Meet the team

Mike Brain, Chief Executive Officer

Mike has been involved with the Alliance since 2015, working on its Operations Board, and latterly as Chair of Trustees from mid 2017.  With over 14 years’ experience working in the Third sector in Gloucestershire, Mike brings a track record of successful organisational growth both from a strategic and financial perspective. He started as Chief Executive Officer in May 2018.

Mike says, “I am really excited by this opportunity to work with such a dedicated team. I am committed to build on the independent and impartial support provided to VCSE organisations by GVCSA. I want to see Gloucestershire’s VCSE sector at the centre of service delivery for the Public Sector. I want local action planning to be informed by the experience and expertise of those who work directly within our communities by adding value to their resources and, by raising the profile of the impacts they make.”

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, Projects Officer (Health and Wellbeing) (left)

Jem’s role is to be 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.

Susan West, Communications Support Officer (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.