Saffron Woodcraft


Saffron was a Programme Leader at the Young Foundation and is now working on Social Life.

Saffron managed a wide range of research and practical projects about communities and innovation; including recent work exploring solutions to entrenched deprivation in very small estates funded by the Tenant Services Authority; co-ordinating Transforming Neighbourhoods, the Neighbourhood Action Network and Neighbourhhood Futures – programmes about innovation in neighbourhood governance and community empowerment with local authorities, central government and third sector partners; research for NESTA about local social innovation; Local 2.0, a programme funded by Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) Empowerment Fund to explore the potential for ‘hyper-local’ or neighbourhood-based web media to support community empowerment; and work for CLG on supporting local social enterprise.  Saffron was also responsible for Future Communities, a programme exploring practical ways for new communities to succeed as places where people want to live and work.

Saffron joined the Young Foundation in 2005 to manage Transforming Neighbourhoods. She has been involved in community projects since the early 1990s, including work on green communities and sustainable transport. Saffron specialises in action research, ethnography, social network analysis and has trained as an oral historian.

Previously, she was a senior researcher at The Future Foundation working on social trend forecasting projects for the Home Office and Office of Science and Technology; Associate Director at communications agency Cohn & Wolfe; and has acted as a consultant for Citylife, Initiative Ireland, NCH Action for Children, and UK for UNHCR.

Saffron is exploring social sustainability in new urban neighbourhoods as an MPhil/PhD student at UCL. She is a member of the Academy of Urbanism and a trustee of Oxford House.