Staff

Cotswold Friends has a dedicated and friendly team of staff.

Amanda Howard BA(Hons) MSc DipM

Amanda Howard BA(Hons) MSc DipM

CEO

Amanda has a degree, masters degree and diploma in business and marketing and 25 years of business and charity experience working at Reuters, BBC, Open University and the NSPCC.

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In 2011 Amanda decided to focus on local charity development and joined Cotswold Friends for 4 years, developing and funding services and forming local partnerships to maximise service development and funding opportunities.

Amanda undertook the Cotswold District council Loneliness Research, and other surveys, to measure the health and wellbeing benefits of community services, to provide feedback to commissioners and funders and to contribute to national awareness campaigns. Amanda re-joined Cotswold Friends in 2016 as the CEO.

George Halling

George Halling

Volunteer Manager

George has a great deal of experience working with volunteers, having been employed by The National Trust at Chastleton House as Visitor Operations Officer for 7 years. This role included management of around 120 volunteers, plus administration for them and the property in general.

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Learning various IT systems and looking after complex spreadsheets provided the ideal skill set for her first role as Community Transport Project Worker, before becoming Volunteer Manager in July 2020. Whilst with the National Trust, George also managed the Visitor Reception Team and was responsible for recruitment and training. She arranged and coordinated group visits to the property and undertook guided tours. George has developed great problem solving skills as she was involved in many aspects of running the property, including preparation for the arrival of a film crew for the filming of ‘Wolf Hall’ - and meeting Damien Lewis!

Previous roles include Administrator at a GP surgery preparing rotas for GP’s, student doctors and nurses as well as Book-Keeper for many years, both self-employed and employed.

George was born in Birmingham, grew up in Redditch and Evesham and now lives in Todenham. She has been married for 28 years and has two grown up sons. She is an avid crocheter and also enjoys beadwork and quilting. George loves holidays, especially to Greece and Lanzarote.

Julie Mitchell

Julie Mitchell

Community Transport & Community Activities Manager

Julie joined Cotswold Friends in 2018.

Julie has previously set up her own community transport company with trained, professional drivers and has experience of the challenges faced in sourcing funding and maintaining a safe, well-managed transport service to the vulnerable in our community. Julie is now also managing the Community Activities Programme, helping to ensure that our clients stay connected to their local communities.

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She has a science degree, a diploma in Business Administration and is a qualified lawyer. She has worked in the oil industry as a National Distribution Manager, as a High Street lawyer and has several years experience in the voluntary sector as a Health and Wellbeing Manager and Transport Manager,

Julie has spent time living and working overseas and now lives with her family in the North Cotswolds where she continues her volunteering projects with a particular passion for supporting those with dementia and mental health issues. She has also studied horticulture with the RHS and enjoys including gardening in her volunteering.

Barbara-Ann

Barbara-Ann

Community Transport Project Worker

Barbara-Ann (or Barb for short) supports the Community Transport Service, working alongside the Manager Julie Mitchell and supporting the Transport Bookings Desk.

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Barb has spent the last 20 years working in finance in the North Cotswolds, primarily as a Finance Manager. Prior to this she had various roles within the NHS & Social Services, working with adults with learning disabilities. In need of a new challenge, Barb then studied and gained a number of accounting qualifications including FMAAT, AATQB and NVQ level 4. Barb has lived in Moreton-in-Marsh or surrounding villages for her whole life, except for 2 years spent abroad where she picked up a skill for languages and can now speak Swedish! Barb’s experience of auditing and implementing new IT systems is currently helping Cotswold Friends through the transition to a new Transport Bookings system. Outside of Cotswold Friends you are most likely to see Barb walking a dog or two in the local park.

Dawn Foster

Dawn Foster

Community Transport Project Worker

Dawn is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. She has worked in Administration, HR and Customer Support roles for many industries, including the NHS, Private Healthcare, Utilities and Auctioneering.

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She recently moved to the Cotswolds from Oxfordshire as her husband took a new role in Tewkesbury. Dawn enjoys a good dog walk, travelling and eating out.

