MaryAnn Parish – Community Centre Manager
Hi – I’m MaryAnn, and I am thrilled to be the Community Centre Manager for MCFT. I have a genuine passion and heart for people and a strong belief in the importance of taking care of one another. I have an intense ambition to ensure that MCFT does everything it can to care for this community in the most impactful and sustainable way possible. I have a degree in Education and a background in International Development. Most recently I had the privilege of working with over 15,000 volunteers across six different nations for The Ascension Trust. I have also previously worked for a large social integration charity that provided the opportunity for 15-17yr olds across the country to come together and be empowered and equipped to achieve their ambitions whilst also gaining a new appreciation for the importance of diversity. Whilst in this role I was able to gain extensive training in public speaking, coaching and safeguarding. I have also studied for and gained a basic counselling qualification. I am a trained dancer and have an enthusiasm for all things Performing Arts. In my spare time you’ll find me drinking good coffee and thinking about which musical to go and see next or volunteering at my church.
Charlotte Emery – Project Lead, Friends of Merstham Projects
Charlotte joined us in June 2017 to focus on supporting local people to design and lead on projects funded through our successful bid to The People’s Health Trust through Health Sound (funds raised by the Health Lottery). Charlotte has worked really hard to help people from our community to set up and run a range of activities and events from a fishing group to our regular social group The Rendezvous. Charlotte has made great links with other local organisations and continues to provide outstanding support to volunteers involved in all our Friends of Merstham projects
Jennifer Cooper – Volunteer Coordinator
I’m Jennifer and I joined MCFT in March 2020 as the Volunteer Coordinator. I’ve been very lucky to work with volunteers in many of my previous positions and that has included creating wheelchair-accessible sensory gardens for schools, planting community wildflower meadows, sharing in the awe and wonder with children (and adults) on minibeasts hunts and enjoying a cup of tea and a biscuit in the calm of a woodland management day. All have been incredibly rewarding and uplifting.
I have also been a volunteer myself for many years, with an array of roles, both here in the UK and abroad, ranging from physiotherapy assistant to education officer and more recently to Operation Support for a community-based eco-tourism project in rural Cambodia. My background is primarily in conservation, with a degree and Master’s in Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Conservation, respectively, and in education as a teacher, but it was whilst working for a countryside project that I found my second passion in working with and supporting different communities in a variety of environmental and well-being projects. Currently I volunteer for the occasional weekend and evening for a cat welfare charity as an educational speaker and a local conservation group in carrying out woodland management.
Alice Oswell – Merstham Community Development Worker
Alice isn’t employed by MCFT, but we are really lucky to host her post here at the Hub. Alice is employed by Reigate and Banstead Borough Council and supports the wider community to develop responses to the issues they face. Alice has worked with us to get funding for the Community Fridge and continues to help us deliver this project
ex-members of staff
Pascale Siddall (Hub Promoter)
A former chemical engineer, Pascale has lived in Merstham for over 20 years. In that time, she’s undertaken a variety of jobs to fit in with family life. Pascale and her husband are hugely supportive of the MCFT and the hub. When she’s not busy here, she is running her successful French language school and volunteering for her local church. Because Pascale loves a challenge, she pushed herself to cycle from Redhill to Paris over 3 days for the YMCA East Surrey in 2018 having never done anything quite like it before and “discovered I absolutely love cycling.” Unsurprisingly, she is very interested in project Trishaw! Pascale has provided continuity over a critical period and a much needed boost to The Hub profile, the room bookings and marketing and publicity for MCFT.
Amy Charman (Caretaker)
Amy has been a volunteer with MCFT for some time and has stints as a member of a member of staff. As well as working to make sure the hub is kept clean and tidy, Amy continues to volunteer, helping with admin and bookings
Tracey Burrows (Merstham Community Development Worker)
Tracey has been integral to the development of the Hub from small beginnings in a shop along the road to establish MCFT and to bring a range of activities for benefit to the local community to the facility. ‘MCFT provided me with a great home at the heart of the community here in Merstham where I can work to increase access to services, meet and work with local people and progress the aims of my community development work’ . Tracey has also been at the forefront of helping the establishment and development of our People’s Health Trust projects placing local people at the centre of new service provision and making sure that community development is embedded in new activities and services available at MCFT and the wider community
Leon Burchell – RIP
Leon was a much loved volunteer and member of staff at the Merstham Hub. He sadly passed away in October 2019 and is much missed. He had lived with personal tragedy in his life, including a serious head injury. Despite these difficulties he was a vibrant part of the life of the Hub.
As Caretaker, Leon got lots of job satisfaction from helping the hub to run smoothly. As a fan of the great outdoors, Leon volunteered for the the Friends of Merstham Projects, such as the Fishing Project and the Allotment and The Listening Project.