Meet the expert team at Evolving Communities

Mary Curran

Mary joined the organisation in April 2018 bringing with her extensive skills and experience gained from working in a range of roles across local government as well as the charity sector.

She has previously worked at Wiltshire Council, managing professional teams and supporting vulnerable young people, before becoming the Lead Commissioner for Disabilities for the council’s children’s services.

More recently Mary had worked as CEO of the North-East based learning disability charity Journey Enterprises, working across six local authority areas in the North East.  The charity and social care provider works with around 200 adults with learning disabilities to help them become independent through supported employment and enterprise opportunities.

Dr Sara Nelson
Head of Research & Insight

Sara has a combined career of nursing, academic health, care and psychological research spanning over 30 years.  She has experience of carrying out service evaluation in health and care settings and recognises the importance of gathering the views of all of those involved in delivering, commissioning and regulating a service including care and nursing staff, stakeholders and Commissioners and regulatory bodies.  Most importantly, she is passionate about ensuring that those who are in receipt of services are empowered to speak up and have their voices heard.  She understands the value of including service users and their families in any service evaluation. 

She is experienced in using both qualitative and quantitative research methods and of carrying out complex analysis.  She has presented at both national and international conferences and has published articles in industry and academic journals. Sara has worked for Evolving Communities since 2014 and currently leads the Research and Insight Team.

Lucie Woodruff
Chief Operating Officer

Lucie has 13 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector supporting patient and public involvement.  She was instrumental in setting up and managing Healthwatch Wiltshire, ensuring it was a robust and credible service for the people of Wiltshire and awarded the 2015 Care and Support Innovator award by Wiltshire Council.

Through working in the voluntary sector, she has built up vast experience of different engagement and consultation techniques and understands that different approaches suit different people.  Her vision is for all health and care providers and commissioners to recognise the importance of involving and listening to patients and users so that improvements can be led by local people.

Tessa Rugg
Research & Engagement Officer

Tessa’s role involves working alongside Dr Sara Nelson in supporting information gathering, advising on methods of data collection, putting together interview questions and surveys, as well as analysing data that is collected.

She has previously worked at the University of Bath as an Administrative Assistant for the Faculty of Science and more recently as a Research Assistant in the Department of Psychology, focusing on Paediatric Chronic Pain in the Centre for Pain Research group.  She has recently graduated from the University of Bath with a Master’s in Health Psychology.

Helen West
Team Support Manager

Helen has been with the organisation since 2014.  She supports the staff teams, Chair and Board of Directors.  This includes responsibility for maintaining financial, accounting and all personnel matters of the organisation.  As Health and Safety representative for the office, she ensures that the office environment is safe and suitably equipped for staff and visitors.  Her role also covers administration support and general administration across the whole organisation.

Before joining us, she worked as Finance and Administration Officer at ASK (Advice on Services for Kids).

Shona Holt
Marketing & Communications Assistant

Shona supports the day-to-day marketing activity of Evolving Communities to raise the profiles of Healthwatch Gloucestershire and Healthwatch Somerset, in order to keep local people informed about health and care services.  This involves a wide range of work from creation of marketing materials and branded items, to maintaining the websites and promotion on our social media channels.  Shona has worked with the organisation since the start of 2016.  

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