Karen’s background is in programme management and logistics. Having worked in production in BBC news and current affairs, she changed career and worked as an aid worker in Indonesia, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Liberia, working on both emergency aid programmes and long-term development projects. These included emergency food relief, water and sanitation projects and a variety of medical projects with both refugees and local populations. Karen joined the Woodford Foundation (Signal’s predecessor) in 2007 in a part-time capacity and became full-time in 2009.
Joanne has been employed as an Outreach Worker with Signal since 2009, working to improve communication with the deaf community of which she is a member. She provides support, assistance, signposting and representation for a variety of deaf clients. She is a member of the Disability Independent Advisory Group (DIAG) working with West Mercia Police, which raises awareness of deaf culture, access and communication. Joanne became deaf after contracting meningitis at six months of age. She was educated at the Royal School for the Deaf in Exeter and the Mary Hare Grammar School. She is a committee member of Telford Deaf Club and works alongside other committee members to organise meetings, social occasions and events for the deaf community. She is pleased to be one of the Signal people.
Paul came from an arts background after studying for a degree in Three Dimensional Design. He soon entered the world of environmental conservation after college, though, and worked for the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) for over 16 years as a trainer, co-ordinating and teaching both practical conservation skills and habitat management courses. He also worked as BTCV Area Manager for Shropshire and Staffordshire. Paul then moved on into charitable fundraising for the World Wide Fund for Nature, before emigrating to Australia where he has worked in both the charity and private sectors. Now returned to the UK, Paul has continued his career in the third sector and has become our first Signal: The Hub Manager.
Suzanne studied foreign languages and literature and social science at Cambridge and Birmingham universities and has worked in the fields of logistics and journalism. She also has a history of and continuing involvement with local environmental, human rights and anti-poverty campaign groups. Suzanne volunteered at Signal before joining the team as a staff member.
Marina Churm (Fundraising and Learning Officer)
Marina’s background is in developing and delivering environmental conservation and community development programmes in the UK, S.E. Asia and several sub-Saharan African countries. Marina helps our staff capture and learn from peoples’ stories of how Signal has helped them, she then shares these stories with funders in order to secure charitable grants and donations so that our work can continue.
Catriona Nicholls (UK Programmes Officer)
Catriona joined Signal in September 2016. Having worked in marketing for over 15 years, Catriona brings a range of skills including business planning, project management, communications and public relations. Catriona is delighted to be working for Signal and enjoys using her skills to make a positive difference to our beneficiaries.
Emma Wilde (Project Officer)
Emma has had many years of working in mental health, helping adults with enduring mental health issues to enjoy a more active lifestyle within their community. More recently, she worked for the Alzheimer’s Society for six years supporting people with dementia and their carers, as well as facilitating a dementia training programme for carers. Regularly out-and-about for Signal, Emma co-ordinates our various training courses, talks and public events.
Heather Acheson (Office Administrator)
Heather joined Signal in the summer of 2016. She brings a wealth of wide-ranging business experience to her administration role.
As well as all those essential day-to-day tasks, Heather supports her colleagues, helping in any ways possible, to streamline their workload and to make their working lives easier.
She enjoys the variety the role brings (!) and loves working for Signal.
We are overseen by a board of trustees. They oversee the working of the charity and make sure that the funding we receive is used in the most effective way.
Martin moved to Shrewsbury in 1981 to become a teacher at Kingsland Grange Preparatory School for Boys. After a 28-year career, of which 20 years were spent as Head Teacher, he left to become the Community Development Manager of Shrewsbury Town Football Club in 2009. This role enabled him to network with organisations and individuals across the community. His work revolved around getting the football club into the community and the community into the football club so that many initiatives were supported that will make a difference to people’s lives. Projects involving health, education, social inclusion and sports participation were implemented in partnership with other organisations within Shropshire. In August 2012 he became the Head of Community Development and Head of Human Resources at the football club. In June 2014 Martin moved to the role of PR and Communications Executive for the Greenhous Group, a motor vehicle fleet and retail dealerships across Shropshire.
Rita has over 25 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector, including supporting parents’ groups to develop and manage community-based childcare services, development and management of a region-wide out of school care network, development of the Scottish Out of School Care Network and initiation and latterly management of a childcare community enterprise. Rita has worked in partnership with a range of voluntary and public sector bodies, including local authorities, colleges, universities and voluntary sector organisations and networks. Rita served on the board of the Scottish Out of School Care Network from its inception in 1991 to October 2010. She currently works as Senior Trusts and Foundations Fundraiser with Sense Scotland.
Tom, a law graduate with a strong commercial background, initially worked in the Insolvency Service as an Examiner. He spent most of his early career in North West England with a leading international loss adjusting practice where he specialised in the investigation of fraud, commercial property and legal liability. He joined the Third Sector in 2002. He was appointed as Chief Executive of a Welsh children’s charity and was, for many years, involved in the management of a thriving local family centre. He went on to manage a number of successful projects delivered by an award-winning social enterprise, based in Pennine Lancashire, helping members of BME communities to start their own businesses. Since 2008 he has been employed as Development Director of Omega, the National Association for End of Life Care.
David spent his career working in London in the education sector. He has worked in both state and independent schools latterly as Headmaster at Forest School where the pupil numbers doubled under his headship. David returned to Shropshire after he retired and settled back in Shrewsbury, becoming a committed member of the local community including the Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Shrewsbury Drapers Company and St Chad’s Church. David brings a wealth of management experience to Signal’s board. In 2016 he was awarded an MBE for his services to charity and the community in Shrewsbury.
Kath is a proud Salopian whose early working life was spent in Local Government. For the past twenty years she has worked in education supporting young people with special educational needs.
She has considerable experience of volunteering with Shropshire St. John Ambulance and has held various roles within the youth section of the organisation. Kath is a committed member of St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church, Wem. She joined Signal’s Development Committee in 2013 and became a Trustee in 2015.
Alex has spent his career in the financial services industry and brings his financial experience to the charity sector. He is currently the CEO and Managing Partner at Financial Relationships LLP.