Who’s who?

Chief Executive: Martha Wilkinson
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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
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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
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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
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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.

Marketing Manager: Laura Hewitt
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Laura graduated from Bath Spa University with a degree in English Literature in 2007 and began her career in HR but was left feeling unfulfilled. For a year she worked as a painter and decorator (a rather shocking career move to some) and was accepted on a course to become a teacher. There was one slight problem, she had started working as a temp at DCF and fallen in love with her job and DCF. So Laura abandoned teaching and became in charge of marketing. When she's not running around organising our events, she is reading any book she can lay her hands on. 

Programmes Manager: Lyn Sheppard

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Lyn worked for many years in Welfare Reform delivering government contracts for ‘return to work’ training, then moved to voluntary and community sector to head a project supporting people with sensory loss. Prior to this she worked for a local radio station and in the dark and distant past lived in the Bahamas working for the British High Commission in Nassau. The opportunity to learn to scuba dive was all too tempting; hot sunny days in exotic islands. Now living in the equally beautiful (if not quite so hot) Devon, she joined DCF as Grants Manager in March 2014 - the most rewarding of jobs! With the arrival of her first grandchild there is a new focus to occupy any free time.

Knowledge Guru: Nicola Frost
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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 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, renovating her house and is also a keen member of a local dance club and Tiverton Dramatic Society.

Administrator: Gillian Francis 
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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
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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.

 

Positive People Programme Team

Community Enabler (Exeter, South Devon): Orla Turner

Community Enabler (Torridge, North Devon, Mid Devon: Jo Manley 

 

Financial Sustainability & Social Investment Team  

Financial Sustainability & Social Investment Manager: Richard Taylor 

Financial Sustainability & Social Investment Mentor: Mark Cotton