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.
Alex draws on ten years’ experience of work with the voluntary and community sector in the West Midlands. Working at a national and local level within funding bodies, local authorities and local charities, Alex has developed experience in infrastructure support, evidencing the impact of the sector and expertise in funding. Alex has spent the last four years working in Walsall and was appointed CEO of One Walsall following roles within Walsall Council and a local charity. Alex’s link to Walsall’s voluntary sector stretches back to the Victorian era when his ancestor and philanthropist Henry Boys built the Alms Houses on Wednesbury Road. However, Alex maintains he’s yet to identify any inheritance from this successful local businessman.
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!
Gerald has worked in the voluntary and public sectors for over 25 years including several years as a development worker in various parts of Birmingham, where he supported a range of community groups across the city. He has also served as Chief Officer to two regional Charities, one that focussed on tackling unemployment and another which focused on improving Equality & Diversity policy and practice in the West Midlands.
Gerald’s most recent role was as Training & Development Support Officer with the Church of England Birmingham where he was a member of a small team that supported all areas of training for the Diocese.
Gerald is an avid supporter of Arsenal FC. He loves sport in general, writes poetry and is passionate about working with people in various ways to improve their lives.
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.
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.
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!
Annika is enthusiastic about being involved with the voluntary sector. Previously she has worked as a Family Support Worker in a children's centre, a Children & Family Support Worker within a women's refuge and has volunteered on a rape and sexual violence helpline. In recent years, she has studied BA (Hons) Creative and Professional Writing, and has used her literary skills to produce workshops, and write and publish books and blogs. She's pretty savvy when it comes to social media and she's excited to be able to share her skills within the One Walsall team, but also within the voluntary sector. Annika is a foodie, a bookworm and a fan of museums.
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 new to the Voluntary Sector, with One Walsall being the first position in the Sector. She has previously experience in retail but after joining and becoming the Secretary of her local Carnival Committee, Lucy wanted to explore the voluntary sector. She enjoys being her role in the committee and has developed skills that are useful in her position as Admin Assistant.
Lucy is passionate about working with the community and local people. She is family-orientated and friendly, and is enthusiastic about helping people and bringing communities together, especially in the Bloxwich and Walsall area. Lucy is planning to build up her career in the Sector and to gain skills and experience for the future. She is a social butterfly and loves to plan events, both at work and at home.
Georgina has volunteered, studied and worked within the voluntary sector for 20 years, ranging from roles as a community centre treasure to a project coordinator for a national charity. She is passionate about issues relating to informal caring and inclusive practice for children, young people and adults with an additional need or disability. With her spare time she enjoys watching and taking part in a range of sport and fitness activities. She is keen to engage as many budding volunteers in as many opportunities that Walsall has to offer its community.
Volunteer Recognition Scheme Coordinator
Dan left school at 16 to do electrical apprenticeship with brewers M&B. He studied at the University of Wolverhampton as a mature student, graduating with LLB (Hons). Dan spent 12 years in community development with Sandwell Public Health. He's also developed and delivered Time2Trade (A Time Bank) for Sandwell Public Health. Dan has extensive experience in the voluntary sector, including board-level experience of local and national charities, having spent 9 yrs on the Board of Time Banks UK. Dan has been a Generalist Advisor for Sandwell CAB in a voluntary capacity. He is incredibly proud of his daughter who works as a freelance journalist. In his spare time, Dan enjoys swimming, cycling and riding his classic Ducati.
Community Link Officer
Angela has a background in telecommunication having worked for Virgin Media as a Customer Coaching Manager for 5 years. After the position was made redundant, she desired a more meaningful career where she could empower and transform individual lives. Angela believes everyone deserves the same opportunities in life, regardless of their socioeconomic background. She volunteered for a charity where she provided emotional and practical support to children and families, whilst volunteering she studied and graduated with a BA Hon Social Care and Social Policy. After graduating, she worked at Walsall College as a Learning Mentor where she supported students with learning difficulties. She is enthusiastic about working in the voluntary sector and intends to bring some of her fun energetic personality into the role.
Community Link Officer
Minaz has almost five years experience in the voluntary sector, as well as volunteered for Citizens Advice Bureau for two years. She has worked as a Work & Enterprise Advisor Support & Social Connector for Age UK, as well as recently completing an apprenticeship in Business Administration, Diploma in Customer Service and Level 3 Community Interpreting. Minaz was born and raised in Walsall, and is passionate about working with people to improve their lives as best as they can. She enjoys going for walks, although admittedly the only steps she takes now are up the stairs at One Walsall.
Community Link Officer
Suki has a background in IT for 12 years before being made redundant. She became a volunteer for a local charity, which led to a complete career change. Suki was based in a Children's Centre, working as a Maternity Support and Outreach Worker for 9 years. She has experience in empowering young families, promoting start in life, befriending, and health and well-being support, including nutrition advice. Alongside her work, Suki studied for and attained A Levels in Health Professions at Walsall College. In her spare time she enjoys fitness activities and is passionate about food and nutrition.
Community Link Officer
Summer recently completed an undergraduate degree in Health, Community and Social Care, which has allowed her to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of the voluntary sector, working with individuals in the community, and various health and social care issues that individuals may face. She has experience of volunteering as well as working in retail, both of which provided her with further opportunities to interact with people with diverse backgrounds. During her time volunteering, Summer worked directly with people with substance misuse problems, within a voluntary organisation and enjoyed supporting them with their journeys to recovery. Overall, Summer is passionate, and enjoys helping and empowering people in the community.