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Neil McDonald

I started out as a guitar maker, based on being a musician who couldnt find or more importantly afford an instrument that I was happy with. This was a lonely endeavour and so I searched for community. I met my now wife and she inspired me to see the imortance of doing good in society and together we created Stour Space, a non-profit arts and community venue base in one of the most deprived areas of the UK. We emersed ourselves in that community and having zero budget we had no choise in the matter. But this gave us huge insight into what the organisation would become.

Several years later we listed our building as one of the first Assets of Community Value in the UK and still the only one with Arts and culture at it's core. More recently we founded the Hackney Wick and Fish Island Community Development Trust, a citizen owner and led organisation with a board made up of the cultural and civic organisations and venues who strategically place ourselvs at the ever important descision making role within our local authority. Together we are a force to be recond with and aspire to implement this model throught the world.

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