Keith Harrison - Chief Executive - 01303 765646
Keith Harrison is the Chief Executive of Action with Communities in Rural Kent and responsible for leading both Governance and Rural Policy functions of the charity. Keith is acknowledged as a rural community-led regeneration expert nationally, sitting on programme monitoring committees run by both Defra and the Department for Communities Local Government, as well as occasional committees in Brussels and has also been an England representative to the European Rural Parliament. Closer to home, Keith is Vice Chair of the East Kent LEADER Local Action Group, and member of both the Kent Rural Board and Kent Downs AONB Joint Advisory Committee. Following undergraduate studies in Scotland, Keith undertook voluntary work with The National Trust in London before commencing postgraduate study and then joining ACRK’s equivalent, the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) as a community development worker. From GRCC Keith moved to work for Somerset County Council, to manage the Somerset Levels & Moors LEADER+ programme, and then on to ACRK in the summer of 2006.
Rebecca Williams - Finance & Office Manager - 01303 765641
Becky is one of our longest serving members of staff with unparalleled experience having joined as our Office Junior in 1996 and through successive promotions now runs Rural Kent’ s entire back office and support services as Finance and Office Manager. She is also Hallmark Administrator, Membership Manager, responsible for payroll and the day-to-day operation of accounting systems and ensures that administrative systems necessary for running the Charity are in place, managed and maintained. She is CLAiT qualified, and has an NVQ2 in Business and Administration and awarded RSA Stage 1 and 2. Prior to Rural Kent she worked for an Engineering Company working on legal specifications, reports and tender documents.
Jenny Bradbury - Community Halls Adviser - 01303 765642
Jenny has been with Rural Kent since 2003 and leads our initiatives working with Village and Community Halls, providing a specialist comprehensive advice and information service to the volunteers who run and manage village and community halls. She also works as an administrator for the Lord Whisky Animal Sanctuary. She was previously an Associate Lecturer with the Open University and has a BA (Hons) in Arts and Science.
Tessa O'Sullivan - Rural & Community Housing Manager - 01303 765643
Tessa has been part of the Rural Kent Team for 10 years’ working closely with Parish Councils, Housing Associations and local authorities to bring forward local needs housing schemes in rural areas; affordable housing for rent or shared ownership for local people. She undertakes housing needs surveys to identify whether a need for affordable housing exists within the community and then works with all stakeholders to develop a scheme including looking for suitable sites. Tessa is also leading our work to introduce Community Land Trusts to Kent and working with communities to develop this type of community led housing. Prior to Rural Kent, she had over 10 years as a housing advisor working for an independent housing advice centre providing advice and assistance to homeless people and those threatened with homelessness. Tessa graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine Art and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Environment and Energy Studies, as well as regularly participating in professional training courses in housing related subjects.
Vacancy - Rural & Community Housing Enabler
Kathy Bugden - Project Manager - 01303 765647
Kathy is the Rural Kent’s Rural Community Development Officer and has been an employee for over 10 years. She is a joint Project Manager for the Rural Kent Coffee and Information Project. She has led the successful rollout and delivery of a number of our core projects in recent years including the Digital TV Switchover Volunteer programme and ESF Community Grants Programmes 2011-2015. Kathy has been responsible for managing small grant schemes: CIRK Grant, Countryside Agency Parish Plan Grants, the Collyer Fergusson Parish Plan Grants and the Village SoS scheme. Her previous experience includes her appointment as Planner at the Medway Planning Department, Medway Council and as a Departmental Administrator at the University of Kent. Kathy holds a BSc (Hons) in Social Science.
Carl Adams - Rural & Social Enterprise Officer - 07771 932605
Carl has prime responsibility at Rural Kent for our Social Enterprise and Rural Community Led Development. Carl leads our relationship with Big Local. Big Local is all about community led regeneration and is an exciting opportunity for residents in 150 areas around England to use at least £1m each to make a massive and lasting positive difference to their communities. Big Local brings together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live. Before joining the Rural Kent team Carl worked in Hotel and Restaurant Management. He holds a BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations, an MA in Comparative Federalism and is a qualified Restorative Justice Practitioner and a qualified First Aider.
