About us Our staff Our staff Karen Loftus - Chief Executive Karen joined CAN in May 2019. She has worked in both the voluntary and public sector over the past 20 years, and held senior positions in local and national charities, including NHS Dorset HealthCare University Foundation Trust, NHS primary care, and what was The Borough of Poole in Children’s Centres. Karen says: ’It’s a joy to be Chief Executive of such a brilliant charity with a committed board of trustees and a motivated staff team, developing CAN to fulfil our mission to EMPOWER the voluntary sector, ENABLE volunteering and CONNECT communities.” She also sits on the BCP Health and Wellbeing Board, the Dorset Integrated Care Partnership Board, and is the South West representative on the national VCS Emergencies Partnership. Karen lives in Poole and in her spare time has a passion for interior design and socialising with friends and family. You may also see her on her kayak in Poole harbour, or navigating the river Stour in Christchurch. Twitter @karenloftus287 To contact Karen please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 Rachel Trickey - Transformation Lead for Dorset Wellbeing Offer xRachel joined CAN in August 2022 after working in the public sector for the past 28 years. She started her career in education and most recently worked in children’s services at Dorset Council, taking on several roles during her time there. Rachel says, ‘I have a passion for health and wellbeing as well as developing and implementing projects so am very excited about working at CAN, alongside partners. Imagining what is possible and seeing the impact that can be achieved for wellbeing across Dorset.’ Rachel lives in Wimborne and in her spare time you will often see her with a coffee in her hand, chatting with friends and family at various cafes or browsing in the shops! She has a passion for art, reading, health and listening to a podcast or two! To contact Rachel please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 Amy Leyland - Office Manager and Executive Assistant Amy joined CAN in December 2019 as the new Office Manager and Executive Assistant. She previously worked in the legal sector as a personal injury lawyer. She spent the majority of 2019 travelling on a belated gap year. Amy says: “I enjoy a challenge and a good puzzle, so starting a new role and discovering the potential of what I can bring to the organisation is very exciting. I also feel very privileged to work with such a wonderful team who have welcomed me with open arms.” She lives in Bournemouth and in her spare time, she is a rugby fan having played in her youth, enjoys dancing and is usually planning her next holiday or adventure. You may see her walking her beloved family dog Max in the New Forest or scuba diving off Swanage Pier. To contact Amy please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 Monica Bonomo- Office Coordinator Monica joined CAN in January 2023 after coming back from her travels. She has an Arts background focused on raising environmental awareness. While living in Costa Rica she volunteered at Punta Mona Centre for Regenerative Design and Botanical Studies. There she experienced living in a community based on care practices (self-care, people-care, and earth-care), “I could see how people flourished in this environment through feeling supported and cared for. I believe in a culture based on support, collaboration, wellbeing, love, and kindness. I am very excited to join the CAN team.” Monica lives in Southbourne, and you might see her exploring green spaces and planning new art projects. To contact Monica please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 Rachel Pascoe - Office Coordinator Rachel joined CAN in February 2022 after working in the hospitality sector in the UK and Canada. Rachel says: "I am really excited to be joining the voluntary sector and to have the opportunity to be a part of the inspiring work that CAN do. I'm thrilled to be involved in the local community and can't wait to see how CAN continues to grow." In her spare time, she is kept busy studying part time for a degree in Criminology and Law. When she gets chance she loves hiking and exploring new places and is a keen amateur baker. To contact Rachel please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 Rassu Rana - Management Accountant Rassu worked as an accountant for retail and finance companies before moving into the charity sector. Rassu says, “I am very humbled and excited to be a part of a team, who are so dedicated to empowering the community to bring positive changes. I am looking forward to working with our CEO Karen Loftus as well as CAN's trustees to effectively manage the charity's resources”. In her spare time, Rassu enjoys hiking, gardening, spending time with her family and volunteers for a community group supporting women and children. To contact Rassu please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 EMPOWER the voluntary sector team Steve Place - Senior Advisor Steve advises new and existing voluntary and community groups. He helps with constitutions, charity set up and law, policies, procedures and how to stay legal. He can also review how your organisation operates and suggest how you can be more efficient, effective and sustainable. He has worked in, and with, the sector most of his adult life (over 40 years now!), in small local charities and a small national one. He has been the Senior Manager and CEO of voluntary/community organisations and a community worker in mostly inner-city areas. He has been a trustee of various charities and is currently the treasurer of a small childcare charity. Steve says: “I have a passion for the voluntary and community sector believing it’s how people can make a real difference, especially to their local area. I hope my experience will help groups transform lives.” To contact Steve please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130/ 07966 742933 Louise Stewart - Funding Advisor . Louise is a qualified Funding Advisor and has worked in both the voluntary and public sector for over 20 years. She has also worked as a fundraiser for charitable organisations and for funders, including the Architectural