Three of us (Sarah Banks, Andrea Armstrong and Gary Craig) were invited to do a plenary at the History of Youth and Community Work Conference on Saturday 14 March 2015. The conference was held at Hinsley Hall in Leeds and our title was ‘Lessons and Legacies of the Community Development Projects of the 1970s: Revisiting Benwell, 1972 to 2015’. We drew on recent interviews with residents, community activists, community workers, former CDP workers, politicians and other policymakers to identify and discuss a range of perspectives on the tangible and intangible legacies of Benwell CDP. We showed some short films made in the 1970s, and Gary Craig (who was a former community worker with the Benwell CDP) offered his reflections 40 years on.
In discussions afterwards, many remarked how influential the CDP publications have been in training and education. Indeed, in his latest book, Analysing Community Work: Theory and Practice, Keith Popple (who introduced the plenary) said,
‘[The NCDP] was one of the most important and defining initiatives in the evolution of British community development.’ (Popple, 2015, p. 34)