Meet The Team

Jane Birch

Smart Communities Manager

Strategy. Creativity. Lead. Enable.

Personality: Passionate

  • ILM (Institute of Leadership & Marketing)Level 5 Certificate in Social Enterprise Support
  • 23 years of experience supporting community organisations, small businesses and social enterprises
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management

Marie Fraser

Project Officer

Research. Marketing. Reporting. Administration.

Personality: Enquiring

  • Smart Communities lead in market research, delivering key research reports which have helped clients secure further funding for their projects
  • Experienced with communities, voluntary organisations, social enterprises and private companies
  • 26 years previous experience in the university sector developing marketing strategy, new products and markets for postgraduate blended learning courses
  • She is also undertakes market research as an external consultant

Kate Burrough

Community Involvement Officer

Creative. Support. Innovative. Community.

Personality: Honest

Katherine Armstrong

Community Involvement Officer

Support. Involvement. Advice. Knowledge.

Personality: Resolute

  • 25 years of supporting community groups and organisations and social enterprises
  • 6 years managing and developing a charity – governance, finance, developing new and existing projects, strategic planning and influencing.
  • Experience of administration and decision making on numerous grants.
  • Experience of working with a wide range of local, regional and national partners.

Gail McCarthy

Business Development Officer

Strategic planning. Leadership. Facilitator. Consultation.

Personality: Energetic

  • Over 27 years working within Social & Healthcare settings in both the Statutory and Voluntary sectors
  • Master’s in Education & Development
  • Postgraduate in Leadership and Management
  • D32 and D33 external Assessor’s Qualification
  • A National Qualified Community & Youth Worker
  • Worked for the Department of Education & Health as an expert member of the panel for the National Child Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) service review
  • Worked with community drugs and alcohol services, homeless and employment / education / mentoring services
  • Worked as an independent advisor for the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) and has been self employed as a community consultant in the past.
  • Gail brings a wealth of experience in facilitation, training provision and is a strong advocate for people within minority groups ensuring their voice and views can be fully heard and considered

Kirsten Rushby

Community Advisor

Resilience. Strategic. Facilitator.

Personality: Genuine

  • Over 30 years of experience working with individuals and communities offering tailored solutions and infrastructure support.
  • Degree in Social Policy at Manchester University.
  • 15 years of knowledge of Somerset’s local services, project development, funding, strategic planning, and facilitation..

Jinny Uppington

Project management, Bid writing, Monitorin.

Personality: Enthusiastic

  • 12 years’ experience working in community sector
  • Extensive project management experience, ensuring work is delivered to a high standard, on time and exceeding expected outcomes
  • Significant experience of supporting equality communities and groups to flourish and thrive
  • Degree in Applied Human Communications
  • Level 5 ILM Management and Leadership

Expert CCS Colleagues

Nicola Greenslade

Communications Officer

Creative. Communicator. Resourceful. Innovative.

Personality: Driven

  • 14 years delivering marketing & digital marketing materials – rebrands, project launches, project delivery from logo design to report summaries.
  • BA Hon’s in film/media and creative content delivery
  • Experienced in clear communication to both corporate and community-based clients

Michał Pużyński

BAME Community Engagement Officer

Community. Diversity. Engagement.

Personality: Determined

  • Master's degree (qualified to work in social assistance, social services agencies and institutions of social prevention).
  • Ten years of work experience for charitable organizations
  • Co-coordinator and founder of projects related to ethnic minority groups and immigrants

Sally Sargent

Community Buildings Advisor

Support. Advice. Networking. Communications.

Personality: Inquiring

  • 15 years' experience working in research and community development in UK and overseas
  • MA in Geography
  • Chartered Institute of Marketing Post Graduate Diploma

Robert Horn

Community Buildings Advisor

Experienced. Problem solver. Community. Practical.

Personality: Friendly

  • Supporting village halls and community buildings since 2003 in various counties with day to day issues, governance and disputes.
  • Fund raising advice and practical experience of application processes, charity compliance and guidelines, Health & Safety matters
  • Delivering training courses to charity trustees and local councils about Community Buildings
  • ACRE sponsored diploma in community building management.
  • Director/Trustee for a recreational charity for over 10 years. Have also served as a trustee for local local village hall and currently part time manager of a charity which supports voluntary organisations and runs a community centre.