Meet the team

Matt Lennard, Head of Operations (centre)

Matt’s role is to provide a link between the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and the public / statutory sector bodies in Gloucestershire. With over 2000 charities in the county it’s Matt’s role to keep these organisations informed about what is happening locally and how it may impact of the VCS. The Alliance provides a strategic voice for the VCS in the county and Matt is the conduit for information coming out of the County Council and Local Enterprise Partnership. He also sits on the EUSIF Shadow Committee as the VCS rep overseeing investment into the county.

Jem Sweet, Health and Wellbeing Officer (left)

Jem’s role is to assist with the roll-out of social prescribing to the voluntary and community sector (VCS). He is also a link between the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the VCS. Jem has many years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector in the county, mainly in the field of health and social care with an emphasis on mental health and wellbeing. In addition, he is a member of the British Psychological Society and holds a Masters degree in Exercise and Sport Psychology and a BA (Hons) in Psychology.

Sheryl Walpole, Community Engagement Officer

Sheryl’s post has been funded by the PCC for two years and involves meeting the groups who have/are being funded/are seeking funding by the PCC to help fulfil one or more of the six strands of the Police and Crime Plan. Sheryl will act as a conduit between the community and OPCC to share your ideas and introduce your work.

Sheryl has had an eclectic career including bi-lingual secretarial work, 16 years as a Metropolitan Police officer, selling adventure travel holidays, project management posts for Age UK Glos and Restorative Glos, working for Victim Support and the British Red Cross. She volunteers in the Red Cross bookshop in the Bath Road, Cheltenham and is passionate about networking with people and helping to make a difference in the community.

Susan West, Project Co-ordinator (right)

Susan’s role is to keep the wheels of the Alliance running smoothly. She is responsible for keeping the database and distribution lists up-to-date, arranging and minuting Board and Forum meetings. She uses her organisation and communication skills to produce both the Alliance’s regular newsletter and funding bulletin. Her event management experience comes to into play for larger-scale Alliance events such as Connecting Gloucestershire. After 20 years in financial services, principally working in internal communications, she joined the Alliance to take a fresh direction and support the VCS in Gloucestershire.