Amy Hughes

Amy Hughes

Community Transport Project Worker - Cirencester

Amy has worked in a variety of roles in her career including working for Thomas Cook and more recently for Vygon, a medical manufacturing and distribution company, where she worked for five years in Customer Services and in the Custom Pack department. Amy worked in conjunction with Warehousing, Customer Services, Sales, Marketing, Business Development and the Head Office in France. Amy has been involved with many charity fundraising events.

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These have included involvement with school shows, sitting in a bath of beans for 12 hours (!), taking part in Relay for Life in Portsmouth and volunteering for Relay for Life in Cirencester. Outside of work, Amy loves to travel and has been to some very beautiful places including the Maldives, America, Australia, Gambia and lots of European destinations. She also loves to bake and to share a glass of wine and a catch up with friends. Amy is keen to take on a role where she feels she can really making a difference for people. She has lived in Cirencester all of her life and has a close family including a son and a daughter, a partner she is due to marry next year and her amazing 88 year old grandma called GG.

Samantha Dean

Samantha Dean

Community Activities Project Worker

Sam provides support across all aspects of the Community Activities service, with particular responsibility for our Lunch Clubs. Sam looks after all activity petty cash and bookkeeping and keeps our service database up to date.

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Sam has previously worked as a Supervisor for Group 4 Total Security in both the Purchase Ledger and Credit Control Departments which included training the team on the move to Excel and Word. Sam has significant experience with Accounts having worked for Dialogue Associates for 5 years and continues to provide accounting support to small businesses in the local area. She has also worked at Blockley Primary school as a Teacher Support, Supporting Reader, Lunch Time Supervisor and a Swimming Supervisor. Sam was born in Moreton and has lived in Moreton or Blockley ever since. She has two children and is an avid rugby supporter!

Rob Platts

Rob Platts

Men In Sheds Project Worker

Rob joined Cotswold Friends in June 2020 and has spent the majority of his career working in IT Services and Telecommunications in the UK, Canada and across Europe. Most recently his jobs revolved around working in the sales arena, managing teams of specialists to produce solutions for customers. This experience will help with the operational duties of Men In Sheds.

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Rob’s role is to ensure that the Men In Sheds projects are running smoothly and safely and hopefully growing to involve more clients, volunteers and sheds in the area.

Rob lives in Northleach where he is the Mayor of the local town and is Chair of the Town Council. Rob is actively involved in the day to day operations of the council as well as trying to improve the services it delivers. Rob has a BSc (hons) degree and lives with his wife of 38 years. They have one grandchild living in Australia and another one in the UK.

Bridget Salvage

Bridget Salvage

Support Services Manager

Bridget joined Cotswold Friends in October 2015, having worked for Gloucestershire County Council as a care needs assessor and dementia day care facilitator. Bridget has a vast knowledge of the care needs of vulnerable and older people which enables her to manage all of Cotswold Friends Support Services.

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Bridget lives with her family in Moreton-in-Marsh and is committed to the North Cotswold community, with a thorough understanding of the resources available to support it, both from the statutory and voluntary sectors. Bridget has gained her NVQ level 3 in Health and Social Care and Promoting Independence and has completed her Dementia Link training. She is a warm and caring team member, keen to promote Dementia friendly awareness in the North Cotswolds.

Harriet Salvage

Harriet Salvage

Carer Support Project Worker

Harriet supports full-time carers and arranges for volunteers to visit and befriend the person they care for, so that they can take some regular time off. It is often difficult for carers to take a break from their caring responsibilities, but regular breaks are vital to allow carers to stay well themselves. By carefully matching the clients and volunteers, she aims to ensure long and successful relationships.

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Harriet has lived in Moreton her whole life, with the exception of four years spent traveling with her husband whilst he was in the Army. She is very well connected with the local community having spent 2 years on the local playgroup committe, organising many fundraisers and charity events. Harriet has two young sons and worked as a dental nurse for five years before becoming a mum. She also volunteered for Cotswold Friends for a year, before applying for her current job, giving her significant experience with respect to the volunteering roles, training and support that we can offer.

Jess O'Hara

Jess O'Hara

Independence Support Service Manager

Jess has worked in the Care Sector for over 10 years and has extensive experience with nursing, residential and domiciliary care. Jess is very passionate about supporting individuals to remain as independent as safely possible.

