Bob Rhodes

Co-Director of LivesthroughFriends CIC

Bob Rhodes is co-founder of LivesthroughFriends, a loose group of inspiring associates who are dedicated to building interdependent, stronger and more inclusive communities, helping people (especially those with ‘challenging’ labels) who are dependent upon ‘social care’ to ‘get a life’, and the people and agencies that assist them to be effective contributors to this outcome.

In 1991 he founded TACT UK– building over 15 years a nation-wide organisation that supported people with very challenging reputations to live in inclusive and contributing ways. He led its development until his semi-retirement in 2006. This often ground-breaking work gave rise to lots of experiential learning, exploration and action research, including work with PLAN, Beyond Welfare and the ABCD Institute. Evolving practice has also been significantly informed by overseas work in many countries, including Greece, Pakistan, New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Poland.

In semi-retirement Bob chooses to work at both the grassroots and strategic levels, in the UK and internationally. Over the last 5 or so years he has increasingly concentrated on community building (starting in his own Forest of Dean community). He actively chairs FVAF (Forest Voluntary Action Forum), established the Forest Youth Association, is a local Councillor, and fights vigorously to put citizens and their associations at the heart of public services.

Bob was an Ernst & Young Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003 and is the author of Much More to Life than Services (2010). His most recent book, written collaboratively with Colin Campbell and members of families supported by LivesthroughFriends, The Green Book – Sustainable Care for Each Other, appeared in 2013. Inter-alia, Bob is a Fellow of the Centre Welfare Reform, a Non-Executive Director/Trustee of All Wales People First, a Trustee of NABGC, an FRSA, and Trustee/Adviser with several domestic and international NGO’s.

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