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Tummler School – Inspiring Purposeful Changemakers

Tummler School

‘Tummler’ is a Yiddish word for someone who gets a party going. 

And at Grow Social Capital, we think it is a good job description for anyone who wants to make a difference in our communities, partnerships, and organisations.

Think about parties where despite the music playing, no-one is dancing. Eventually, a few get on the dance floor which encourages others to follow. Those first few are Tummlers. But getting the party started is one thing. The capacity of others must be built in order to sustain the party to carry on without them. 

How can you be an effective Tummler and create the party you want to see in your world? One way is to meet and engage with other Tummlers.

Each month our Friday lunchtime Tummler School features a chance to meet someone who is doing something to make our world better. It is a chance to listen, learn and collectively grow from the conversation.

Whether you are active in social purpose, innovation and entrepreneurship, community development, active citizenship or an organisation wanting to increase its social impact – we can all learn by coming together to share insights, ideas and inspirations.

meet this month’s tummler School speaker: Karen Davies

Friday December 3rd at noon we meet Karen Davies a former City of London financier, who is leading the charity Purple Shoots in changing the lives of some of the most disadvantaged in society.

How do we get government, banks and wider society to do more to support people in disadvantaged communities who want to help themselves by starting or growing their own business, yet will often get refused finance or be held back by bureaucratic rules?

That’s the challenge facing inspiring changemaker Karen Davies, who started a pioneering charity, Purple Shoots to provide microfinance and support for over 700 Welsh businesses.

Karen Davies, Chief Executive of Purple Shoots is a former City of London financier. She has spent the last eight years through Purple Shoots tackling poverty and unemployment in Wales by encouraging entrepreneurship, changing the lives of some of the most disadvantaged in society.

Using ‘Microfinancing’ and ‘Self-reliant groups’, Karen will explain how Purple Shoots has provided the opportunities for people to make positive change for themselves while also giving back to society at large.

More than 750 jobs have been created through Purple Shoots lending with an impact of £16 million on the Welsh economy from £1.68 million loan investments.

Karen will be sharing an exclusive insight into what motivates her to commit herself to such life changing work, the influence of her Christian values, and just how others can seek active community engagement to contribute to a positive impact on society.

Karen, a graduate of Oxford University, has more than 30 years’ experience in the financial sector, lending institutes and small business. She lives in the Vale of Glamorgan and has two grown-up children and two grandchildren.

Tummler is a Yiddish word for people who are hired to get a party going, which is how Grow Social Capital regards community changemaking. Previous speakers include Sophie Howe, Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner, Peter Davies, Chair of WCVA, Alex Hillman a pioneering changemaker from Philadelphia, and Julie Lee, the first female rugby league referee in Great Britain and Australia.

Tummler School is sponsored by leading Welsh organisations working to support positive social change, including Banc Cambria, doopoll, IndyCube and Working Word.

Karen Davies

For more information and to sign up for the Karen Davies event visit:

Tummer School – meet Karen Davies, founder of Purple Shoots Tickets, Fri 3 Dec 2021 at 12:00 | Eventbrite

Our 2021 speakers include:

  • February: Sophie Howe – Wales’ Future Generations Commissioner
  • March: Alex Hillman – author, educator, and community builder -operates Indy Hall, Philly’s oldest coworking space
  • April: Peter Davies – chair of WCVA, the Size of Wales charity and Community Energy Pembrokeshire
  • May: Julie Lee – the first female rugby league referee in Great Britain and Australia. Director of the Common Sense Initiative
  • June: Luke Takeuchi – chief executive, Rhondda Housing Association
  • July: Janet Hayward- Award-winning Barry headteacher
  • October: Pam French – former army intelligence officer and community activist

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Tummler School – Previous Sessions

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