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									    THE NEW WORCESTERSHIRE VCS STRATEGIC BOARD
Dear Colleagues,
Following a rigorous selection process I am delighted to announce the appointment of eight Board
Members to the newly formed Worcestershire Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) Strategic
Board.
The Board will provide a focus for strategic leadership in the county and will support the
development of an independent and more influential voice for the sector. It will act as a route
through which other sectors can have open and constructive dialogue with the VCS and will work
to promote the role and the capabilities of all VCS organisations in the County.
The Board includes some familiar faces but also some new ones and brings together a wealth of
experience and perspectives which should enable it to reflect the diversity of the sector.
The Board Members are:
      Catherine Illingworth (EIL UK Cultural Learning),
      Dag Smith (community volunteer),
      Jim Smith, (WAVOCC),
      Kate Harvey (Onside Independent Advocacy),
      Nick Parker (Vestia Community Trust),
      Richard Quallington (Community First),
      Sally Ellison (Worcester Volunteer Centre)
      Sue Fry (Midwest Rural Enterprise).
The Board will be coming together for the first time on the 9th May for an induction session and
will hold their first formal meeting on 12th June. Should you wish to contact any of the Board
members their contact details are provided below.
Currently I am chairing the Board on an interim basis, until a suitable candidate can be found. The
search for someone to take up this mantle will be one of the first tasks undertaken by the Board.
Recruitment for both the Chair and additional Board Members, taking the number to 12, is likely
to take place in the Summer / early Autumn. If you are interested in joining the Board please
contact me on 07595 099 881 or email michael@wcvys.co.uk
I asked the new Board Members introduce themselves to you in their own words and their ‘self
portraits’ are included below.
This is an exciting opportunity for the sector and I am looking forward to working with the new
Board over the next few months to support it to become established in its role.
Best wishes



Michael Hunter
Interim Chair of the Worcestershire VCS Strategic Board
Cat Illingworth
I am passionate about the Voluntary sector and want it to be seen as the
independent and exciting area that it is, which is why I wanted to join
the VCS Board. From volunteering and working in the VCS I know its
strengths and weaknesses, and I want to enable it to become cohesive,
dynamic and pro-active. The strengths I bring are strong analytical skills,
which enable me to understand problems and provide practical
solutions, an ability to communicate clearly with a wide range of people
and a direct approach which gets things done!
I started volunteering at a young age and have never really stopped.
After University I worked for a pharmaceutical company whilst
volunteering in my spare time until I chose a career in the voluntary
sector. My specialism is youth programmes and over the past 11 years I
have managed the branch of a charity running personal development programmes for
disadvantaged teenagers, volunteered at a youth centre and helped children with reading at
school. In my current role as Programme Manager at EIL in Malvern I am responsible for several
youth programmes which bring people from different backgrounds together, and I am also the co-
founder and Treasurer of a small youth charity in Gloucester.
Cat Illingworth : c.illingworth@eiluk.org


Dag Smith
Originally trained as a teacher, I spent the majority of my career in a
sales and training environment. After teaching in Birmingham I moved
to Cadbury’s as an educational representative and then on to selling
industrial ceramics. My first managerial sales role was as a Regional
Sales Manager in a book publishing company after which I became Sales
Director for a paperback publisher responsible for world sales. I was
then invited to become the CEO of the book publishing industry’s
training organisation in 1985. On retiring from the organisation in 2000
and moving back to the Midlands, I spent some years as a volunteer
advisor for CAB and Age Concern – now Age UK. In more recent years I
served on the Management Committee for Nora Parsons Day Centre
and latterly was responsible for raising £69K for a new roof for the Lower Broadheath Memorial
Hall in my capacity as Chairman until my resignation in November of 2011.
In my desire to support the invaluable and very necessary work of the voluntary sector I hope to
bring my combined commercial managerial and voluntary experiences to bear on the challenges
that face the Voluntary and Community Sector in this particular period of change, austerity and
evolution.
Dag Smith : 01905 641071 : dag.smith@btinternet.com
Jim Smith
I am Chief Officer of the health and wellbeing infrastructure charity
WAVOCC. I wanted to be part of the Worcestershire VCS Strategic Board
as I recognize the need for strong and accountable VCS leadership
structures in this time of great sector change and uncertainty. I bring a
great deal of experience to the VCS Strategic Board. My leadership of
WAVOCC, for the past five years, has given me a broad knowledge of VCS
Leadership structures and systems across the country, and I have
managed these systems within Worcestershire since 2008 – particularly
in health and wellbeing.
Some of my past and current VCS Leadership experience includes: Appointed Governor of
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals, The Safer Communities Theme Group, Embedding Personalization
Group etc. I have also been a VCS representative in the selection process for the C.E.O of both
Worcestershire Acute Hospitals and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust. I first worked within
the sector in 1995, and have volunteered in a number of roles including Co-founder of
SpeakEasyExperience and my current role as Communication Director for CAWF ( Community
Action Wyre Forest ).
Jim Smith : 01905 612726 : chiefofficer@wavocc.org.uk



