Case Studies

Age Concern Wales - management consultancy

Funded by the Welsh Government, this consultancy thoroughly evaluated Age Concern, Wales, based in Cardiff, suggesting a root and branch restructuring. The recommendations were implemented over a 2 year period.


Teifi Valley Community Enterprise

A community group had set up various aspiring community businesses in an old woollen mill. The Economic and Social Research Council funded an investigation into how this community company could develop more ventures. Our investigation showed that the business was hardly viable, and we recommended a period of consolidation before the initiative expanded further.


Ebbw Fach Development Trust (EVDT) – re-engineering

EVDT had been established some years previously, but had run into various difficulties, mainly poor leadership. We were engaged to sort out (trouble shoot) these problems. Alan acted as director for a period of 6 months, during which a new board was created, and trained, and a new chief executive hired.


Community Development Corporations in Los Angeles – evaluation

This is a study of 10 CDCs in LA, which assesses the nature of the contribution these organisations make in deprived urban areas. The study concludes that they achieve some goals at the expense of others.

Townhill Development Trust – development advice

The community of Townhill, Swansea, was to receive several million pounds in EU aid for community regeneration. The Local Authority had developed plans and had sought to involve the community. But there had been a history of negativity, and relations between the community and the Council had broken down. Welsh Government staff, who were acting as brokers, asked us to become involved and to make proposals for improvement. These were adopted, and a DT was ultimately established.

Establishing Gurnos Development Trust

The Hoover Foundation provided funds to help create local institutions in deprived parts of Merthyr Tydfil. It was decided to concentrate on a large council estate  – Gurnos. Many meetings were held with local people, and a development the trust was created, which later, registered as a limited company.

Upper Rhymney Valley Community Profile

The local Council provided funds to undertake a needs assessment of a remote urban/rural community. This was undertaken with the help of a research assistant. The results were fed into the Council’s regeneration programme for the area.

Bangor Community Project

The Local Authority asked for a community economic regeneration programme to be established in Bangor. After substantial work with local communities and the Council, a Lottery bid was submitted, which was successful. The project was then set up from scratch, work programmes designed, staff hired, etc. Over 3 years the project attracted £1m to the area. It set up a development trust as part of its ‘exit’ strategy.

Annie XXXXX – Mentoring

Annie XXXXX, a new and inexperienced community worker in Cardiff, asked for an experienced CW consultant in order to be trained ‘on the job’. Fortnightly sessions were held for 4 months, which Annie regarded as extremely useful.

Amman Valley Community Profile

The West Wales Training and Enterprise Council was concerned about the closure of coal mines in the Amman Valley, and funded a comprehensive community profile. Interviews were held with a great many community members as well as professionals, and a report produced which fed into the subsequent community regeneration programme.



Keeping in Touch (KIT) with young people who are not in education, employment or Training (NEET)

At the behest of the Welsh Assembly Government a KIT programme was designed for ‘NEETs’. The work also involved accessing EU funding and engaging and managing the staff. The approach taken in Swansea became a model for other parts of Wales.



Evaluating the Welsh Government’s Community (Development) Strategies

The Welsh Government provided funds to set up a programme to evaluate the contribution to social renewal of its 6 Community (Development) Strategies. An action research programme was established using associates. Apart from the report to the Welsh government, the individual projects found the development advice very useful.

Shoreditch (London) – evaluating community involvement in New Deal for Communities

Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, this research looked mainly at how far this round of regeneration money built upon lessons learned from previous programmes. The conclusions were: a) that much more effort was needed to ensure lessons were learned, and, b) that it was naïve to expect a poor and transitional community (with many conflicting community groups) to engage effectively in complex social and economic planning in a short time frame.

Establishing Swansea Children’s Centre

The Welsh Government ensured money was made available for the establishment of a Children’s Centre in Swansea. A group was set up to work on this, a plan devised, staff engaged and managed and a board established which oversaw the establishment and running of the Centre.

Establishing Afan Community Aid Council

When a major slimdown of steelmaking in Port Talbot was announced, the embryonic community committee, which had been set up to seek to ameliorate the negative effects of the slimdown, was contacted and offered assistance. The group was helped to constitute itself, develop a plan, obtain grants, engage staff and put into place a number of social programmes.

Short Courses in Community Work 

Alan has run several short courses in CW, designed in the following way. A range of fieldworkers receive 3 days of intensive theory input. They then return to their agencies for 2 months, and, with advice from a consultant, focus on and evaluate a part of their practice. They then come back to the course to run a seminar for their peers on what they have learned and to receive more theoretical input.


“We are a very ‘hands on’ team with much experience of work in the ‘real world’. Our charges are reasonable, and we are prepared to work with you ‘up front’ to ensure that what we deliver fits what you want”

Alan Twelvetrees


Contact Me

5, Cwmdonkin Terrace


Swansea, Wales, UK


Tel +44 (0)1792 460475

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