Hello, my name is Stephen Pearson and I am the Community Engagement Officer for Seashell.

Everything we do at Seashell is for the benefit of others, we provide and deliver services where we aim to meet a need, make a difference and have a positive impact on a person’s life.

We are community facing, a voluntary sector organisation – a national charity with a vision.

In simple terms, community engagement seeks to better engage with the community to achieve long term and sustainable goals.  At Seashell this includes developing relationships that lead to community participation in our services; making more informed decisions around future development and capacity building to enhance our offer.


A good example of how we use community engagement to inform decisions at Seashell is our new cycle track and trail.

Through conversations and insight gained from Seashell colleagues, parents and carers of students and residents, and community users, we discovered the many barriers that exist for children and young people with a disability to learn to ride a bike.

Typically, cycling is part of a social norm and as children, we learn to ride with our peers – we may even receive an older sibling’s bike to practice on! We ride for fun with friends, and we benefit in many ways from being active. Cycling is also frequently our first mode of independent transport as a young person. For children and young people with disabilities however, access and opportunity to cycle is considerably more difficult, and lack of inclusive provision available in communities, costly specialist equipment and limited inclusive cycling venues creates clear and physical barriers.

Our fundraising team utilised this insight, data and knowledge to demonstrate the need for an inclusive cycling facility, which you can now see proudly on our site thanks to successful funding bids. Seashell’s vision became a reality and will have a positive impact on our students, residents and children and young people from Stockport, Cheshire and further afield. We are a leader in the North West for creating this provision, and many people will learn to ride a bike, get ‘road ready’, build confidence, make friends, have fun and enjoy the benefits of being active.

If you would like to find out more about community engagement at Seashell, or share a positive story of how you involved or engaged a member of your community, do please get in touch!

Look out for regular updates from Stephen on how Seashell’s community engagement supports and influences our future plans.

Contact: info@seashelltrust.org.uk for more information!