I have thoroughly enjoyed six years as partnership officer with the Severnside Community Rail Partnership (cic). It has been an exciting journey working with the partnership’s board and our community and rail industry partners, delivering our core objective of encouraging the use of local rail routes and making stations feel safer and more welcoming. The role has evolved, allowing the agreement and delivery of a wide range of activities designed to promote our local railway as socially inclusive.

My previous roles include a multiple branch operations manager for a national car rental company, and more recently managing a small team in a university finance administration department. The common threads between these leadership roles and my current position are responsibilities for health and safety, human resources management, strategic planning and financial planning and delivering within agreed budgets. Each role has required a good deal of determination and even greater resilience. Throughout my career I have needed to adapt quickly to external factors, varying from the effect of the foot and mouth epidemic on leisure and tourism markets, changes to student finance policy, and more recently in the rail industry the challenges of major infrastructure works. These have each contributed to the necessity to update initial plans and budgets and to communicate effectively with all stakeholders.

The new Department for Transport Community Rail Development Strategy opens a new era for ACoRP. I hope to bring my skills and experience to the Board and to support the growth of the organisation and see it go from strength to strength, while encouraging Members to engage with their communities.