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!).
Sarah’s first experience of the voluntary sector began whilst working within a local authority, before deciding that she wanted to be a part of it herself. She took the role of Development Officer in 2014 within a voluntary sector support organisation in Staffordshire. Since then, Sarah has developed many specialisms that she now brings to Walsall, including consortia and partnership working. Sarah also has personal links to Walsall, as her father’s family originated from Bloxwich. She is passionate about supporting local organisations to access new opportunities and become the best they possibly can.
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 (not sure if practice is the right word) 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.
During her first year at One Walsall Katerina has completed her Business apprenticeship and is now moving on to business management, she is planning to forge a long term career working with communities and local charities. Opting to complete an apprenticeship offers her an opportunity to gain hands on learning with experienced colleagues and play an important role in a small organisation, while gaining a valuable qualification. She has worked in various sectors including promotional work and was instrumental in a friend’s business start-up. Her upbeat, friendly approach and empathetic nature are a great asset to One Walsall, she enjoys meeting new people and guiding them to opportunities that will best suit their needs. As a Walsall resident, Kat is keen to help support more local people to get involved in their community in a positive way. She is very family orientated, has a flair for cooking and baking and is a self-professed ‘people feeder’.