Our staff team have a wide range of expertise and experience of working with the voluntary and community sector. We pride ourselves on our asset-based approach, which means we focus on what communities can do, rather than what they can’t do. We are always seeking to offer creative ideas that help them to achieve their ambitions.
Manjit has over 34 years’ experience of working with, developing and strategically overseeing services for children, young people, families and communities as well as leading and managing a diverse range of teams both in the public and third sector; she has vast experience of managing change, transition, developing effective partnerships, budget management, policy development and bid writing.
Manjit is personally committed and motivated to values of social justice, equality and diversity and raising the aspirations of local individuals, communities and community organisations, however they are constituted.
Manjit understands the issues and challenges the sector faces having spent the majority of her working life in it and is a passionate advocate of the incredible work of the diverse and creative sector. Manjit is keen to build on the invaluable work already undertaken in Walsall, connecting and empowering the sector so that we can work effectively with the statutory sector to help achieve positive outcomes for local people and communities.
Davina (prefers to be called “Dee”) has worked for the voluntary / not -for-profit sector for the last 16 years. Between 2003-2009, she worked as an Area Manager for Victim Support West Midlands and Victim Support Warwickshire, supporting the charity through the process of becoming a single, national organisation. In 2009 she joined Age UK Walsall as CEO where she remained for 10 years. For the charity’s future sustainability, the charity joined forces with Accord Housing Association in April 2018, under which it became “Accord Care and Support – Age Matters.” Dee has also volunteered as a Trustee for several charities both within Walsall and the wider West Midlands.
Her passion for championing the work of the voluntary sector has only increased over the years, never ceasing to be amazed by the incredible work delivered by staff and volunteers across a wide range of services.
In her spare time, Dee loves spending time with family and friends. When she gets the chance, her favourite activity is horse riding (she’s not sure the horses are so keen though!)
Dave has a background in financial services having worked 24 years for Lloyds Bank. Dave moved into the voluntary sector 13 years ago, to find a job that was better suited to his values and ethos, and has spent the last 9 years working in Voluntary Sector Infrastructure in Staffordshire. Dave brings a wide range of experience and learning into his new role at OneWalsall. Dave has local links to Walsall via his family, who come from Bloxwich, his son also undertook an apprenticeship through Walsall College. Dave enjoys walking, gardening on his allotment and ballroom dancing. He once came 2nd in a West Midlands ballroom dancing competition (it’s a shame there were only two entries!).
Health and Well-being Manager
Sarah’s first experience of the voluntary sector began whilst working as a partner within a local authority, before deciding that she loved it so much, she wanted to be a part of it herself! She developed a passion for health policy at University and maintains an active interest in all things NHS. Sarah has developed many specialisms that she now brings to Walsall, including commissioning and partnership working with the voluntary sector. Sarah is a self-confessed film nerd and podcast enthusiast!
Amy has worked in the voluntary and public sectors for over 11 years including five years as a development worker in east London, where she supported a range of community groups in Newham, and three years as a grants officer for Comic Relief working on the Women and Violence Grants Programme. Amy has taken a few years out of the sector to look after her son, who has just started school, giving her the opportunity to get back to helping groups to achieve their goals, which is what she loves. Outside of work, Amy loves doing anything creative and spending time with family and friends, especially eating out, which may be why she has also recently taken up running…
Colin has been working within the VCSE sector in Staffordshire since 2001 working on a variety of projects; IT, volunteering, community engagement and social enterprise. He has been a funding advisor since 2003 supporting groups on funding applications from £100 to £300,000. A qualified teacher he enjoys delivering training on topics such as business planning, starting an organization, funding applications, governance, legal structures etc.
Laitan has an MBA and a degree in Marketing and Business Law from Birmingham City University. Her working background and experience with funders makes her an ideal Funding Officer at One Walsall.
