Our staff

Meet our CEO

  • Rachel Spencer
    Chief Executive0118 937 2053rachel.spencer@rva.org.ukRachel Spencer

    Rachel’s role is to provide vision and leadership so that RVA can build the capacity of the local VCS and strengthen its voice; to promote the role and value of the sector to the public and to key agencies and partnerships which influence the life of the local community; to support the Board of Trustees in carrying out its governance responsibilities and ensure the organisation has the resources necessary to carry out these functions.

Meet the RVA team

  • Anna Chapman
    School and Parent Engagement Officer0118 937 2054anna.chapman@rva.org.uk

    Anna engages and supports parents who are not in employment and living in Reading towards and into training, courses, voluntary work and paid employment. She works with parents on a one-to-one basis, in an intensive, consistent and holistic way, exploring their needs, ability and aspirations and identifying the challenges and barriers to their wellbeing and achievement. She provides tailored, up-to-date information, advice and guidance including referrals and signposting to organisations and websites offering other support, and agrees objectives with parents for them to achieve to improve their confidence, independence, social inclusion and employability. Anna works with partners across sectors to maximise opportunities available for parents, acting as the link between parents, schools and organisations.

  • Sharon Fitton
    Social Prescribing Link Worker0118 937 2273social.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Sharon is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing team focusing on South Reading Primary Care Network. She has spent the 10 last years developing local community gardens within Reading’s neighbourhoods and has an in-depth knowledge of what local services and organisations are available to help you improve your health and wellbeing.

  • Steve Hendry
    Volunteering Development Manager 07485327942steve.hendry@rva.org.ukSteve

    Steve works with groups big and small to help them develop volunteering roles, establish best practice in volunteer management and influence policy around volunteering. This includes developing and managing new initiatives, such as Team Reading, to help increase the number of volunteers coming forward and open up opportunities for those who face barriers to getting involved . Steve also works to promote volunteering to the public, helping potential volunteers find the roles that are right for them.

  • Amber Holdway
    Social Prescribing Manager01189 372 273social.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Amber has been a Social Prescriber at RVA since 2016. She has worked in various roles in health and social care over the last 20 years, within the local area and in London.

  • Demelza Hookway
    Communications Manager 0118 937 2273demelza.hookway@rva.org.uk

    Demelza leads on communications, working with the RVA team to raise awareness of the vital voluntary and community sector in Reading, and the vitally important infrastructure support which RVA provides – from access to timely, high-quality advice, information and training, to mobilising volunteers, to facilitating and leading partnerships which benefit the whole town.

  • Louise Keane
    Social Prescribing Link Workersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Louise is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing team focusing on South Reading Primary Care Network. She has an extensive background working in various roles in Health and Adult Social Care in Reading as well as in other areas of Berkshire and Wiltshire. Her most recent role, prior to coming to RVA, was supporting people living with Dementia.

  • Sarah Martin
    Social Prescribing Manager0118 937 2273social.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Sarah has been working as a Social Prescriber at RVA for 5 years, during which time she has seen the service grow and develop considerably. Prior to working for RVA she was employed in various roles in related professions.

  • Liz Morrison
    Social Prescribing Coordinator01189 372 273social.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Liz coordinates and ensures the smooth running of the Social Prescribing service delivered by RVA in partnership with Age UK Berkshire. She supports the people referred and the Social Prescribers, ensuring ongoing contact and database maintenance.

  • Helen Murphy
    Social Prescribing Link Workersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    As an educator, trustee for a mental health charity and volunteer project manager, Helen has come to realise the important role played by voluntary organisations and charities in promoting a healthy community. As a carer, Helen also values links to many different organisations in the community which provide information and support. For Helen, social prescribing is a way of improving the connectedness and therefore the health and wellbeing of every individual and promoting a thriving community. Helen focuses on Caversham Primary Care Network.

  • David Neale
    Digital Inclusion Development Worker0118 937 2273david.neale@rva.org.uk

    David runs the Get Online Reading project, which uses a team of volunteers to promote digital inclusion around the town and help local people make better use of the internet. The Get Online team is based at Reading Central Library and does outreach sessions at other libraries and community venues around Reading. David also designed and co-developed the RVA website and has helped many local charities and voluntary organisations to get a web presence.

  • Charlotte Netherton-Sinclair
    Social Prescribing Link Workersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Charlotte is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing team focusing on South Reading Primary Care Network. Social Prescribing is the perfect opportunity to offer comprehensive and holistic support to our often vulnerable service users. By linking people to activities and services within the community, and supporting patients to take control over their own health through motivational coaching, social prescribing is an individualised and effective approach to improving the lives of local people. Charlotte has worked for RVA for nearly two and half years and also runs a private coaching practice supporting vulnerable young people.

  • Esther Oenga
    Community Participatory Action Research Facilitatoresther.oenga@rva.org.uk

    Esther facilitates the local Community Participatory Action Research (CPAR) in Reading. CPAR is a partnership involving Reading Borough Council (RBC), Reading Community Learning Centre (RCLC), Reading Voluntary Action (RVA), the Alliance for Cohesion and Racial Equality (ACRE), and the University of Reading’s participation Lab. Esther supports and coordinates the local partnerships in its development of the research project. She supports a team of community researchers to engage with individuals and groups from minority ethnic communities in Reading.

  • Patricia Poku
    Social Prescribing Link Workersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Patricia is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing team focusing on West Reading Primary Care Network. Her background includes working across various voluntary organisations and the NHS both in London and the Thames Valley area. Her most recent role prior to starting at RVA was supporting people with housing-related problems. She joined RVA in June 2021 and is very motivated to build strong relationships with her assigned GP surgeries and the wider community.

  • Azra Raja
    Inclusion Development Workerazra.raja@rva.org.uk

    Azra is working on developing an Inclusion Framework for the local voluntary and community sector so that Diversity, Inclusion and Equality is represented in our organisations and in the work that we do. She will also be working with voluntary sector partners and the wider sector of the community so that the voluntary sector is more reflective and representative of our thriving, diverse community in Reading.

  • Herjeet Randhawa
    Advice Service Manager0118 937 2104herjeet.randhawa@rva.org.uk

    Herjeet oversees the Advice Service at RVA, advising voluntary and community groups on the legal and technical issues of running a charity or voluntary sector organisation, such as charity law, company law, employment law, contract law, health and safety, data protection, safeguarding etc. She also oversees the Safe and Sound Quality Award, and delivers and organises training for the sector.

  • Rhiannon Stocking-Williams
    Ready Friends Coordinator01189 372126rhiannon.stocking-williams@rva.org.ukRhiannon Stocking-Williams

    Rhiannon’s Ready Friends project is part funded by The Earley Charity and looks at ways to increase the number of people who are active in communities around Reading by improving communication and ensuring people know how and where they can get involved in social groups, community events, sports, volunteering and democracy.

  • Sarah Timmins DeGregory
    Social Prescribing Link Workersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Sarah is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing team focusing on Caversham Primary Care Network. She joined RVA in 2016 to work alongside community leaders across Caversham, then in Whitley to strengthen connections with the charity and voluntary sector. She participated in the multi-agency partnership working with schools, families and young people across the town. Her background prior to RVA includes work in cultural and public health institutions in New York City. 

  • William Westwood
    Services Administrator0118 937 2273 william.westwood@rva.org.uk

    Will provides administrative support to the RVA team and assists in the day-to-day operations of Community Place. He supervises the Welcome Team and manages room bookings at Community Place via the info@rva.org.uk email address.

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