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Issued 22 May 2019
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.
Prior to joining ACT, Gareth worked in community development at Copeland Community Fund and in youth regeneration and development for Copeland Borough Council. Gareth says “I’m delighted to be working in West Cumbria alongside some old friends and new faces. As it’s my home turf, I know there are lots of great things going on, and I’m looking forward to helping groups and individuals do their part in making the west coast even better for visitors and for locals.”
Rose has headed to pastures new at the Lake District National Park Authority as Strategy & Partnership Adviser looking after the National Park’s Conservation Areas, however ACT are excited to announce she will be maintaining ties with ACT as our first Associate, with a focus on heritage management and the historic environment.
Katie is championing community-led housing and assisting Copeland Borough Council with the challenge of reducing empty homes in Copeland, alongside overseeing some key environmental projects. Katie has a background in environmental conservation and rural research, having previously worked at West Cumbria Rivers Trust, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and at the University of Worcester. Katie enthuses “I’m keen to get stuck in supporting communities to take on affordable housing projects for themselves; the likes of the Joseph & Eleanor Gunson Almshouses Trust and Distington Big Local are prime examples of how the seemingly mission impossible can become possible, and quite literally transforms lives.”
Lorrainne Smyth, Chief Executive at ACT since 2012, adds “We are really pleased to have recruited people of the calibre and experience that Gareth and Katie bring to our team. Our business is all about people and relationships, so getting the right people is vital. Gareth and Katie bring an innate understanding of our community development approach as well as their skills and the increased capacity to provide additional services in the west of the county.”
ACT is the community development organisation and Rural Community Council for Cumbria. ACT champions community and rural issues; and supports communities to plan for their future, develop projects, work with others, and influence and change policy. ACT’s work focuses on helping people and communities achieve their aspirations; ACT provide practical advice and support and deliver training. Through a variety of partnerships ACT are also able to represent the interests of communities locally, regionally, and nationally.
Picture: Gareth Douglas-Brown and Katie Milburn
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