Heritage Fund. Louise says "I am very excited to be joining CAN and such an experienced team. I look forward to working with organisations in Dorset, supporting them to develop fundraising and income strategies to help strengthen their work, making a difference in local communities" Louise lives in Weymouth and enjoys sea swimming, paddleboarding, cycling and gardening. To contact Louise please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130/ 07821 663476 CAN Dorset Avril Atkins - VCS Development Lead Avril joined CAN in March 2022 as the VCS Development Lead (Dorset). She has worked in private, public and voluntary organisations, concentrating, over the last 6 years, specifically on the voluntary and charitable sectors where she felt she could make a real difference to people's lives. During this time, she has held positions in local and national charities including: St Mungos, Gingerbread and West Howe Community Enterprises, covering a wide geographic spread including: London, Bristol, Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire, Essex, Kent and Dorset. Avril says, "I am really excited to be working on this new project with such a professional team, in a recognised, highly respected charity." Avril moved to Poole in February 2020 and in her spare time enjoys renovating her new home, gardening, walking, cycling and enjoying everything the beautiful Dorset area has to offer. To contact Avril please email [email protected] or call 07840854181 Chris Small - Training and Support Administrator Chris joined CAN in March 2022. He has worked in the charity sector since graduating in 2004. Chris has experience as a front-line support worker and senior manager working with vulnerable adults and young people. Prior to CAN, Chris was a Director of a University Students' Union. Chris says ”I have worked closely with CAN throughout my career, especially in relation to supporting volunteering in the community, and I am delighted to now be part of the team." In addition to his part-time role with CAN, Chris undertook a change of career in 2021 becoming a professional artist. He enjoys portraiture and has provided artwork to a range of professional boxers, including a number of world champions. Chris lives in Bournemouth and enjoys movies and spending time with his family. To contact Chris please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 ENABLE volunteering team Amy Collins - Volunteering Development Lead Amy started working for CAN in October 2010 having originally come from a corporate background. Her role and responsibilities within CAN have changed extensively over this time developing from a part-time temporary admin assistant to now managing the Volunteering Hub for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. She finds the voluntary and community sector is so rewarding as every day you know you are making a positive impact on the local community. Amy says: “Volunteering can have a huge impact on people’s lives, helping them to build their confidence, gain valuable skills and giving them a true sense of purpose. Through my role, I help individuals find the right volunteer opportunity, as well as ensuring that the charity they volunteer for are fully supported and follow good practice.” In her spare time, Amy volunteers for several different local charities. If she can’t be found bucket collecting or marshalling, you may see her out paddleboarding, though she hasn’t yet mastered the knack of standing up! To contact Amy please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130/07971 182166 Liz Soffe - Volunteer Coordinator Liz has always had a passion for helping people and making them feel welcome. This has led her to work in Customer Service roles for most of her working life. When she was made redundant, it left her feeling a little lost, so she decided to volunteer at a surgery that was administering COVID vaccinations. This really helped her feel a sense of worth and purpose. Liz says: "It was great to be part of a team of people making such a difference in this difficult period of our lives. This led me to CAN and the amazing work they do for the community. I feel fortunate to be working with such lovely, enthusiastic, and dedicated staff and volunteers." When Liz is not working, she loves spending time with her family, doing things together. Her dad is really handy, and Italian, so not only does he make amazing food but is also a dab hand at helping Liz with her interior design projects at home. To contact Liz please email [email protected] or call 07966 742935 Michelle Holland - Administrative Officer Michelle joined CAN in June 2022 after nearly 25 years working in various local authority communications and tourism roles. Working with staff and volunteers at CAN on a short-term project to help overcome vaccine hesitancy, Michelle also works part-time for a local charity. Michelle says, "It's amazing to see the passion and dedication of volunteers and charities in action, delivering huge benefits to local communities on the ground. Working with volunteers you get to see the impact of what they do which is incredibly rewarding and a huge privilege." Michelle’s spare time is taken up making the most of the glorious natural environment and attempting - in stages - to walk the South West Coastal Path. To contact Michelle please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 CONNECT communities team Emma Lee - Partnerships Manager Emma joined CAN in September 2020 with 10 years’ experience within the charity sector. Most recently with Citizens Advice BCP where she has been providing advice and guidance to those most in need and ensuring the organisation worked in partnership with statutory and voluntary organisations to benefit the community. Emma says: “I am passionate about the work and impact the charity sector has both on the communities it works with directly and the wider impact it can have by ensuring peoples voices are heard.” Emma is keen to ensure CAN has a significant impact on the causes, projects and organisations they work with and strives to make things better. In her spare time Emma enjoys being with her family, usually exploring the countryside. To contact