Karen Loftus – Chief Executive

Karen joined CAN in May 2019 after many years working in senior leadership roles, most recently in the NHS as Engagement Lead across Dorset, and as a Practice Manager at a busy GP Surgery.

Before that, she worked as a Children’s Centres Manager in Poole, and for a national charity. She’s driven by making a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities.

Karen says: “I’m picking up the baton from two inspiring leaders who helped the previous organisations succeed. I see my role as working with our brilliant trustees and leading a motivated staff team, building CAN to fulfill our mission to empower the voluntary sector, enable volunteering and involve communities.”

Karen also sits on the BCP Health and Wellbeing Board and the Integrated Community Primary Care Service (ICPCS) Board on behalf of the local voluntary sector. She 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 the harbour, or on the river Stour in Christchurch.

To contact Karen please email [email protected]  or call 01202 466130

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

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

Dani Ford-Horne - Youth Development Worker

Dani works on our youth projects.  She started volunteering when she was 14 at her local youth group so understands how much young people get out of helping their community. 

Dani says: “The experiences that I had as a teenager helped shape my life choices and mission today and I hope I can give that back to the young people I work with and youth leaders I support."

As well as leading in the Young Volunteers’ project for CAN, she also leads our Voluntary and Community Youth Project, where she meets local youth leaders and offers training, networking and opportunities for partnership working.

When she’s not at work she is practising, or teaching yoga, surfing or spending time with friends.

To contact Dani please email [email protected] or call 01202 466130/07376 797021

Claire Gannon - Volunteer Coordinator for ‘A Good Life’

Claire joined CAN’s A Good Life Project, which tackles loneliness in older people, in April 2020. She has a long history of working with volunteers in various youth charity projects across the UK and Dorset including Dorset Youth Association and Worth Unlimited.

She enjoys the challenges and inspiration that come with this type of work and knows that volunteering is of enormous benefit to those who give their time and skills as well as those they help.

“I have seen how volunteering can initiate community action, provide good role models in the community and enable positive change. I believe in valuing our volunteers so that they are fully recognised for the important role they play and know how much of a difference they are making,” said Claire.

Claire moved to Dorset in 2017. She is learning many new DIY skills and is enjoying living within easy reach of some of the most beautiful beaches in Britain. Having done a film and drama degree in a previous life she still enjoys art and music.

 To contact Claire please email [email protected]  or call 07966 742902

Partnerships Manager - Vacant Position

Hannah Rees - Partnerships Development Worker 

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

Liz Cooper – Partnerships Development Worker 

Working alongside Hannah, Liz supports Voluntary Sector groups to identify needs in their communities and to find ways to meet these needs through forums and training events.

She works with Voluntary Sector Reps to enable them to represent the voice of the Voluntary Sector on a range of Boards.

Liz started at CAN in 2014, working in the community Jobs Hub project. With a background in Information, Advice and Guidance and community learning, she is interested in involving and empowering individuals and communities and seeing them grow and flourish.

 “I’m inspired by the people and the groups we work with – they’re amazing,” said Liz.

 She lives in Poole, enjoys family, friends, volunteering, being involved in a range of community activities and walks everywhere.

 To contact Liz please email [email protected] or call 07966 742935

 Kevin Eaton - Finance Officer

Kevin joined Poole Council for Voluntary Service in 2001, after running a successful retail business, and has held several roles supporting the organisation over the years.

After the merger of Bournemouth CVS and Poole CVS in April 2019, Kevin became CAN’s Finance Officer and now uses his extensive financial skills and experience to work with Trustees and the Chief Executive to ensure the financial viability of the organisation.

Kevin said: “I’ve worked in the voluntary sector for over 19 years and I’ve seen a lot of changes in that time. I’m committed to the new CAN vision and will do all I can to ensure we are a financially strong organisation going forward.”

Kevin lives in Poole with his wife and four house cats that rule the roost!

To contact Kevin please email [email protected] or call 01202 099480

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 St. Leonards 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