Our staff

To contact us by phone please call our main number on 0118 937 2273.

Meet our CEO

  • Rachel Spencer
    Chief Executiverachel.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
    Social Prescribersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Anna is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing team focusing on Tilehurst Village Surgery and Westwood Road Health Centre.  She joined RVA in 2018 to engage and support parents who were not in employment and living in Reading towards and into training, courses, voluntary work and paid employment and work with partners across sectors to maximise opportunities available for parents, acting as the link between parents, schools and organisations.  Her background prior to RVA includes working with people over the age of 16 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.

  • Sarah Collins
    Social Prescribersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Sarah joined RVA’s Social Prescribing Team in April 2022, focussing on Caversham Primary Care Network. She has an extensive background working in statutory public services across Berkshire, often supporting those with complex needs. In her current role, Sarah takes a holistic and motivational approach, getting to know the individual and empowering them to support their own health and wellbeing. Through signposting or referral, she supports them to connect with local services, groups, and activities, often in the voluntary and community sector.

  • Sharon Fitton
    Social Prescribing Link Workersocial.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 steve.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.

  • Demelza Hookway
    Communications Managerdemelza.hookway@rva.org.uk

    Demelza leads on communications, working with the RVA team, partners, and stakeholders to promote projects and services and demonstrate the impact of our work. Demelza previously worked for RVA from 2016–2022 and returns to focus on the Community Wellness Outreach project. Her previous work has been in higher education, marketing and publishing.

  • 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.

  • Lorraine Knox
    Social Prescribersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Lorraine is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing Team in the Caversham Primary Care Network.  Lorraine has previously worked in both Health and Social care, with a focus on supporting Children, Young People and their families in a variety of roles.  She is looking forward to connecting with Service Users, GP’s, community support groups and other professionals to help make positive changes.

  • Amrit Maghera
    Social Prescribersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Amrit is part of RVA’s Social Prescribing team focusing on Holybrook Primary Care Network.  Having lived in the area for over 30 years, Amrit has built up good insight into the voluntary and community sector in Reading. She has worked with a number of local organisations and charities ranging from the cultural, social and educational. Her work has involved linking people and groups to achieve the best outcome for all involved.

  • Helen Murphy
    Social Prescribing Managersocial.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 Workerdavid.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.

  • Patricia Poku
    Social Prescribing Managersocial.prescribing@rva.org.uk

    Patricia has been with RVA since June 2021, initially as a social prescriber and now supporting the wider social prescribing team in a managerial role. Her background includes experience working across a range of voluntary organisations and the NHS both in client facing and managerial roles. She is passionate about the voluntary sector and the influence it has on improving people’s overall quality of life.

  • Azra Raja
    Inclusion Managerazra.raja@rva.org.uk

    Azra has developed an Inclusion Framework for the local voluntary and community sector so that equality, diversity and inclusion are represented in our organisations and in the work that we do. She has been working with community partners so that the voluntary sector is more reflective and representative of our thriving, diverse community in Reading. Azra is also leading RVA’s project ‘No one left behind’, which focuses on providing accurate information and access to the Covid-19 vaccine for all those who need support.

  • Herjeet Randhawa
    Advice Service Managerherjeet.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. She also supports organisations to attain the Safe and Sound Quality Award, Reading’s very own good governance award, as well as commissioning and delivering a wide range of affordable training for the sector.

  • Rhiannon Stocking-Williams
    Ready Friends Coordinatorrhiannon.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
    Finance and Services Managerwilliam.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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