As a busy CEO it’s hard to know where to turn to for good advice and to share the load, no matter what you are facing we are here for you. Reach out to our advice and support team with any questions you may have, they are here to listen and support you. If they can’t help directly, they’ll point you in the right direction from within ACEVO’s resources, an expert partner or another member.

Claire Cordell
Claire CordellChief Executive Officer
I’m a mum of 3 fabulous teenagers, I came into post as the CEO of Rother Voluntary Action in October 2020, and our role as an infrastructure organisation is to support local charities and voluntary groups grow and thrive in Rother. RVA have been providing crucial support to the voluntary and community sector in Rother since 2006, and I am delighted to lead the organisation when this support has never been more vital.

I’m passionate about equality and enabling individuals and our communities to help themselves,and previously, I founded Little Gate a local charity in 2012, as I felt there was a lack of opportunity of adults with autism and learning disabilities to go into paid work. It was a fantastic learning journey for me and the team, we doubled in size year on year and we as an organisation had to adapt and change and grow with it.

I stepped down in 2020 as Chief Exec of Little Gate, and throughout the pandemic I provided mentoring and talks for the school of Social Entrepreneurs before starting as CEO at Rother Voluntary Action in October 2020. I also had the privilege of being chair of Governors at Glyne Gap school until August 2020 and I sit on the Eggtooth advisory board.

Lorraine Brown
Lorraine BrownDeputy Chief Executive
I joined RVA in 201 and my responsibilities lie in all areas of the charity’s operations and financial decision-making. I work with member groups to support their back-office function and run the Community Accountancy Service. I also acts as a trustee and governor to two local organisations and in my spare time, and I enjoy learning new things, listening to music, reading, traveling, eating out and spending time with my family.
Jen Atherall
Jen AtherallProject Lead (on Maternity Leave)
I have worked in the voluntary sector for most of my life, in roles ranging from admin, fundraising, marketing, business development, Head of Service and Director. I love the creativity and dynamic nature of the sector which is driven by a real sense of helping others. The best part of my job is working with a lots of different people – both across Europe and much more locally in towns and villages in Rural Rother. In my own time, I enjoy writing, board-games, walking and DIY! I am married and am expecting my first baby.

As Project Lead for the Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe and the Making it Happen projects, you can get in touch with me about getting involved or how we can support you to start something new in your community.

From September 2021-2022, please contact my colleague teresa.flower@rva.uk.com about these projects.

Teresa Flower
Teresa FlowerProject Lead
I have worked with communities within the third and public sectors for over 25 years now. My background, and first love, is community development, and have lived across the UK and worked in a range of roles from developing projects, overseeing strategies, delivering training, and building links across sectors. I have, in the last eight years, come back to my roots to live and work across Hastings and Rother where my family originates from and where I call home.

I joined Rother Voluntary Action in August 2021 as Project Lead for Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe (HAIRE) and the Making it Happen (MIH) projects. I am very happy to be here at this exciting time for RVA and am looking forward to the future.

Please contact me if you have any questions, would like to get involved or have ideas you would like to explore.

Jackie Saull-Hunt
Jackie Saull-HuntActive Communities Co-ordinator and IKH Project Lead
I am one of RVA’s Community development workers, involved in the ‘Make it Happen’ project based in and around Eastern Rother which aims to simply help turn ideas into reality as far as community groups or individuals are concerned.

I also lead on the I Know How project which is an Interreg project concentrating on assisting people with a cancer diagnosis to return to work.

My main interests include running around the local footpaths especially with various kids in tow, and swimming in the local rivers as well as a lifelong interest in plants.

Ana Mesinezi
Ana MesineziActive Communities Coordinator
I began my journey in community development in September 2016, when I first started my role at RVA. Although I was fairly new to community development, I soon found out that it was something that I really enjoyed doing and that by helping people, families, communities and groups achieve their aims and objectives through my work, I contributed to making Bexhill and Rother a better place to live.

Previously, I worked in the Mental Health and Wellbeing sector, an experience which has provided me with invaluable skills that I have been able to carry through in my community development work.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, learning languages, ballroom dancing and playing the guitar! I am also a mum to two wonderful children, aged 4 and 8.

As an Active Communities Coordinator for the Making It Happen (MIH – Read more here link) and I Know How (IKH – Read more here link) projects, you can get in touch with me about supporting you to start something new in your community or about getting involved in existing community projects/activities.

Debbie Wilkins
Debbie WilkinsCommunity Development Worker, General Infrastructure
For the last 18 years, I have worked in the voluntary sector, in Housing, Homelessness, Substance Misuse and Social Prescribing. More recently I have worked directly within Community Development and I have a real passion for this type of work.
A Bexhill resident for 26 years, I love this Town! I sing in a choir here, play tennis and enjoy walking on the promenade where I meet lots of people…

I work within the General Infrastructure Team at RVA which means I often have the first contact with a group who may need support around legal structure; Governance; Funding; ideas and help with project/business plans and pretty much anything else!

Mandi Lyons
Mandi LyonsFinance & Admin Assistant
I joined RVA as a Finance and Admin Assistant in November 2020 and more recently I have taken on the role of Customer Service Operative. I am new to the voluntary sector, but I am really enjoying learning new skills and being part of the wonderful team at RVA. In my spare time I enjoy days out with my family, reading and I am a regular blood doner. I am married, live in Bexhill and have an 20 month old Little Boy, who keeps me young and on my toes!
Betty Toth
Betty TothMarketing Officer
I joined RVA as a student intern working on the Clean Seas Please project, during my undergraduate. After the completion of a successful year, in 2019, I was offered a permanent position at the organisation. As part of my role, I am charge of the written, video, and photo content for all social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and the maintenance of a unified brand voice across different channels, including the website. I am also in charge of the monthly RVA Newsletter.

On a personal note, I moved to Bexhill in 2017. I enjoy cooking, baking, and reading in my free time.

Annette Holmes
Annette HolmesProject Support Worker
I moved to East Sussex four years ago following a year out to of working to go travelling around Asia, Australia and New Zealand with my husband, having lived in Kent for most of my life. I have worked in education for over 20 years, first as a teaching assistance and then as a primary school teacher.

Having completed the renovations and finally settled in our new home, I started working at RVA in October 2020 on the HAIRE Project (Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe). This project is all about empowering older adults to say what support they need; take part in designing new services; reduce loneliness, improve health and wellbeing and help shape their community for the future – all things that I feel are important as I also run a Friday Lunch Club for Older People in the village where I live.

Along with walking our 4-year-old rescue dog around the beautiful Rother countryside and beaches, I enjoy gardening, cooking and eating!

Please get in touch if you would like to get involved in the Healthy Ageing through Innovation in Rural Europe project