Her past roles were in the private and public sector, so she is new to the Voluntary sector but passionate and excited about making an impact within the organisation by adding a funder’s perspective to how we work at One Walsall.
Laitan belongs to 3 different book clubs, her favourite past time is listening to audiobooks while sitting at the sewing machine making dresses, coats, jackets and all sorts of clothing items.
Activity Lifestyle Community Connector
Angela first joined One Walsall as part of the Social Prescribing team as a Community Link Officer. Angela enjoyed this role as she was able to make positive differences within the local community and witness the transformation social prescribing has on individual lives.
Angela was sad to leave One Walsall when the project concluded in February 2020 but is so excited to be back in the voluntary sector and full of enthusiasm about her new role as an Activity Lifestyle Community Connector.
She loves walking in the park, reading, watching YouTube and dancing in the living room to her favourite songs.
Mossley BIG Local Programme Delivery Officer
Angela Virdee is the new ‘Mossley Big Local Coordinator’. She has a vast amount of experience within the voluntary sector. Predominantly her work has been around developing emotional and mental health projects for young people within the community, as well as community development work encouraging residents to take pride in the area they live in.
Whilst, at One Walsall she will broaden her horizon and develop her experience of building better communities. Her role will be to help and develop the residents of Mossley to become self-sustainable and resilient, most of all enhance community spirit.
She is friendly and approachable, enjoys horse riding, reading books and socialising.
Programme Delivery Officer - One Palfrey Big Local
Arfan has joined our team continuing his role as the Coordinator for One Palfrey Big Local. His passion for volunteering was the beginning of his career in the voluntary sector and also led to him having the honour of lunch at Buckingham Palace with Prince Charles. He draws upon the many challenges and successes over the past 8 years of volunteering and working with Big Local.
Arfan has worked in the youth, community and education sector for over 19 years mostly serving Walsall South in developing, empowering and reaching out to communities. He has worked for a number of organisations including Sure Start Palfrey and Walsall College. Whilst in full time employment he completed his Foundation Degree in Integrated Children & Young People Services in 2013 and then went on to complete his BA (Hons) in Childhood, Family and Education Studies in 2015. Arfan has a thirst for knowledge and understands the value of education.
Arfan is hard working, committed and puts his full energy in to all that he does. He is happily married and a father of two angels he absolutely adores. Arfan enjoys cycling, gardening, helping those in need and spending time with family and friends.
Development Team Support Officer
Julie is the Support officer to the Development Team at One Walsall, having originally worked in education for over 17 years, she has now worked in the voluntary sector for over four years.
She has volunteered for a number of charities including RoadPeace, Age UK and Cats Protection. She is a stickler for precise paperwork and making sure the work gets done!
Sarah has worked within education and the voluntary sector over the last twenty years working mainly with children with Special Educational Needs & Disability before moving on to start her own business. Having gained skills in website design and digital marketing during this period, Sarah has now joined the One Walsall Team as Communications Officer.
Sarah enjoys gardening, loves anything creative and is looking forward to getting back to paddleboarding in the summer.
Heather Brookes (Currently on Maternity leave)
Heather has worked in various roles in the voluntary community sector within Walsall and over the wider East and West Midlands regions. Her previous roles have included Project Support Worker, Project Support Officer, and Benefits Customer Services and Case Administrator. Heather has also actively supported organisations such as the Witness Service and Princes Trust through volunteering roles. Heather is really excited to be working within the voluntary sector again, particularly for an organisation with a mission to support a wide range of community organisations in Walsall.
Lucy is the Volunteer Centre Support Officer at One Walsall. She is passionate about working with the local community and local people.
She is excited to be working on a number of projects and to match as many prospective volunteers to voluntary roles within Walsall.
With a friendly personality, Lucy is enthusiastic about helping people and bringing communities together. Outside of work Lucy is the secretary of the Bloxwich Bonanza, she has held this position for the last five years.
She is a social butterfly and loves to plan events, both at work and at home.