Chris has 19 years’ experience of working in the public sector, focused on community development and engagement, often working with residents and stakeholders in more disadvantaged areas of the county to identify and address needs. She has excellent partnership and regeneration skills, with considerable experience in engaging all sectors to build social capital and empower the local community to become active citizens. Coupled with a credible funding and project planning track record Chris offers support for a wide range of community projects, improving both social cohesion, the physical environment and generating opportunities for community learning to bring about sustainable, long term outcomes for individuals and communities.
Through managing consultations and community planning approaches with partners, Chris has developed and improved a range of community facilities, maximising community benefit through grants and section 106 agreements. She has supported the establishment of numerous grass roots groups, with skills in organisational development and helping communities to access funding to help transform local ideas for change into reality.
Examples of Chris’s achievements include establishing a Pre-School extension with accommodation for parental engagement activities, complete refurbishment of a community asset for a young people’s club and significant improvement of two church halls, strengthening networks and improving co-operation and participation between different community groups to get involved in local projects. Her instrumental role in implementing a lottery funded Community Arts Project in Hemmingwell, Wellingborough, engaged large numbers of the community resulting in a dramatic aesthetic improvement to the area, and giving ownership of the previously run-down area back to the community which now acts as the social hub for community organised events, maintained by the community. Chris’ work to develop a local Skills and Community Centre in the same area has been used as an example of good practice both locally and regionally.
Chris has good experience of tackling Domestic Abuse with residents and partners, supporting long-term counselling projects and raising awareness through schools. She also has a strong track record of working with young people through schools as part of a Young Citizen’s project with a focus on staying safe.
Chris has trained with the Neighbourhood Initiatives Foundation, with much of her training being action-based.
Chris works to a very high standard, always keeping local people and communities at the heart of decision making. She is highly respected and trusted by partners and community members and takes great pride in her work. (Maria Thomas, Borough Council of Wellingborough)