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Jess has previously worked as a Registered Care Manager and knows the North Cotswolds well. During her time working in care, she has achieved her level 3 & 5 Diploma in Health and Social care. Jess grew up in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Before becoming a mum of two, Jess enjoyed travelling and spent one year living in Australia. Jess moved to Moreton-in-Marsh in 2016. She enjoys living in Moreton and enjoys supporting people in her local community.

Antonia Blinkhorn

Antonia Blinkhorn

Intergenerational & Community Events Project Worker

Toni will be working with the local secondary schools and colleges to encourage pupils to volunteer to create relationships with the older people in local care homes. We’ve all had to switch to a more digital world as a result of the pandemic and Toni will be assisting Cotswold Friends to do this for the younger generation to get involved with befriending.

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She has lived near Moreton all her life. Her last seven years were spent in marketing for The Midcounties Co-op and she has previously worked for M&S, Countrywide and Superdry so has a high awareness of how important the customer is. She is currently studying for a CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) Diploma in Digital Marketing and intends to use much of her learning to help Cotswold Friends. Toni will also assist with arranging the physical events, when we are able to all get together, as she fully appreciates the importance of physical interaction for us all.

Sue Thomas

Sue Thomas

Administrator and Finance Officer

Sue joined Cotswold Friends in November 2015 as administrator and bookkeeper. Sue’s charity sector knowledge combined with her event management experience and organisational skills make her a valuable member of the Cotswold Friends team.

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Sue spent time in a variety of administration roles during her career and was also front of house manager for a wedding events company and the principal of a drama academy. She has also set up and managed a Sixth Form College for special needs students as well as being very active in charity work, setting up events and fundraising for a variety of organisations. In her spare time, Sue loves spending time with family and walking her super-cute Scottie dog Roman.

Joanna Hammond BSc DipM

Joanna Hammond BSc DipM

Marketing Manager

Joanna has responsibility for all aspects of Marketing and is tasked with spreading the word about Cotswold Friends and the work we do in the Cotswolds community.

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She has many years of Marketing experience, gained mainly within the healthcare sector, as well as three years working in direct sales. Joanna has planned, developed and launched numerous marketing campaigns from market research and analysis through to print and press work, events programmes and website development. Whilst working in the pharmaceutical industry her specialist areas of knowledge included Diabetes, Elderly Care, Cancer Care, Contract Manufacturing and Corporate Marketing. She has also worked for a Medical Devices company developing and launching online educational training resources for nurses. Joanna plays league badminton and enjoys sport, gardening and reading.

Susie Bromwich

Susie Bromwich

Fundraising Manager

Susie has worked in the not-for-profit sector for thirty years, as both a marketer and as a fundraiser. She has recently led campaigns in the education sector and has moved to Cotswold Friends from Girton College, Cambridge.

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Her educational fundraising focused on supporting student bursary schemes and capital projects, mainly in schools. Susie’s past campaign and communications work has included the arts, social housing, environment and recycling, and two children’s charities. She set up and managed a Volunteer Bureau and a Council for Voluntary Service in rural Devon, which gave her valuable experience of the issues facing rural communities. Susie has a BA in English and she enjoys singing, swimming, walking and cycling.

Fiona Pettitt

Fiona Pettitt

Communications Officer

Fiona works with Joanna to communicate and promote the work of Cotswold Friends in the local community, across social media platforms, regional press, TV and radio, websites and newsletters.

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She has over 20 years of wide-ranging experience in consumer Public Relations and Marketing, both agency and in-house. Fiona started her career working for a charity in London, after achieving a degree in history at the University of London She has since worked for agencies in London, Kent, Warwickshire and Oxfordshire, mainly in the travel and leisure sector for UK attractions, tour operators and USA destinations. Her responsibilities included devising and implementing campaigns combining traditional media and influencer relations with social media and SEO expertise to build brand awareness, drive bookings and increase footfall. She plays league tennis for a local club and enjoys Stand Up Paddleboarding, walking her two terriers and spending time with her five children.

The Living Wage

The Living Wage

Cotswold Friends is an accredited Living Wage employer.

The Living Wage is a voluntary higher rate of base pay above the minimum wage. It provides a benchmark for responsible employers who choose to pay their employees a rate that meets the basic cost of living.

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