Kate Harvey
I have a strong commitment to the VCS in Worcestershire and believe it
has a critical role to play in ensuring equality of opportunity, promoting
diversity and addressing issues of exclusion and contributing to the social
and economic life of the county. I therefore wanted to be part of this
exciting new initiative and contribute to strengthening the sector,
clarifying identity and purpose and ensuring engagement and
participation in a meaningful way. The VCS is facing a particularly
challenging period and the Board can play a key part in supporting the
sector to deal with these challenges and develop the confidence and
belief to see itself as an equal partner in planning and contributing to the
creation of a thriving county.
I have 15 years experience within the VCS in Worcestershire and have considerable knowledge
and skills gained through this I have led an organisation through significant growth and change and
worked closely and effectively with a wide range of partners across all sectors in the county.
Particularly strengths I bring to the Board include being an effective communicator with the ability
to build and sustain good relationships, being able to think creatively and problem solve, strong
team skills, working with others to find solutions and a great commitment to working in an
inclusive and empowering way.
Kate Harvey : Onside, Williamson House, 14 Charles Street, Worcester WR1 2AQ
Work Phone : 01905 27525 : Direct Line 01905 746559 : Mobile Phone 07836515458
Work email kate.harvey@onside-advocacy.org.uk
Nick Parker
The VCS plays a significant role in improving lives, communities and
environment in Worcestershire. Through the VCS Strategic Board I
hope I can help raise profile of work of VCS, its diversity and the value
we can add in delivering services on behalf of public sector and others.
I have extensive experience of working in VCS and reporting to VCS
Boards. I have sat on the board of Housing Association, been a School
Governor, Parish Councillor, Member of Department of Communities
and Local Government Working Group and sat on Wyre Forest Strategic Partnership for several
years. I am therefore comfortable in working at a strategic level.
 I am currently employed as Executive Manger for Vestia Community Trust. Vestia has four areas
of work: managing the Worcestershire Family Intervention Project, delivering training for long
term unemployed, supporting Tenant Involvement Structures for The Community Housing Group
and supporting several neighbourhood partnerships and community groups in Wyre Forest.
Nick Parker : Vestia Community Trust, 3 Foley Grove, Kidderminster, DY11 7PT
01562 732 344 : nick.parker@vestia.org.uk


Richard Quallington
I am currently Chief Executive of Community First, the Rural Community
Council for the two counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
From a background of research into rural deprivation I pursued a career
in regeneration and community and voluntary sector development
before taking up my current role.
I am a planner by training and have many years experience of working
with communities on issues such as affordable housing, transport, ICT
and in developing sustainable rural services and facilities. I have also
worked extensively in support of the third sector at a strategic level across Worcestershire and
have spearheaded various initiatives to enable the sector engage more effectively with statutory
partners to influence the development of policy and the delivery of services locally.
I am a passionate believer in the importance of the role of the voluntary and community sector in
reaching out to those most disadvantaged in society and in developing innovative and creative
solutions that engage and empower users in the design and delivery of services.
The VCS in Worcestershire is at a key and challenging point in its development. Expectations of its
role are running high whilst resources to support its engagement and delivery are at an all time
low. The sector needs to be at its most creative, influential and persuasive over the next few years
and I believe that the VCS Strategic Board has a key role to play in helping organisations to
navigate the challenges ahead. The Board needs to show leadership by promoting and modelling
genuine partnership and collaborative arrangements within Worcestershire that are focused on
building the strength, the role and the influence of the sector locally. I am keen to play a personal
part in this work and to ensure that Community First supports and adds value to the work and role
of the strategic board as it develops.
Richard Qualington : 01684 312762 : richardq@comfirst.org.uk
Sally Ellison
I am Chief Officer of Worcester Volunteer Centre, where I have worked
for the past 21 years!!! Previously I was a nurse, having worked in both
the NHS and the private sectors, as well as spending 4 years as a City
Councillor. I have been principally responsible for the growth of the
Volunteer Centre, from working in 1 room with 1 member of staff, to
where we are now, with our own premises, 12 staff members and
approximately 100 volunteers. I was awarded an MBE in 2001 for my
organisations work, providing services to the elderly in Worcester. I am
Chair of WAVOCC, Trustee of WCAT, Worcester Roots Foundation & Worcester Community Trust,
a co-opted Governor at Worcester 6th Form College as well as lead body for Worcestershire
Community Transport Partnership.
I wanted to join the Strategic Board as I am passionate about the voluntary sector and believe it is
vital that the sector is heard and recognised for what is does and for what it can do in the future. I
believe my ability to communicate well at all levels will be a strength I can bring to the Board as
well as my passion for the sector and my belief in ensuring that the sector’s voice is heard!!
Although I am based in Worcester, I have excellent contacts throughout the sector and believe
these will be useful as the Board develops in the coming months.
Sally Ellison : Worcester Volunteer Centre, 33 The Tything, Worcester. WR1 1JL
01905 24741 : sally@wvc.org.uk




Sue Fry
I have experience over 30 years with the sector as a volunteer, member
of staff, trustee and most recently as a leadership coach and mentor,
social enterprise adviser, and facilitator of social enterprise partnerships.
Currently I am a Director of two social enterprises, Unlocking Enterprise
CIC and Midwest Rural Enterprise CIC. I am also a volunteer business
mentor and leadership coach.
I previously worked as Director of Organisation Development for
Community First, Chair of Borrowers Toy Library, and trustee for Age Concern Hereford and
Worcester. I have also worked as a programme manager for Out of school and Childcare
Development project for the Chamber of Commerce/Business Link/TEC; Trainer and Branch Tutor
organiser for Pre-school Learning Alliance, and as a self employed artist/craftsman.
I am fortunate to have had experience with a wide range of organisations from the informal
through to medium/large organisations with 60 staff. I would like to use my experience, and the
experiences of others to improve the collective voice for the sector, and ultimately to influence
key issues and initiatives.
I have an interest and passion for social enterprise and been involved in raising awareness of this
way of working to continue to meet the needs of disadvantaged communities.
Worcestershire and the VCS sector has been my home and life for the last 30 years, and I am
looking forward to doing what I can to make a difference in this area.
Sue Fry : 07779 539487 : safry@live.com

								
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