Emma please email [email protected] or call 07971 759189 Hannah Rees - Engagement Lead After a rewarding career in teaching, Hannah moved to the voluntary sector and began working with CAN in 2016. Her role has adapted over the past few years and she is now delighted to be working closely with local voluntary and community sector groups, facilitating networking opportunities, helping to identify gaps and supporting development to meet the needs of our communities. Hannah says: “Leaving teaching was a tough decision but working in the voluntary sector has helped me feel I still have the opportunity to make a difference, for which I am very grateful.” In her spare time, Hannah enjoys walking her beloved dog in the beautiful area around Christchurch and Southbourne. She loves spending time with family and friends, going to the theatre and live music. She is passionate about animals, the environment and travelling, taking every opportunity to sample delicious food from around the world! To contact Hannah please email [email protected] or call 07966 742900 Marina Baker - Membership Development Lead Marina joined CAN in August 2022 in the newly created Membership Development Lead role. Following a successful career in the UK’s leading Outplacement company, for the past 8 years she has greatly enjoyed working with and developing relationships with charities, local community partners, trustees and volunteers, working on Community projects and supporting charities and organisations to fulfil their purpose. “I feel passionately about the voluntary sector. It is the beating heart of our communities and makes the world a better place. It makes an essential, invaluable difference to the lives of so many in Dorset, building connection, community and purpose and supporting peoples’ health and wellbeing as has been highlighted during these challenging times. My experience as a Health & Wellbeing Coach supporting people through times of change means I know how precious this is and how it changes lives for the better. Working together and supporting each other we can achieve so much to enable and empower and connect people and that is what joining CAN is all about. And it is free to join!” Marina loves being outdoors, walking by the sea or hiking in the mountains, exploring ideas and places near and far, live music and theatre and socialising with friends and family and volunteering. To contact Marina please email [email protected] or call 07840 854182 Andy Robertson - Project Officer Andy previously worked for CAN in June 2021 on the Health Equality Partnership as a Project Officer, this was a 6 month project to gather community insights through a health research and engagement program. He will be working on a short term "follow up" project revisiting groups who support individuals with severe mental illness in collaboration with the physical health check initiative. Andy says "I am glad to be back working for CAN who are such a lovely team, I am also looking forward to be involved in this role again as I have a passion for engaging with individuals from different backgrounds and ultimately making a difference in peoples lives and the community" In his spare time, he enjoys meditating, playing football, learning new skills and knowledge particularly around wellbeing and natural health. On the weekend he likes to get outdoors whenever possible, exploring new places, going for long walks and hikes in nature. To contact Andy please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 Sarah Jane Woods - Wellbeing Collaborative Lead SJ started working for CAN in February 2021. She leads the Wellbeing Collaborative, which is a new CAN service commissioned by Adult Social Care, based on the finding of the Home First VCSE Research Project and other research projects that CAN has been involved in. SJ says "It is a true pleasure to work in such an inspiring and kind organisation as CAN. We are creating a new integrated service with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to make a real difference to people's wellbeing; empowering them to connect to vibrant and flourishing community services." In her spare time, SJ volunteers for Hospital Radio Bedside. She has lived and worked in Dorset all her life and can be found paddling in the sea or rambling in her local woods. She enjoys simplicity, a good conversation, a great story and listening to music. To contact SJ please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130 Nazia Islam - Wellbeing Collaborative Marketing and Administration Officer Nazia joined CAN in March 2022 after recently working in the Higher Education Sector. Prior to that, Nazia has extensive experience in sectors such as working in the retail industry to administrative and analytical work for independent taxi businesses. Having completing her MA in 2020, she also holds a passion for academic research in Intersectionality Studies with a focus on empowering voices for Women of Colour. Nazia says "I'm so honoured to be able to work for an uplifting and empowering organisation, that amplifies a wide range of communities and individuals voices with a platform to strive. I'm so excited to be part of the Wellbeing Collaborative Service and to see it thrive and flourish with it's wonderful cause." In her spare time, Nazia loves reading different genres of books, staying up late (just about!) watching her favourite K-Drama series and winding down with a good cup of tea with her family and friends. To contact Nazia please email [email protected] Kelly Hewitt - Wellbeing Collaborative Pathway Co-ordinator Kelly started working for CAN in March 2022. Since graduating University in 2018, she has dedicated her time to working with a diverse range of vulnerable client groups amidst community settings, through NHS and Adult Social Care roles, including as an adviser in a local carer support organisation. Kelly is passionate about the role of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in providing high-quality and accessible support which enables all individuals to feel empowered in seeking home support. Kelly says: "I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with Community Action Network (CAN) as a Pathway