Staff members of Crawley Community Action

Meet Toby Shaw

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Toby Shaw, Chief Executive.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

I joined CCA in 2020 and was thrilled to be appointed as the Chief Executive in 2022.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

 I have lived in the local area my whole life and have always had strong personal and professional connections to Crawley. I am a qualified Social Worker and I feel passionate about the importance of community in ensuring people are able to lead full and enriched lives. It’s a privilege to lead an organisation with such a long history of making a really positive contribution to the town. The part of my job that I like the most is working with the team at CCA to make a real difference to Crawley.

4. What is your favourite quote?

“Knowledge is power, community is strength and positive attitude is everything”

Meet Sohini Ghosh

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Sohini Ghosh, Communications & Resource Manager.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

I’ve worked at CCA since July, 2o19.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

After working as an Architect & Town Planner for more than 10 years, I came to the UK a few years back from India and started to volunteer and work in the social sector. This sector has so much to offer! I love my job and the challenges it brings every day. I love meeting new people – interacting every day in all different ways. I love nature, music, dancing, painting and all sorts of creative activities.

4. What is your favourite saying?

“Start Where You Are. Use What you have. Do What you can”.

 

Trustee Board of Crawley Community Action

Meet Sue Bloom

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Sue Bloom, Chair of CCA.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

 Since 2012, 1st as a Trustee and for about the last 18 months as Chair.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

Retired experienced Senior Manager for the NHS, with over 40 years experience in successfully leading and managing both Education and Clinical Services. I have two boys and am President of St John ambulance Crawley. Chair of Charlwood friends and Charlwood Friday group. I am also a Parish Councillor for Charlwood.

4. What is your favourite saying?

“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today”

 

Meet Ashwin Soni

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Ashwin Soni, Finance Director.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

Since 10 October 2019.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

Ashwin Soni, 73, was born in Uganda and has been living in the United Kingdom since 1970. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chemical Engineering and a Chartered Engineer. He retired in 2010 after 35 years as a senior manager in the Technology and Engineering sectors of Kimberly Clark. He was instrumental in the construction of the £3.4 million Temple and Community Centre in Crawley. He is married with three adult children, daughters-in-law, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandchildren. Gurjar Hindu Union, Crawley Community Action, Diverse Crawley, and Crawley Inter Faith Network are among the charities he supports in Crawley. Music, dancing, delicious cuisine, and playing with the grandchildren are some of his favourite pastimes.

4. What is your favourite quote?

“God helps those who help themselves”

“You can take a horse to water but you can’t make it drink”

Meet Peter Mansfield-Clark, MBE

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Pater Mansfield-Clark, MBE.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

I was Chair of the Housing and Homelessness Forum for 24 years. I was the CEO for two years (Maternity Cover) and have been a Trustee for eight years.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

I was born in Three Bridges 77 years ago, worked around the country and moved back to Three Bridges 26 Years ago. I have had two full-time occupations for most of my life. I am a Professional Photographer and filmmaker and I also worked with homeless and disadvantaged single people, families and travellers. I alternated the two occupations between full-time and part-time. I also volunteered as a Samaritan and as a Youth Worker. I was given one of the first Mayors Awards for Services to Crawley and Prince Charles presented me with the MBE for services to disadvantaged people. Personally, my late wife Juliet and I photographed 708 weddings together and we were both, and I still am, animal mad having rescued many dogs and cats in our 35 years together.

4. What is your favourite saying?

“What will the decisions I have made today look like on the front page of tomorrow’s newspapers”

Meet Paul Castle

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Paul Castle, Company Secretary.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

Member of the Trustee Board for 11 years (since 2011) and Company Secretary for one year (since 2021).

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

As well as my CCA duties I have been the Treasurer of Crawley Arts Council (the umbrella body for the ‘arts’ in Crawley) since 2008 and the Vice-Chair of Crawley Museum, having been a member of the Museum Trustee Board since 2018. I also serve as the Crawley Arts Council nominee on the Courage Dyer Recreational Trust grant-making body.

