Your Support Team

Welcome to the CVS team page, where you can get to know the passionate and experienced individuals who are dedicated to supporting and empowering the Cheshire East Voluntary, Community, Faith and Social Enterprise sector (VCFSE). Whether you're looking to develop your skills, navigate challenges, or simply need advice and resources, our team is here to help you and your organisation achieve your goals and thrive.

Alex Major
Volunteer Team Lead 

Alex Major is an experienced Volunteer Coordinator who has been with the CVS since March 2017. Alex specialises in volunteer management and was contracted to work with Refugees Welcome, a smaller charity based in Cheshire East. In this role, Alex provided support to families from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers. Alex is passionate about community development and has extensive skills in volunteer recruitment, training, and engagement and is currently on secondment with Cheshire East Council.

Skills and Experience

Interpersonal Relationship Development • Cultural Competency • Project Management •  Volunteer Recruitment Coordination and Management

Ange Richardson
Sector Development Officer

Ange has over 20 years’ experience (she started young!) in the voluntary sector - with a specific focus on grant making,  working for five major funders - National Lottery, Housing Corporation, North West Development Agency, BBC Children in Need and for seven years, as Grants Director at Cheshire Community Foundation.  For two years she was also the Fundraising Manager for Deafness Support Network -  and so understands the challenges faced by charities running services and raising funds, from both a funder and a charity perspective.

In her spare time, she loves performing in musicals at the Crewe Lyceum, with Crewe Amateur Musicals Society and has recently become a Trustee for the charity.  She is also passionate about young people’s mental health, mentoring a young care leaver with Pure Insight - and working half a day a week in a High School in Shropshire, delivering 1-2-1 mental health and wellbeing coaching sessions, with the Rest Easy Team. Ange is working with CVS to deliver the Healthy Young Minds contract, with responsibility for the establishment of the Healthy Young Minds Alliance.

Skills and Experience

Partnerships and stakeholder engagement • Coaching  • Project Management •  Governance • Organisational Strategy • Training •  Trusteeship • Bid Writing • Impact monitoring Fundraising Strategies

Aoife Middlemass
Sector Development Lead

Aoife is a highly skilled professional with extensive expertise in essential aspects of developing, sustaining, and managing local VCFSE services. With an unwavering commitment to seeing organisations thrive and make a positive impact on the communities they serve, she goes above and beyond to provide our members with tailored tools, knowledge, and guidance that are essential for success.

Skills and Experience

Governance • Organisational Strategy • Training •  Trusteeship • Volunteer Management and Recruitment • Bid Writing • Fundraising Strategies

Craig Yates
Communications Assistant

Craig is our Communications Assistant who originally started as a volunteer with us. Craig uses his creativity to design impactful social media graphics and report templates. Whilst also having a creative eye, Craig is highly analytical. Using his research and organisational skills to collect and analyse data within multiple formats; supporting a variety of projects. Outside of work, Craig is a keen board gamer. Spending his time playing, researching or designing board games.

Skills and Experience

Collaboration • Comprehensive Researching • Creativity • Data Analysis • Graphic Design • Organisational Operations • Social Media Analytics

Dan Carroll
Communications & Outreach Coordinator

Dan is a meticulous and highly skilled professional who specialises in communications and volunteer management. He possesses exceptional skills in handling complex volunteer cases having overseen a partnered project for several years, now leading a team of volunteers within CVS. His networking abilities have also proved instrumental in securing volunteer placements. Dan is adept in communications, developing and implementing multiple strategies whilst leveraging various digital platforms, including social media, to conduct research and outreach supporting the aims of the organisation. In his spare time Dan can be found gaming or reading his way through a stack of books.

Skills and Experience

Volunteer Management • Safeguarding and Disclosure • Social Media and Digital Comms • Data Management • Project Planning and Forecasting • Stakeholder Relationship Development and Collaboration

Estelle Worthington
Sector Development Officer

Estelle has over 15 years’ experience working in the voluntary and community sector, including in community organisations and national charities. Her passion for social justice and grassroots activism first drew her to the refugee and asylum advocacy movement, where she supported local and national partnerships to campaign for positive changes to the asylum system. More recently, Estelle has been a climate justice campaigner, mobilising communities and persuading regional and national decision makers to prioritise climate action. Other roles have involved empowering diverse communities to be heard in local decision making, and running organisational development programmes for BAME groups.

In her spare time Estelle loves gardening and walks in the Peak District with her family, and can often be found in her stone sculpting workshop in Bollington.