Liza Davies - Project Manager - 01303 765648
Liza is a joint Project Manager for the Rural Kent Coffee and Information Project. She also leads Rural Kent’s Work Programme initiative and is responsible for the management and supervision of a team of 3 Advisors who work across Kent delivering and supporting employability skills and opportunities. Her work includes liaison with the Prime Contractor, negotiation of terms of contract, reporting and administering financial and activity statistics, payment of customer expenses, maintenance of financial records and outputs. She is also responsible for attending local, regional and national meetings, trouble-shooting and conflict reconciliation. Prior to joining Rural Kent, Liza worked with the KCC Youth Service & New Deal, Hyde Plus, and Chequers Training, responsible for setting up and managing work unit sites across Kent in partnership with businesses and training providers. This included finding and maintaining work placements for long-term unemployed and young people with a wide range of economic exclusion and social issues. Working across multi-agency partnerships she helped develop innovative solutions and a national curriculum to prevent young people dropping out. Her experience also includes her work as a Veterinary Nurse & Tutor/Assessor. Liza holds various in house and Youth Work Certificates including Facilitator of Development of Excellence Award (Empowerment & Integration), Stage One of Cert Ed. Health & Safety Awareness and the Averting Challenging Behaviour Certificate.
Steph Hadlow - Motorhome Driver
Steph is a member of the Rural Kent Coffee and Information Project team. Her experience before Rural Kent covered working for Kent Youth in various capacities including Personal Development Tutor at Key Training Services working with unemployed young people (a countywide role delivering literacy and numeracy qualifications, CV writing, job search skills, interview skills and a motivational programme). She also designed and delivered an Alternative Curriculum Programme for disengaged 14 -16 year olds, including motor biking, tree felling, music making, circus skills and community projects. Steph also worked as an outreach Connexions (now known as CXK) Personal Adviser, working in Canterbury and Folkestone with referrals from schools Social services and Connexions. supporting young people and signposting them to other agencies including housing, health, employment and education. She also served for 12 years on Mersham and Sevington Parish Council. Steph holds a Cert Ed and a Qualification in Career Guidance.
Lee Davies - Motorhome Driver
Lee is a member of the Rural Kent Coffee and Information Project team. Lee completed 30 years’ service in the Fire Brigade having worked for 20 years in Kent & Medway until he moved to London to pursue an Officers position. He’s keen to ‘give something back to the community’ whilst enjoying semi-retirement and spending time at home with his family and menagerie.
Sharon Davies - Rural Retail Adviser - 07551 725383
Sharon leads Rural Kent’s Retail Advisory Service providing advice and guidance to rural retailing SMEs across the County. She also leads our Kent Rural Retailers initiative through which we aim to raise the profile for independent retailers in rural Kent by providing a wide range of services to help develop and sustain the rural retailing scene. Sharon has had many years’ experience in running her own small businesses in three different sectors (food production, service and retail) and previously worked with Business Link, first as a registered Investors in People adviser and later as a SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative ) registered business adviser. She also is a work stream lead on an Age friendly business in Thanet, a part time Head of HR, Recruitment and Payroll for a company in Essex and a Director of Margate Town team CIC. She holds a Diploma in Management Studies from the University of Kent and has Diplomas in Performance Coaching, Psychology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
Rosemary Selling - Stronger Kent Communities Programme Co-ordinator - 01303 765645
Rosemary Selling is working with a new consortium of organisations, Stronger Kent Communities to support the voluntary sector across the county. SKC formed in January 2017 and Rosemary joined Rural Kent in April 2017 as the Programme Co-ordinator. The consortium is formed of volunteer centres, Funding for All, KentCan and Youth Central and is running over 20 projects across the Kent. The services provided include Volunteer Fairs, Kent Coffee Caravan, support for Social Enterprises, networking and collaboration, online support and mentoring new and established volunteer involving organisations. SKC is delivering a contact for Kent County council and is also an evolving organisation developing over the next 3 years. Rosemary previously worked at the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership and Canterbury City Council managing local authority parks, open spaces and has worked over the years with many voluntary groups. Rosemary has lead on the council’s Green Flag applications for flagship open spaces & the RHS Britain In Bloom and South and South East In Bloom entries and is experienced in working on projects involving many stakeholders, project management & contract monitoring. Rosemary has a degree in Environmental Science (Bsc Hons) – and will be working towards becoming a Green Flag judge in the next 12 months to share skills and knowledge with community groups and other local authorities across the South East and London.