4. What is your favourite saying?

My favourite quote is one by Mrs Susan Pyper (Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex) who said that “the voluntary sector used to be the icing on the cake, increasingly now it is the cake”.

 

Meet Jeremy Yeats-Edwards

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Jeremy Yeats-Edwards, Trustee and Vice-Chair.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

Trustee since 2009.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

Retired investment professional, with a degree in modern languages.

4. What is your favourite saying?

“Ask not what Crawley can do for you – ask what you can do for Crawley!” John F Kennedy (sort of).

 

Crawley Social Prescribing

Meet Esther Watts

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

My name is Esther Watts. I am the South East Regional Lead for Thriving Communities for the National Academy for Social Prescribing. CCA hosts my post.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

Since November 2020.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

I have worked in the charity sector for ten years after a career change to teaching from working in the oil and gas industry running an information service. I get real satisfaction from making a difference in people’s health and well-being through work and volunteering. Before joining CCA, I worked for eight years for the Alzheimer’s Society to make London more dementia friendly. I took my work home and started the Lewes & District Dementia Action Alliance. I was a town councillor for four years which taught me a lot. Currently, I volunteer for my local Repair Café, where I make tea and chat with the repairers and customers. I like to be active, walking and swimming. I am an avid reader, and I sing in a choir.

4. What is your favourite saying?

“Do the best you can do until you know better. Then when you know better, do better” – Maya Angelou

 

Meet Jacqui Thatcher

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Jacqui Thatcher, Social Prescribing Operational Manager.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

Since September 2020 – nearly 2 years.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

I have spent a lifetime working with others in both health and education, and I am a passionate advocate of facilitating change from an individual’s starting point; there is no doubt that it is a challenge. People will do what feels right for them, not by being directed but by being supported and gently guided through change. Adding coaching to my career portfolio is a comfortable fit with my personal philosophy, and I am delighted that Social Prescribing enables me to share this.

Out of work, I like being active and outdoors; a keen walker, my boots have seen many thousands of miles over the years. I have followed in the footsteps of long ago travellers, traversed fast-flowing rivers and hiked mountains and volcanoes. I have walked at sea level and disappeared through clouds but only recently have I lost myself to the obsession that is the Ordinance Survey Map app! Happy days!

4. What is your favourite saying?

“I am just one human being.” Dalai Lama XIV.

 

Meet Luke Boucher

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Luke Boucher, Social Prescribing Link Worker.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

Since December 2021.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

After spending a period working in the NHS for South Central Ambulance Service, I came to CCA to work in a role with a broader and more proactive perspective on people’s health and wellbeing. And so far, I’ve loved it.

In my spare time, I try to keep fit, enjoy the cinema, and enjoy music.

4. What is your favourite saying?

“You didn’t come into this world. You came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.” – Alan Watts.

 

Crawley Group Development

Meet Karl Parks

1. What is your name and position at Crawley Community Action?

Karl Parks, Community Groups Manager.

2. How long have you worked/volunteered at Crawley Community Action?

I have been working at CCA for six years, providing dedicated organisational development support to local charities, community groups and social enterprises.

3. Tell us a bit about yourself

I have worked in the charity sector for over twenty years in London and across Sussex in various roles, focusing on helping the local voluntary and community sector to be more effective, sustainable, and better connected.

I have been fortunate to feel a deep sense of reward in my work in Crawley. I particularly enjoy developing strong relationships of trust and empathy with inspiring individuals seeking to create positive change in the local community. It’s always a pleasure to help projects grow and flourish on their journey towards self-reliance and greater influence.

In my spare time, I enjoy long-distance running, walking, enjoying the peace of my allotment, memoir writing and playing the bass guitar with a group of like-minded 50-something souls (maybe one day we will actually overcome our nerves to play an actual gig!).

4. What is your favourite saying?

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud” – Maya Angelou.

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