CAREERS: WORTH A LOOK ... Skills in Neighbourhood Work; Paul Henderson and David N Thomas Routledge, Third Edition Price £17.99

GAYNOR HUMPHREYS, director, Community Foundation Network

Even the first edition of this book was too late for me. By 1980, I had long moved on from neighbourhood work to other and more arms' length forms of development work. How much more satisfactory it would have been to work through this excellent book and not use local residents as guinea pigs as I tried to slap Alinsky's community organising theory on to Somers Town and Byker.

This new edition captures even more learning and support than its predecessors, putting neighbourhood work into the context of new (to the UK) concepts such as civil society and social inclusion and arming the worker with the means of analysing and harnessing the complex new world of regeneration partnerships and multi-sector approaches to problem solving.

It offers a mixture of practice and theory, and the authors provide examples, practice material and advice on methods by which a worker can plan, capture data, and carefully offer support. Overall it's a practical and useful guide.

If I had one quibble it would be that there was not enough attention to working with multi-ethnic communities and tackling racism and therefore to empowering some of our most disadvantaged communities. The value base is in place but there is room for more sharing of experience and expertise and a stronger call for action.

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