Lorrainne was appointed as Chief Executive in 2012. Prior to this she worked as Strategic Policy Advisor Community Programmes and Performance Manager at Cumbria County Council where she advised on community engagement and inclusion. Lorrainne's background is in community development, specialising in rural communities. Between 1993 and 2007 she worked at ACT as the Development Team Manager taking responsibility for a variety of projects. She has worked extensively with parish councils, village halls, graduate apprentices and undertaken project development and delivery with communities throughout Cumbria. Lorrainne has also held management positions in private sector training and development companies, local authorities and Third Sector organisations placing emphasis on shared learning and the development process.
Julia joined ACT in 2002 and is the Development Manager. She works part-time for ACT developing new project ideas and identifying funding opportunities.
Previous roles for ACT have included development work with communities in the south of the county and project management. Julia has 20 years experience in the voluntary sector and has worked for the Wildlife Trusts, Cumbria CVS and Brathay Trust.
Hellen joined ACT in 2006. In her role as Development Officer she focuses on the North of the county, supporting communities with Community Led Planning, Village Halls advice, Community Resilience, Emergency Planning and other initiatives.
Prior to joining ACT Hellen established and led a programme for the Princes Trust in West Cumbria, mentoring and facilitating learning for young people.
Fran joined the ACT team in 2015 and is Development Officer working with communities in the south of the county. She supports the work of groups involved in Community Led Planning and offers advice to Village Halls on a range of practical and governance issues.
Fran has over fifteen years previous experience working for a national charity in which she created, funded and managed opportunities to engage volunteers in practical environmental work and training. She has a particular interest in sustainable living and social equity, including community led development, locally-owned renewable energy production and making sure that communities work to meet the needs of those who require support.
Dani joined ACT in 2005 after relocating from Yorkshire where she worked as PA to Chief Executive of a group of international companies. As well as administering the Cumbria Rural Panel, Rebuilding Together and the Community Resilience Network she also provides PA support to the Chief Executive, organises ACT's events and conferences, and is currently mentor for our Business Administration Apprentice. Dani is the public voice of ACT. She is responsible for the smooth running of the offices, finances and support services to the ACT team and all those who call us with enquiries.
Gareth recently facilitated a project for the National Institute of Health Research, training local residents as community research assistants, then supporting them to provide feedback to local and national stakeholders. Gareth has a particular interest in working with young people and community groups on inter-generational projects.
Katie was also a Research Assistant at the Centre for Rural Research (based at the University of Worcester) investigating a broad range of issues from recreational use of protected landscapes to the wider impacts of polytunnel agriculture.
ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) are delighted to welcome Gareth Douglas-Brown and Katie Milburn to their growing team as two new Development Officers, this takes the small - but perfectly formed - team size to seven members of staff. Gareth has taken on his home patch of West Cumbria and will continue the fantastic work delivered by his predecessor Rose Lord.
The Lakeland Canoe Club are based in Kendal and has been in existence for sixty-seven years they have fifty-two members from around the South Lakes who regularly paddle with them. Over the past five years they have become much more active in river and sea kayaking, having held club events on 153 days during 2018. Membership is being built slowly through an inclusive calendar of events.
In response to demand from prospective members they were successful in a grant bid to us (ACT) for Cumbria’s pilot Sport England’s Lace Up Project. This funding will provide a facility for those in rural communities to become more active in sport. Lakeland Canoe Club has purchased four new river kayak, paddles, spray decks, helmets and buoyancy aids as part of their 'Be Inspired, Kayaking For All’ project.
As the rural and community charity for Cumbria, ACTion with Communities in Cumbria (ACT) supports the recent national call for a rural strategy.
The Rural Economy inquiry report was published on 27 April, in it the Committee have called for a comprehensive national-level rural economic strategy, to be delivered locally via communities, councils and businesses.
ACRE Village Hall Improvement Grant Fund is now live - The Autumn 2018 budget announced that, to mark the centenary of the Armistice, government would support several initiatives, including making available £3m grant funding to support improvement projects for village halls.
Registered in England as Voluntary Action Cumbria. Charity Number: 1080875
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