Bradford District Assembly

The Bradford District Assembly holds an annual conference based on a theme selected by the Assembly Steering Group.  Click below for more information on our annual conferences.

The annual conference took place on Tuesday 19 March at Bradford City Football Ground. The title of this year’s conference was Shaping the Future, a joint event bringing together the voluntary and community sector (VCS), local authority, Bradford District Care Trust and NHS colleagues to plan for the future.

Over 200 delegates from a diverse range of groups, sectors and organisations came together to share information and discuss key issues. 

The event featured an information marketplace, with a number of VCS organisations and Community Partnership representatives displaying information about the work they carry out.

Speakers at the event included Helen Hirst, Chief Executive, Bradford City, District and Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCGs and Steve Hartley, Strategic Director, Place, Bradford Council.

Delegates participated in themed workshops, “Reshaping the VCS Compact”, “Reshaping local procurement and commissioning: ‘Keep it Local’” and “Review of support for the VCS”.  Outcomes and actions from the workshops will be shared in the near future.  Presentations given on the day can be found below.


BDA Highlights & Priorities - Nasim Qureshi (ASG Vice-chair) (pdf - 601Kb)

BVCSA A summary of achievements - Helen Speight (Chair of BVCSA) (pdf - 597Kb)

Keep it Local - Why and How - Caroline Howe & Sophie Michelena (pdf - 2724Kb)

What are Community Partnerships? - Louise Keighley (pdf - 443Kb)

Concious Collaboration - Steve Hartley (pdf - 301Kb)

Showcasing VCS Groups & Projects in Bradford & District (pdf - 5644Kb)

Assembly Conference Report 2019 (pdf - 385Kb)

Speaker Biographies

Kim Shutler

Kim has been the CEO at The Cellar Trust since November 2014. Before moving into the Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS), she worked in organisational development, employee wellbeing and communications roles within the public sector. Kim is currently the Chair of Bradford Voluntary and Community Sector Assembly: which is the VCSE voice and influence structure for the District. She represents the sector at the Wellbeing Executive, the Wellbeing Board, Integrated Care Place (ICP) Board, is Joint Senior Responsible Officer for the West Yorkshire Partnership Suicide Prevention Programme and is a member of the NHS England Adult Mental Health Steering Group, and Health Education England Peer Support Implementation Board. She has an MSc in Leadership and Management and is an Institute of Leadership and Management qualified coach.

Iain MacBeath

Strategic Director of Health and Wellbeing for Bradford Metropolitan District Council. He has responsibility for adult social care, public health and is a system partner in the Bradford Integrated Care Partnership. Prior to this Iain was Director of Adult Care Services for Hertfordshire County Council.  Iain started work as a civil servant for the Benefits Agency (as was). He then worked for Social Services in his home town of Barnsley in both Children's and Adult's Services. After moving to Hertfordshire in 1999, he spent five years working for the Probation Service, returned to Social Services for the London Borough of Barnet and became Assistant Director of Adult Care Services for Hertfordshire in 2008. He became Director in 2013.  Iain is a Trustee of the national Association of Directors of Adult Social Services as Honorary Treasurer and is Network Chair for Care Commissioning in the Yorkshire & Humber regional branch.

Nasim Qureshi


Darryl Smith

Darryl has over 30 years experience in Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI). He is a keen advocate of partnership working that delivers inclusive outcomes.  He is a Design Council Expert and is part of the High Streets Task Force who are supporting districts in reviving/reinventing their high streets. He has been a member of the CABE Inclusion by Design Group (formerly the Built Environment Group for Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee), where he contributed to various Government Equality & Diversity projects focused on enabling place-making. During his tenure as president of the Access Association (2008-2012) he was particularly pleased to have co-delivered a national programme of “Planning for Everyone “seminars.

Following an early career as a Town Planner he has held various public sector posts in EDI: As a strong advocate of developing effective partnerships he has facilitated, co-ordinated and supported several local partnerships and working groups (many disabled people led) and is a keen supporter of the mantra “nothing about us without us”, be that in social policy, the built environment, housing, accessible information, well -being, employment practices or supporting life choices.  In November 2019 Darryl took some time out prior to develop a training consultancy which delivers Practical, Inclusive, Ethical and Sustainable outcomes for clients in public, private and third sector.

Helen Hirst

Helen became the accountable officer for Bradford District and Craven CCG in April 2020 following the merger of Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, Bradford City and Bradford Districts CCGs.  Helen had been the accountable officer for the three CCGs since October 2016 and prior to that for two of the CCGs since their establishment.  Helen has worked in Bradford since 1992 and was the deputy chief executive of the former Bradford and Airedale Teaching PCT.  In the past Helen has also combined her Bradford work with interim roles with NHS England (director of CCG development) and with the Vale of York CCG (accountable officer) and also took a two year secondment with the Department of Health in 2010 as programme director for primary care commissioning as part of the NHS Commissioning Board establishment team.

Helen is currently the named Place Lead for Bradford District and Craven integrated care partnership.  Helen also supports a number of programmes of work in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership (ICS) -  leading the System Leadership and Development and the Place based Partnerships programmes; lead commissioning accountable officer for the Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism programme; Senior Responsible Officer for the Transforming Care Programme.  She also provides leadership for the HR aspects of the latest ICS changes.

Ian Westlake

Ian has been Head of Procurement at Bradford Council since June 2019, his service at the Council covers strategic procurement, contract management and the end to end procure to pay function.  A Chartered procurement professional Ian has worked across a number of West Yorkshire local authorities including Leeds City Council and Wakefield Council.

Carlton Smith MSc, DBS, BSc.

A former aid worker in Kurdistan, Carlton has been managing charities in Bradford for 25 years. Since August 2015, he has been CEO and Company Secretary for Bradford Trident. Trident is the Community Anchor Organisation for Little Horton and manages two community centres, a sports centre, medical/children’ centre and a business centre for the benefit of the local community. Surpluses generated by the estate are invested into community services. Trident also hosts the Better Start Bradford partnership. Carlton was previously CEO for Bradford Community Environment Project (BCEP) for 20 years overseeing the establishment of various environmental projects.  When not working he is usually rowing on one of the prettier sections of the river Aire.

Soo Nevison

Born in Portsmouth, Soo spent her formative years and education destined to be a plant physiologist.  During her PhD studies she realised that this wasn’t her vocation and on completion she followed her other passion and went to work in the voluntary sector.  Her VCS career started in drug services, lasting some 10 years in a number of roles supporting rehabilitation of long term drug users.  During this time she found her way to Yorkshire and became a mum, entering the world of infrastructure services firstly as a Trustee at Voluntary Action Leeds, then as a CEO at Voluntary Action Calderdale and then onto Community Action Bradford & District where she resides as CEO.

Soo is known for her work with the NHS locally, regionally and nationally and until recently was SRO for the Harnessing Power of Communities work programme in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership .  Soo managed the merger of three District CVSs into Community Action Bradford & District as well as championing the innovation infrastructure organisations bring to local communities.  Soo was a Trustee and Treasurer at NAVCA for six years.  Most recently Soo have been a local VCS leader in our COVID-19 response work and also worked regionally and nationally with the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergency Partnership.  Down time was spent courtside cheering on her daughter whilst she plays basketball and now she is planning to do this from the armchair in our next season.  An avid cake baker she makes a mean banana cake and is also a dab hand at a sticky ginger cake.