Chief Executive: Martha Wilkinson @Monamission
Martha has 30 years' experience in the private, public and social economy. Passionate about the value of strong communities, she has previously been a retailer, business advisor, communications specialist and founding Director of a social enterprise in East London. Martha was self-employed for nearly ten years helping communities of all kinds identify the change they wanted from their public services before she joined DCF as our Chief Executive. She says "it is the most wonderful opportunity for Devon people to help themselves bring about the future they want and for me to make a real difference as well". We sometimes allow Martha to go home to her husband and daughter, chickens and garden.
Deputy Chief Executive: Sarah Yelland @Syrahy
Sarah has worked in the community and social care sector for 25 years. Having studied for a degree and master’s degree in Disability in the 90’s, she has worked in supported housing and community support in area and regional management posts across the South West. Having a reputation as a bit of a geek; at DCF, Sarah’s talents lie in measuring and reporting on quality and impact. When not at work Sarah loves spending time with her family, hill walking, cooking and eating Indian cuisine and renovating old buildings.
Development Director: Scott Walker @dcf_scott
Building trusted relationships with clients has been the common theme that has run through Scott’s career. With 12 years in financial services, 4 years in dot.com start-ups and then 10 years as a Director of an Advertising Agency he has gained a varied and extensive experience of business and people. Away from the office Scott tries to keep fit with running and cycling and both enjoys and endures Rugby. Enjoying watching Exeter Chiefs and coaching a youth team, enduring watching Scotland.
Finance Manager: Theresa White
Theresa has over twenty-five years of experience in accounting, she has worked in practise, industry and charity sectors. Theresa is a member of the Association of Accounting Technicians and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. When not at work, she loves being with her family.
Knowledge Guru: Nicola Frost
Nicola has a degree in English from Cambridge, and a PhD in Social Anthropology from Goldsmiths, London. As an academic researcher (at Goldsmiths, SOAS and City University London) her interests include: community organisations and volunteering; multiculturalism; migration; food and festivals. She has conducted fieldwork in Indonesia, Sydney, and London’s Brick Lane. She’s also worked for Oxfam (as campaigner, editor, writer, and administrator), and for Torbay Community Development Trust. Just returned to her childhood home of Crediton with her husband and three young children, she enjoys walking, gardening, and some enthusiastic if talentless sewing.
Senior Administrator: Claire Penberthy
Claire brings with her a wealth of administration experience, from a range of disciplines, including HR, sales, accounting, systems & IT and most things in between! She has worked predominantly within the private sector but also has some charity sector experience. Claire also has a Business Degree and is a part qualified teacher. She has lived in Devon all her life and when not working, Claire enjoys spending time with her young family, gardening, exercising, renovating her house and is also a keen member of a local dance club and dramatic society.
Administrator: Gillian Francis
Gillian has been with DCF since October 2011. She comes from a varied office based background including a private school and estate agency. When not working Gillian likes to spend time with her daughters, reading, cooking and crafts, and is hoping to ignite a new interest in gardening.
Fund Administrator: Jo Hunt
With a predominantly community and not-for-profit based background, both in a work and voluntary capacity, Jo is delighted to be part of the team assessing grants and developing funds to benefit local communities in need. Having returned to her home county after 30 years of living in London and Bucks, Jo is immersing herself in the demands and joys created by living in her dream cottage in rural mid Devon. When not enjoying time with family and friends, Jo will be found gardening, decorating, playing tennis, at a music event, the cinema or out for a walk. Promises to her family of doing more home-baking have not yet materialised but perhaps one day!
Grants Administrator: Claire Lavery
Claire joined DCF in September 2014 after returning to Devon when her husband finished 23 years in the Armed Forces. She has 15 plus years of administration experience and now loves being submerged in the world of grants. When Claire is not working she enjoys being with her family, cooking and walking in the countryside.
Programme Development Manager (Wellbeing Exeter): Eleanor Tomlinson
Eleanor has had 12 years of working in various administrative, client-facing and management roles in the charity sector in London with a focus on working with refugee and migrant communities. Most recently she has been managing and developing projects with these communities to improve health, wellbeing and promote social inclusion. She is excited to be joining DCF and the Wellbeing Exeter teams. Her other interests include spending time exploring Exeter and Devon with her family, reading, growing stuff in her garden, learning languages and making the most of having family who have relocated to the French countryside!
Financial Sustainability & Social Investment Team
Financial Sustainability & Social Investment Manager: Richard Taylor
Richard has spent the last 17 years working as a Business Advisor, either freelance or on European and UK funded support programmes. He is experienced in business diagnostics, analysis and design and delivery of projects to stimulate growth, using grant aided consultancy to lever private funds. His MBA from The University of Exeter specialised in Entrepreneurship and Innovation with a dissertation that explored starting and running Social Enterprises. Richard combines running his own consultancy (strategy, lean, quality, funding) with the role of Social Investment Manager at DCF. Being a lifelong fan of Leeds United, he can boast of resilience as one of his attributes! His favourite sports are football and cycling and he still does both weekly.
Financial Sustainability & Social Investment Mentor: Mark Cotton
Mark brings 12 years experience of working in a senior position within one of the largest public funding organisations in the UK. As a Senior Head of Region with Big Lottery Fund he was responsible for overseeing regional policy, programme development, outreach support, customer service improvement, external relations, communications and public affairs. When he’s not working with DCF Mark runs his own consultancy, supporting social purpose organisations in strategic development, business planning, funding advice, stakeholder engagement, communications and social investment readiness.
Financial Sustainability & Social Investment Administrator: Sandra Howsley
Sandra brings with her a wide range of business experience in a variety of fields including scientific research, construction, higher education and the charity sector. When not working, Sandra loves being a member of her local Dog Agility club where she not only trains her dogs regularly but also competes at agility events across the UK with two of her three dogs.
Positive People Programme Team
Community Enabler (Torridge, North Devon, Mid Devon): Tracey Watts
Having completed a degree in Social Policy, Criminal Justice with Administration I worked for 2 years as a Social Policy Officer for North Devon District Council developing the Social Inclusion and Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy. After that I moved into customer facing roles and worked supporting people with multiple barriers back to Education, Training and Employment on various DWP and ESF Contracts including Progress2Work, Barriers to Employment, Breaking the Barriers, Pathways to Work and Families Action Programme. In the summer I enjoy spending time growing veggies, taking my fur-baby for long walks and would like to start travelling more in the next few years.
Community Enabler (Exeter, South Devon): Orla Turner
Community Guru: Fran Esau
Fran joins us with more than 30 years experience across private, public and charitable sectors. She has worked in housing, neighbourhoods, homelessness, care and retirement leasehold in both people and business management roles, as well as customer-facing. She recently made a life-decision to travel as much as possible, and has visited 8 different countries in the last years, with a plan for at least 3 a year from now on.