Our team has a wealth of experience of working in the voluntary sector and are committed to promoting strong and sustainable communities.
Katherine Nolan, Manager
Katherine joined the charity in September 2015 and has worked in the voluntary and public sector for many years, specialising in communications and development. She has worked for a range of causes including learning disability and social care before becoming Head of Communications for a national education charity. Over the years she has also been Trustee of numerous charities, Chair of the local Pre-School and Editor of the parish newsletter.
Sharon Blyth, Voluntary Sector Adviser (Mendip)
Sharon has lived in the Mendip area for the last 15 years, working in local communities for both statutory organisations and local charities and community groups. She has helped groups to start up, establish themselves and gain funding towards anything from a weekly table tennis club to befriending schemes, play parks and community radio. In partnership with agencies including schools, job centres, the NHS and a whole range of smaller organisations such as dance collectives and forest schools, she has been involved in seeing new opportunities created and communities change for the better.
Jemma Coles, Funding Adviser and Voluntary Sector Adviser (Sedgemoor)
Jemma is an experienced Project and Development Manager, her background includes everything from singing with babies, to community kitchens, to demolishing and rebuilding historic buildings! Her employment history spans corporate, third sector, NHS, and civil service. Jemma event-managed our successful Sedgemoor Funding Den. She supported the shortlisted groups with their applications for funding from the Big Lottery, and 10 groups went on to receive a total of £73,000 in grants.
Susi Calder, Volunteer Development Manager and Voluntary Sector Adviser (South Somerset)
Susi has worked with, and helped hundreds of small organisations across the Voluntary and Private Sectors for nearly 20 years. She has worked for national charities, covering the South West, as well as more local organisations in Dorset and Somerset. She is an experienced troubleshooter, jargon translator, problem solver, volunteer manager, and trainer. Susi is a life-long volunteer, supporting peer education, reading in schools, and has previously been a school governor. She supports a local Obstacle Course Race by recruiting and managing their marshals for race days. She also runs her own troubleshooting consultancy for small businesses.
Leonie Girling, Volunteer Coordinator
Leonie has been the Volunteering Officer here since 2006. Her role has developed greatly but volunteer support; matching volunteers to the many fantastic volunteering opportunities available has always been at the heart of it. Prior to joining the charity, she worked in the Private Sector in customer service roles - using her French language skills in an export company and started her career in the banking sector. She has also held several voluntary positions in her local community, including secretary for a pre-school committee.
Helen Fielden, Volunteer Frome Coordinator
Helen looks coordinates the Volunteer Frome service, promoting the wide range of volunteering opportunities in Frome and encouraging people to get involved! She will also have a specific focus on engaging local young people in volunteering and social action. She has lots of experience of working with young people as volunteers, from training them as mystery shoppers to assess sexual health services, to campaigning to improve service delivery in a local authority. She has worked in both the voluntary and public sector, and is accustomed to working in close partnership with a range of different organisations and individuals. Helen has lived in Frome for several years, she's an active member of the community, and currently involved in a women’s cycling group, Samba band, and various local charities.
Denise Timmins, DBS Officer
Denise has been working for almost 7 years in the voluntary sector and has had experience of working in several of the different areas of support that we offer here at Spark. For the last 6 years she has managed our DBS Service. As well as processing DBS applications she can give advice, guidance and workshops on the process. We don’t call her the DBS guru for nothing!
Vicki Vincent, Community Accountant
Since completing the AAT Level 4 Qualification in 2012, Vicki has been running her own Accountancy Practice. In 2014 she delivered a series of workshops to the creative and not for profit sector, with the aim of making accountancy advice more affordable and accessible. She joined the team in May 2017 and now runs our Community Accountancy Service for voluntary organisations and community groups.
Matt Day, Health & Wellbeing Partnerships Lead
As part of our Health and Wellbeing work, Matt is working for Spark as a consultant, developing a Wellbeing Partnership in Yeovil as well as supporting existing partnerships in Wincanton and South Petherton. He developed and now manages Wellbeing South Somerset, an online directory of support in South Somerset. He has worked in community development in Somerset for many years, for a Local Authority and as coordinator of Somerset Towns Forum, a network for town regeneration groups. In his spare time, Matt is a member of the Taunton Area Cycling Campaign.
Vicky Sullivan, Community Ambassador Coordinator
Vicky will develop and coordinate our Community Ambassador Network. Community Ambassadors are community-minded volunteers who have a passion to improve health and social care provision locally, and who enable people to feed back their experiences. They help us connect to a wide range of people and groups to ensure their voices are heard. Vicky has worked with community development and health-related projects in Somerset previously, and is also a volunteer health walk leader. She is currently studying an MSc in Nutrition, Physical Activity and Public Health at the University of Bristol.
Alison Baker, Spark Training Coordinator
Alison set up and now coordinates Spark Training, a programme of quality, affordable training for the Voluntary Sector. Alison previously worked in Local Government for 23 years where she was senior manager of Sports and Leisure departments. She also runs her own Coaching and Training company.
Kerry Wills, Communications Coordinator
Since studying Media and Culture at Solent University, Kerry has worked in admin for several years, first with a local publishing company, then within the head office of a national retailer. She joined the team in 2015 and really enjoys her role with Spark as it’s incredibly varied. As well as looking after the day to day administration, she helps coordinate the volunteer service, looks after the social media, newsletters and helps arrange our forums, training and events.
Bethan Crisfield, Events Assistant
Since graduating from Manchester Metropolitan University in 2015, Bethan has worked in a variety of jobs including retail, care ,and administration in and around the Yeovil area. For as long as she has been able, she has been an active volunteer and fundraiser for various causes including animal welfare, support for victims of crime and local issues such as homelessness and food banks. Here at SPARK, she helps organise and promote our events, and supports the team.