Skills and Experience

Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement • Campaigning, Influencing and Lobbying • Empowering and Amplifying Community Voices • Organisational Strategy • Training and Facilitation • Project and Programme Management • Policy Analysis

Graham Brown
Sector Development Officer (Operations and Insights) and Cheshire East Food Alliance Project Lead

Graham is a marketing professional with over 20 years experience across a range of sectors including Economic Development, Government, Healthcare and Higher Education. In June 2022 he left JISC, a not-for-profit membership organisation leading Digital Transformation across UK Higher Education, Further Education and Research. Graham then spent time running the surplus food grocery at Cre8 in Macclesfield. Under his stewardship the number of members,  grocery sessions, and funding all increased. Prior to joining Cre8 as a paid for member of staff, he supported their Grocery as a volunteer, alongside other roles with the Hope Centre, and food co-operative Scoop and Scales.  

In his spare time, Graham can be found trawling charity shops and second-hand record shops looking for Global beats to play as part of his regular DJ slots. Graham performs around Macclesfield and has a monthly Globally Arranged Beats radio show on Ay up Duck Radio.

Skills and Experience

Food Project Delivery • Volunteer Management and Recruitment • Project Management • Marketing Strategy • Stakeholder Engagement and Communications

Helen Roger
Resource Development Officer 

Helen has extensive experience in the management of training and events, with a special interest in upskilling teams to fulfil their potential. As a skilled communicator, she works directly with VCFSE organisations to understand their needs and to equip them with the knowledge and confidence to achieve their goals. With a professional history in medical communications, she has a strong interest in the medical impact of sociological issues and thrives on supporting groups to improve their services and ultimately improve health and wellbeing outcomes for the community. In her spare time Helen likes to paint, try new recipes and see her friends and family.

Skills and Experience

Training Delivery • Networking and Event Management • Meeting Facilitation • Governance • Funding Support • Medical Communications

Kate Little
Deputy CEO

Kate has 15 years' experience of working in and leading membership-focused charities in the higher education and students' union sector. She is passionate about the transformative potential of charitable organisations for both individuals and broader society. Kate has experience of strategic planning and implementation, service evaluation and reorientation, securing funding to enable organisations to grow, and local and national policy development. In her spare time, Kate enjoys going to rock concerts, reading science fiction novels and spending time with her cats.

Skills and Experience

Leadership and Management • Governance • Policy Development • Strategic Planning • Service Evaluation • Stakeholder Relationship Development • Project and Programme Management • Data Analysis and Insight

Kathryn Sullivan

Kathryn's skills in driving transformational change, fostering innovation, and promoting growth make her a valuable asset to CVS and the VCFSE sector in Cheshire East. She is committed to building strong partnerships and collaborations to tackle the complex challenges facing communities, and she has a proven track record of securing funding for community projects.

Skills and Experience

Leadership and Management • Governance • Organisational Development • Strategic Planning and Visioning • Community Engagement and Outreach • Change Management and Transformation • Coaching and Mentoring • Partnership Development

Laura Shambrook
Operations Support Co-Ordinator

Laura is the Operations Support Co-Ordinator and has previously spent her career as a library assistant both in public and academic libraries. She is a highly organised and methodical administrator and has a wide knowledge of the local community through her years of working in library branches throughout Cheshire East. Laura has a strong interest in autism and disability rights, particularly in areas such as accessibility and inclusivity and has lived experience of disability and caring for family members with disabilities. In her spare time, Laura is a keen crafter, having studied textile design at university and worked as a freelance designer. She also has a passion for animal welfare and has a rescue pony and dog of her own as well as being a volunteer and director of a local equine community interest company.

Skills and Experience

Organisational Operations • Community Connections • Administration Expertise • Relationship Development • Collaboration

Lucy Coates
Sector Development Officer (Projects & Innovation) and Cheshire & Merseyside Cancer Alliance Social Action Lead

Lucy is a professional with considerable experience acquired through project management and mentoring roles undertaken in the business and education sectors and through voluntary work.  A competent communicator and with sound attention to detail, Lucy strives to build relationships to work collaboratively and achieve positive outcomes. Lucy enjoys outdoor pursuits particularly cycling, skiing and hill walking with her Jack Russell.  She plans to invest in an ebike and hopes to cycle further afield throughout Europe.

Skills and Experience

Project Management • Mentoring and Coaching • Organisational Operations • Relationship Development • Collaboration

Sandra Griffiths
ECT Volunteer Project Lead (Macclesfield Hospital Team)

Sandra brings over 27 years of experience from a variety of roles at Manchester Airport, including managing a 24/7 production and distribution business for a catering and duty-free company. Her extensive background led her to become Regional General Manager overseeing 5 business units. Now at CVS, Sandra utilises her transferable skills to support the community in a meaningful way. Sandra has two rescue Greyhounds, volunteers for East Cheshire Hospice and enjoys travelling to different places around the world.

Skills and Experience

Volunteer Recruitment and Coordination • Operational and Production Management • Project Management Logistics and Procurement • Relationship and Stakeholder Management