My name is Helen Power. I am a communications professional with a special interest and expertise in place management and stakeholder engagement.
I have over ten years experience strategic communications leadership and practice in both the higher education and publishing sectors.
In 2010 I won the Manchester Blog Awards Blog of the Year title for a hyperlocal news site focused on the place where I live. In 2013 (via an extremely circuitous route) that small piece of citizen engagement with place led to me devising, business planning and securing funding for the UK’s first social enterprise street market.
Levenshulme Market CIC is now a thriving success story, having won numerous awards and been cited as an example of best practice in both measuring and delivering social value through retail markets in an all-party parliamentary briefing by the New Economics Foundation.
My work at the Market developed my interest in place making as a vehicle for social justice (or otherwise) and in 2019 I started studying for an MSc in Place Management and Leadership.
It is my fundamental belief that our high streets are capable of – and, indeed, need to – do so much more than facilitate commercial activity. I believe that a failure to recognise the social value of “third places” (the places that are not our home or work) is a threat to equality and, therefore, democracy. I am interested in taking on projects that explore notions of what – and more importantly, who – places are for.