Nicola Bacon


Nicola was the Young Foundation’s Director of Local Projects from 2006 to August 2012 and led its work with local authorities and other partner agencies on local social innovation. The team she led has worked with over 100 local authorities, as well as Whitehall departments, community organisations and front line agencies; she also advised governments in the UK and internationally. Nicola is a Founding Director of new venture Social Life, which is working with built environment agencies to put people at the heart of placemaking.

Nicola set up the Young Foundation’s advisory work and also instigated and developed major programmes on Communities, Wellbeing preventative investment and London as well as innovation in local government. These brought together a variety of agencies in cross-sectoral partnerships and collaboratives, with the aim of improving the quality of life for individuals and communties by changing the way that services are delivered on the ground. She also helped to build the social design practice, bringing new approaches to the existing range of methods used by the team.
Nicola also set up Resilience, a new venture that will scale up resilience training to different groups, building on our pilot work in schools and with young people.

Before joining The Young Foundation, Nicola worked at the Home Office where she was a Deputy Director of the Anti-social Behaviour Unit; part of her remit focused on young people and family support. Previously she was Director of Safe in the City, an SRB-funded action research programme set up to pilot new ways of preventing youth homelessness in London by working with young people and their families. She was also Director of Policy at Shelter where she carried out major projects on housing investment, housing benefit and changes needed to the homelessness legislation.