Chelsea Renton (MBE)
Partner, Head of Communities
Chelsea has worked throughout her life with communities and disenfranchised groups overseas and in the UK.
She ran a team of volunteers in a Croatian refugee camp before becoming Social Development Coordinator for Marie Stopes International, establishing refuge centres for women during the war in Bosnia – for which she received an MBE. She subsequently worked as a Humanitarian Monitor and then a Political Advisor (seconded by the FCO) on the implementation of the peace agreement, in Sarajevo and then Brussels, where she co-authored the ‘Bonn Declaration on Self-Sustaining Structures in former Yugoslavia’.
Latterly, she has worked with isolated minorities in Albania for the Butrint Foundation, been a school governor and Green Party councillor. As a Founder Director, she established Lewes Phoenix Rising in 2013 – a community campaign for exemplary green place-making, based on community need, on development sites in her hometown of Lewes, Sussex.
Chelsea’s role is to conceive, plan for and design sustainable communities in which people share space, services and facilities and support one another in making the transition to more sustainable living. This work begins in the relationships forged during early public engagement in our projects, where the conversations address all aspects of our plans and work, bridging current and future residents, businesses, community uses and activities.
Chelsea is also an artist, with a particular focus on people: portraiture, illustration and cartoons. Her very silly strip in The Oldie ‘A Field Guide to the Peoples of the British Isles’, was published as a book in 2019.