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.
Lorrainne Smyth - Chief Executive
Dani Hall - Office & Finance Manager
Dani joined ACT in 2005 after relocating from Yorkshire where she worked as PA to Chief Executive of a group of international companies. She provides PA support to the Chief Executive and is the public voice of ACT. Dani is also responsible for the smooth running of the offices, finances and support services to the ACT team and all those who call us with enquiries.
Hellen Aitken - Development Officer and Lead Advisor for Village
Hellen joined ACT in 2006 and has worked on many different projects throughout her time with the charity. As Lead Village Hall Advisor, she provides specialist information and advice to village and community hall committees across Cumbria. As a Development Officer Hellen also supports communities with a range of other initiatives, including Community Led Planning, Community Resilience, and Emergency Planning.
Prior to joining ACT Hellen worked in hospitality, event planning, and established and led a programme for the Princes Trust in West Cumbria, mentoring and facilitating learning for young people.
Fran Richardson - Development Officer and Lead Advisor on Community Voice and Housing
Fran joined the ACT team in 2015 as Development Officer. She now supports the work of groups involved in Community Led Planning and, as an accredited Community Led Housing Adviser, is our lead contact on housing.
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.
Jozi Brown - Development Officer - Resilience & Rural Well Being and Lead Officer for Cumberland
Jozi joined the ACT team in June 2022 as a development officer for neighbourliness and rural wellbeing, exploring and establishing ways that we can nurture local communities, new and existing, to build ‘social capital’ - helping communities to help themselves.
Throughout her working life, she’s worked within the third sector in roles supporting health, wellbeing and community support, primarily in infrastructure and facilitating partnership working between sectors. Jozi has a particular interest in public engagement and social justice.