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Our staff

Our staff

Karen Weaver - Chief Executive

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 Chief Exec for 7 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!


Mark Hopley - Head of Support & Development

Born in Chester, I have worked throughout the UK mainly for charities and local government, although I have also spent time as a long term residential volunteer, a civil servant and regeneration consultant.  As an optimistic, lifelong Liverpool FC supporter my passions include my extended network of family and friends; supporting third sector organisations to achieve their goals / increase their impact; raising money for good causes; and working towards achieving greater environmental and social justice.

I have worked at Harrogate & Ripon CVS, for eight years as Deputy Chief Exec where I lead the Development Services Team.  A key challenge for our team is how we continue to provide even more responsive and effective support services to voluntary and community sector.


Julie Boothman - Reception   

I have lived and worked in Harrogate for over 30 years, with my 3 daughters all having attended local schools. Previously a teacher at St. John Fisher School, I retired early to work as a post lady, wanting to experience a completely different work life environment. Having done that, I am really pleased to have started work as one of the Receptionists for HARCVS at Harrogate Community House. It is a great hub for the local community and I am able to work with local charities on a daily basis.

In my free time I enjoy walking with the Harrogate Ramblers, going to Keep fit classes, Zumba dancing and I am a keen cyclist. 


Carol Gaiger - Volunteering Support Worker & Reception

I have spent many years living and travelling abroad but have always returned to Harrogate which I call home as it is a very special place to live. I joined Harrogate & Ripon CVS 8 years ago as Forums and Events Co-ordinator and I am now Volunteering Support Worker. I feel fortunate to be involved with a charity that is helping so many people and also working with volunteers who are all pretty amazing people too.

My passions are travelling to new places around the world, I just need that lottery win to make it a full time profession, spending time in our wonderful Yorkshire countryside, red wine and chocolate!


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 HARCVS 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!)


Rachel Kingdom - Business Development Officer

I grew up in Huby and so know the Harrogate area well. I love having a go at anything new particularly if it's craft related - I have good side-line in making lampshades at the moment. I'm also trying to learn Spanish (emphasis on the trying!). I joined CVS in 2010 and was amazed to find out how many charities were active around Harrogate. The dedication of the staff and volunteers I’ve met is a real motivation to me in my current role as Business Development Officer.


Nina Muir - Support and Development Officer

I have lived in the Harrogate District since 1985 and first started my involvement with the local voluntary sector by volunteering with several local groups in the village of Birstwith and with environmental groups in Harrogate and Knaresborough, while self-employed as a writer/ photographer/ researcher.  In 2015 I celebrated 25 years at Harrogate and Ripon CVS, starting as Volunteer Centre Co-ordinator in Harrogate way back in January 1991!   Over the years I have been evolving with the organisation and during this time I have held six varied posts which have enabled me to meet and work with some truly inspirational and motivated people within the organisation and across the District.   So I know many will agree with me when I say, Harrogate would be seriously lacking without its hugely effective voluntary sector!


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 also work part time at North Yorkshire Sport and I hold a masters degree in Charity Accounting and Financial Management. In my spare time I’m a keen mountaineer.


Carol Rowe- Reception

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 2011 to improve my work life balance.

I joined CVS in 2012, where I 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, Zumba, yoga and pilates, but most of all having more free time to spend with friends and family.


Liddy Swales - Business Support Officer

I have I’ve been working in the voluntary and community sector since graduating from University of Leeds in 2015. Having just joined the HARCVS team January this year I’m excited to be learning more about the wonderful work that charities carry out here in the Harrogate district. In my spare time I enjoy tackling the odd sewing project and getting out and about with friends and family.


Harrogate Easier Living Project (HELP) Team

Frances Elliott (Project Manager)

Lizzie Hughes (Project Development Worker - job share)

Anna Woollven (Project Development Worker - job share)

Christine Turner (Service Co-ordinator)

Andy Storr (Service Support Worker)

Brian Trickett (Service Support Worker)

Jen Sonley (Administrator/ Scheduler )

Julie Proudler (Ripon Services Co-ordinator)

Helen Flynn (Ripon & Rural Wellbeing Project Worker)

Deborah Johnson (Ripon & Rural Wellbeing Project Worker)

Susan Wells (Ripon & Rural Wellbeing Project Worker)

Malcolm Compton (Service Co-ordinator, Ripon Voluntary Car Driving Service)

Alison Bradley (Ripon Administrator)


Our Board of Trustees

Jackie Snape (Disability Action Yorkshire) (Chair)

Lindsay Mitchell (Arthritis Care - Harrogate Branch)

John Groves (Ripon Community House)

Kevin Douglas (Harrogate Cycle Action)

Maurice Bull (Rotary Club of Harrogate)

Cllr John Fox (Fairfax Community Centre)

Canon Ruth Hind (Ripon Cathedral)  

Stuart Gregory (co-opted)

Cllr Pat Jones (Harrogate Borough Council representative - Co-opted)

A huge thank you to our dedicated volunteers who support Harrogate & Ripon Centres for Voluntary Service and our Projects! Over 130 volunteers give over 250 hours of time every week!