Jane Leathley


I work with user and community lead projects and services with a particular focus on:

  • Service user and community engagement
  • voluntary and community sector funding
  • governance and organisational development
  • strategic and business planning
  • project evaluation, impact and community research

I work collaboratively to identify priorities, design solutions that work for users and local communities and find resources to enable delivery. Whether you are refreshing your governance, seeking resources or clarifying your aims and forward plans, my approach assumes that you and your community / people have the answers. I start each project with a blank slate and a lot of curiosity. I work with you to navigate the spaces between needs, aspirations, resources and current ways of doing things so we can find viable ways forward together.


Most of my clients are smaller, local voluntary and community organisations with a commitment to user lead services. They are close to the problems and issues they aim to address and are working really hard to find the best ways of making a difference in their communities.

Current and recent projects include:

  • Work as an Associate for Co:Create - facilitating co-production approaches to service development and review
  • Supporting the grants team at a local asylum seekers charity (ASSIST)
  • Governance training for City of Sanctuary Sheffield
  • Development work with early years project Best Start Communities Count
  • Impact and governance review for a community nursery, Tiddlywinks Arbourthorne
  • Community Action Research project for a local community library
  • Evaluation for South Yorkshire Eating Disorders Association
  • Grant application support for Football Unites, Racism Divides
  • Monitoring and evaluation work for Sheffield Young Carers.


BA (hons) Communication Studies, MSc Information Management

Diploma in plain English (Plain English Campaign)

Certificate in High Performance Teams (Lloyds Management Development Programme)

Certificate in Housing Association Finance (Local Government Training Board)


I have thirty years’ experience of working in community and voluntary sector development, including six years at Chief Officer level and fourteen years as a freelance advisor to the sector.

My community development career started in Tenant Participation, working with tenants to establish housing development, management and maintenance systems that worked for them. I then held various posts in voluntary and community sector organisations mainly focused on project development, management, finance management and funding in a range of community-based youth, housing, environmental and community enterprise projects. My last employed role was as Director of the South Yorkshire Funding Advice Bureau. I have been working freelance since 2005 delivering a range of services.

I have also been (and still am) a volunteer and have been a trustee in several small – medium sized local and national charities, including 15 years as a trustee and vice chair of Voluntary Action Sheffield.