Coordinator in a brand-new service, as it will allow me to utilise my creativity and expertise to create a new single point of access which becomes integral in minimising the risk in hospital re-admission." Kelly has lived in Dorset throughout her life and enjoys exploring the local area with her Cocker Spaniel, Crumble. Where possible, she loves travelling to new countries with her friends. To contact Kelly please email [email protected] Gareth Dunning - Wellbeing Collaborative Pathway Co-ordinator Gareth joined CAN in March 2022. Nearly all of his employment has been in people-focused roles, starting in the hospitality industry. Wanting to utilise his skills in other ways saw him move to housing support services working with people who found themselves homeless or at risk of homelessness. This saw Gareth working closely with individuals and families providing advice, guidance and practical support to improve their situation. More recently he has been working in education, supporting the teaching and learning of key stage 1 and 2 children, including working for several years as one to one with children who have special educational needs. Gareth says: "I am really looking forward to being part of the work CAN does to empower individuals, groups and communities. I have a real passion for supporting people and seeing them thrive and grow to reach their potential so I am excited to be part of a team that is dedicated to seeing this happen." Gareth lives in Bournemouth. In his spare time; he has recently taken up running but prefer getting out for walks and exploring both locally and further afield, especially if it involves history such as castles or museums. To contact Gareth please email [email protected] Lucy Bradley - Wellbeing Collaborative Pathway Co-ordinator Lucy joined CAN in May 2022. Prior to this she had been a Social Worker for the past ten years working across the Local Authorities in the region, within Adult Social Care. Lucy has worked with Adult Locality teams, Continuing Healthcare, Preparing for Adulthood and most recently in the Integrated Learning Disability Service. Lucy says: “I am looking forward to getting stuck into the challenge of working in the voluntary sector. I am keen to advocate for vulnerable adults in our area, to try to achieve better outcomes and support for them. I am excited to be part of CAN where creativity and autonomy are encouraged.” Lucy has grown up in the local area and still lives in Bournemouth, she spends her spare time experimenting with plant-based recipes in the kitchen and trying her hand at DIY projects in her new home. Lucy can often be seen taking her two cats out for walks or even for weekends away in the local and surrounding area! Lucy’s pronouns are she / her. To contact Lucy please email [email protected] Abi Squires - Wellbeing Collaborative Volunteer Co-ordinator Abi joined CAN in March 2022 as Volunteer Coordinator after having worked in various roles in youth charities since graduating in Psychology at university. Abi says: “I am thrilled to be joining CAN and the Wellbeing Collaborative as Volunteer Coordinator and to help make volunteering more accessible, empowering, and exciting for the local community in this project. Having volunteered many times myself, I know the value in being a volunteer, as well as the incredible skills you can develop and experiences you can have. I hope to be able to bring this into the new voluntary roles within the Wellbeing Collaborative.” In her spare time, Abi enjoys Pilates, long walks in the forest with friends and family and spending time with her new Siamese kitten, Nala. She also loves to cook and find new recipes to bake for her family. To contact Abi please email [email protected] Our team supporting the Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Nigel Rodgers - Recruitment and Deployment Officer Nigel worked in the NHS for 34 years, the last 25 years as Head of IT for Dorset HealthCare. He is also currently a Governor at Dorset HealthCare. In his spare time whilst working, he was Chair of the Dorset Branch of the British Computer Society and Treasurer of the SW Region of the Institute of HealthCare Management in addition to being an intermediate Canoe and Kayak instructor for the local Guides and Poole Harbour Canoe Club. Since retiring from the NHS in 2016, he has volunteered extensively with the Maritime Volunteer Service, becoming both a powerboat instructor and a commercially qualified advanced powerboat driver. Nigel enjoys being outdoors in all weathers, including as a volunteer at the BIC, driving golf buggies, and Nordic Walking. To contact Nigel please email [email protected] or call 01202 099474 Gordon Ferguson - Senior Volunteer Coordinator Gordon is at a point in his life when he can choose how to spend his time – he started with CAN volunteering at the vaccination programme at the BIC. Having left behind a full-on career in the hotel industry (he once oversaw four weddings in a single day) he enjoys putting his people skills to more charitable purposes. Previously he’s done a three-legged walk, played an ugly sister and even walked two marathons in two days to raise funds. He now fills his spare time with theatre, historic houses, cathedrals, coastal walks and family. To contact Gordon please email [email protected] .Debbie Braddock - Senior Volunteer Coordinator Debbie joined CAN in April 2022. She says: "Having taken the opportunity for voluntary redundancy in Nov 2020 I came across a Facebook request for volunteers for the new vaccination centre opening at the BIC. I was delighted to join, along with over 2000 others, and started back in Jan 2021. I have met and worked with some wonderful people who are now great friends and have enjoyed all roles as a volunteer, most especially the buggy driving! Since the start I have been immersed in the vaccination programme, working for the NHS and local GPs and am delighted to now be a part of the CAN team here at KPU." Outside of work, Debbie has been learning new DIY skills and is now quite competent with a variety of power tools! She also enjoys family time and a good Jack Reacher novel in the sunshine. To contact Debbie please email [email protected].