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Our staff

Our staff

Frances Elliot MBE (Chief Executive)  

I joined HADCA in 2011 as Project Manager for a three year Reaching Communities project.  Enjoying the fact that no two days were ever the same and being part of such a great team of staff and volunteers, I have now been with the organisation for over 10 years and my role has developed and changed over time.    Latterly I have been managing the Harrogate Easier Living Project team, who deliver our much-needed practical support services across the District from our bases in Harrogate and Ripon.    Developing our service offer and our fundraising capacity to meet changing needs have been two of our biggest challenges and I very much look forward to leading the HADCA team through the changes and challenges ahead. 

I was delighted to receive an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2021 for support to the local community during Covid, leading our amazing team of staff and volunteers and collaborating with so many other groups all providing support across the District.  

Karen Weaver -Strategic Lead (Community Action) 

I was born over the border in Rochdale, Lancashire but arrived in Yorkshire over 25 years ago via studying and working in Nottingham and London. I worked in local government for much of my career, mainly in leisure management, and to this day I continue to get great job satisfaction from helping people to make the most of living and working in our very special District, whatever their circumstances.

I’ve been with HADCA for 13 years now and am always mindful of our deep roots in voluntary action in both Harrogate and Ripon, which stretch back over 50 years now. We have a fabulous team of trustees, staff and volunteers and strong links with our founders, our members, local voluntary and community groups and our partners in the public and private sector. It is a real privilege to have a job where I get to meet interesting and inspiring people doing wonderful things every day!

Angela Jones - Information & Communications Officer

I’m originally from the Channel Islands, but moved to England in 1983, living in London, Reading and Colchester before moving to Harrogate, when I volunteered for Victim Support. I’ve had many diverse roles including managing a local authority benefits office and with the Probation Service. I joined HADCA in 2004 and became Information Officer in 2008. I feel lucky to have this role in our community and enjoy learning something new every day. Out of work, I love pootling in my VW campervan, supporting Reading FC and walking (though it’s taking me years to complete the Pennine Way!)

Val Longley -  Support Worker (Admin) 

I have lived in Harrogate for the last 26 years, initially coming from Barnsley and then living and working in the North West. I have worked as a Civil Servant, for North Yorkshire County Council and then worked at Mind in Harrogate for 14 years. During my time at Mind I was involved with and worked alongside HADCA and so am very pleased to be able to join the staff team.

I enjoy Belgian beer, going to concerts and theatre and reading in my spare time - though not necessarily in that order. 

Stan Lumley - Facilities Manager

I have lived in Upper Nidderdale all my life and my family history spans many generations in the Dale. Educated in Harrogate and Leeds my career developed through engineering and facilities management. I have worked for the MOD at RAF Menwith Hill for the past 36 years, a very challenging but rewarding career taking early retirement 2022. 

I am passionate about my community, and I have been a member of Pateley Bridge Town Council since 1999 having the Honour of being Mayor several times over the past 23 years. Elected to Harrogate Borough Council 11 years ago I have the privilege to serve as the Cabinet Member with responsibility for Culture, Tourism and Sport and I also served for 5 years on North Yorkshire County Council.

I have worked closely with charities and foundations over this time, and I understand the challenges people and communities face and I have great admiration for the officers and volunteers who work tirelessly to help and support the people who need it most. Recently joining HADCA I am looking forward to playing my part in the support of the essential services provided each and every day. 

Outside of work I enjoy travel, cycling and hill walking, my greatest passion is motorcycling both riding, watching, and traveling the length and breadth of this great country and most of Europe. My wife Angie (as pillion) and I have had some fantastic touring holidays visiting many inspiring countries and places and meeting some wonderful people and I very much hope we are able to continue for many years to come.

Phil Newby - Finance Officer

I live in Leeds but am originally from Saddleworth.  I’ve worked in the voluntary sector all my working life: initially as a volunteer coordinator, but for the last 15+ years in charity finance roles.  I hold a masters degree in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. In my spare time I’m a keen mountaineer.

Jo Ploix - Support Worker (Admin)

I was born and grew up in Scarborough but I've lived in Harrogate for the last 15 years and Spofforth for 5 years before that. 
I previously worked in Human Resources but have worked part-time in a local secondary school and in a local exam centre while raising my family.  I'm excited to be joining the HADCA team and getting more involved with the local community.
Outside of work I enjoy researching my family tree, being outdoors gardening or walking and spending time with family and friends.  

Carole Ramsden - Support Worker (Admin) 

I have lived in Harrogate all my life and worked as an Infant School teacher in Ripon for 21 years after a short stint of working in various Harrogate and Knaresborough Primary Schools. I still enjoy working in schools as an exam Invigilator.

I love the countryside, having been brought up on the family farm just outside Harrogate. I have always admired the selfless work of volunteers in running local community organisations and as such have helped various charity organisations myself. I look forward to furthering my community involvement and support in this role.

I am a keen dancer, enjoy gardening and baking cakes to share with family and friends.

Carol Rowe - Finance Assistant 

I have lived in Harrogate all my life apart from my student days in Sheffield.  I worked in Public Sector management roles in Harrogate, Leeds and London for 28 years, taking early retirement in 2012.

I joined HADCA in 2013, and enjoy working in the local community and helping people on a daily basis. I have volunteered for many organisations over the years, and currently help with events at RHS Harlow Carr.

I enjoy gardening, keep fit classes and socialising with friends and family.

Jo Thackwray -  Volunteering City of Ripon Project Co-ordinator 

I am delighted to join the HADCA team, and so pleased to be able to combine my skills and knowledge to support our local community, along with the Skell Valley project to put the city of Ripon on the map for volunteering opportunities. 

Over the last 30 + years I’ve thoroughly enjoyed careers in early years education and the 3rd sector, most recently working for Oxfam. Leading and empowering teams with compassion, humour, and positivity, with particular experience in volunteer management, development, recruitment, and retention.

I practice as a Human Wisdom & EIA accredited Coach and thrive on supporting organisations, charities, and individuals to shine bright, find their superpowers, and grow positivity in life and business.

I am a Trustee for Ripon YMCA, and an ambassador for Investors in Community. I have a passion for wellbeing and music and combine this in my voluntary role as the mid-morning presenter on Yowah Radio, a happiness & wellbeing radio station.

I live in Melmerby and when I’m not working you will always find me outdoors, walking, running and simply just connecting with nature. Along with my partner we love to travel and have 5 grown up children and 2 new grandchildren, so as you can imagine there is never a dull moment. Oh, and I am also dyslexic, which can often make for interesting grammar and spelling mistakes, so please do feel free to shout if you spot any!

Julie Boothman - Support Worker (Admin)

Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) Team

Lizzie Hughes (Development Manager) 

Anna Glazier (Community Fit Task Organiser) 

Jen Sonley (Harrogate Services Co-ordinator)

Andy Storr (Service Support Worker)

Richard Warburton (Service Support Worker)

Sarah Addison (Service Support Worker)

Jayne Mitchell (Vaccine Marshal Supervisor) 

Ceri Naylor (Ripon & Rural Services Co-ordinator) 

Nicky Woolfenden (Ripon & Rural Service Support Worker / Scheduler)

Debra Jones (Ripon & Rural Service Support Worker / Scheduler)

Alison Bradley (Ripon Administrator)


A huge thank you to our dedicated volunteers who support Harrogate & District Community Action.