Chris is Chief Executive of Poole Council for Voluntary Service, an organisation that supports other charities and voluntary groups in their work. Chris has worked in the voluntary sector since 1990, working with a variety of people including: disabled people, homeless people and ex-offenders.
Throughout his professional life, John was passionate about all aspects of the built environment. He spent 40 years working for local authorities in London and Poole. At Poole he worked in the Planning section and ran a team dealing with architecture, urban design, building conservation and landscaping. Upon retirement he undertook consultancy work, including a spell of community engagement at Bourne Valley. As an active member of the Poole and East Dorset Art Society, he is on the management team of the community art gallery, The Gallery Upstairs, at Upton Country Park, whilst honing his artistic skills in painting and sculpture.
Debbie started her career in personnel management in London and the South East before becoming Head of HR for the Borough of Poole. She subsequently worked as a Strategic Director for three different councils in the South, with responsibility for a wide range of services including finance, legal, property, housing, leisure and PR. Debbie has a masters degree in human resource management and has acted as an independent reviewer for various projects seeking accreditation.
Andy started his career in the voluntary & community sector working with the homeless and rough sleepers in the Midlands, Dorset and Hampshire. Since 2000 he has worked in local government and focused on partnership work, helping to bring together and co-ordinate a wide range of organisations to tackle local and wider strategic issues.
Andy is an award winning chartered architect and urban designer and a Director at New Masterplanning. He has led design teams on significant regeneration projects for Bristol, Poole, Slough, Gloucester, Bath and Taunton town centres, and has a strong interest in designing community spaces into the urban landscape.
Chris Mills, Development Officer
Chris started working life as a chartered accountant. He subsequently moved into the charity sector where he led finance and administration teams at two separate charities based in East Anglia. More recently, Chris was chief executive of the Racing Foundation, a grant-making charitable trust. Chris has a masters degree in voluntary and community sector studies and has also worked extensively as a researcher specialising in voluntary and community sector issues.
Andrejs Blakunovs, Community Centre Coordinator (Branksome Centre)
Andrejs, originally from Latvia, moved to Coventry in 2011 to complete a degree in Sport Management. Andrejs has been involved in various volunterring activities and worked as Community Engagement Coordinator within Coventry University Students’ Union. He has also spent a year working for Parkwood Leisure in marketing. Andrejs climbed Elbrus (5642m), completed the Paris Marathon, referees football fixtures and composes little poems - which displays his diverse passions and desire to stimulate the growth of others.