Meet the team
Please find below details of our hardworking staff and trustee team.
Jo Horsfall | CEO
Jo has overall responsibility for the development and day to day running of the Scheme. She reports to the Trustees, our funders and local partners. She manages the staff team and works closely with our Trustees. Jo works to secure funding for the Scheme, writing bids and negotiating with funders. She recruits new staff members and oversees the recruitment of volunteers.
Charley Connor | Office Manager
Charley manages the office team and ensures staff receive appropriate guidance and support. He manages the Scheme’s database and is responsible for applying for funding grants and monitoring our current funding streams. He co-ordinates our Health & Safety requirements and is the Data Protection Officer monitoring compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Nadine (Dee) Oliver | Senior Project Worker
Dee runs T-Days at Cross Gates Working Men’s Club and our Halton Activity Group at Christchurch. She organises our monthly sessions at The Newman Centre: Sandwich & a Song, Birds of a Feather and Food and a Film. She oversees our Wednesday morning Mixed Activity Group and supports our Lunch Club. In addition, Dee carries out home visits and assessments and signposts or refers members to other agencies.
Sandra Davis | Project Worker
Sandra leads on the SWIFt Project. She carries out home visits and assessments and signposts or refers members to other agencies. She advises and supports our members with various problems including applying for the Blue Badge Scheme and help with utilities. Sandra is available at St Mary’s Drop-In every Friday, to offer support and make sure everyone is enjoying themselves.
Marion Darlow | Outreach Manager
Marion manages and develops the befriending service so members can access the support they need. She also recruits, inducts and supervises befriender volunteers as well as some group support volunteers. Marion coordinates referrals, carries out home visits and assessments and signposts or refers members to other agencies.
Ilona Janosz-Floyd | Group Support Worker
Ilona helps with groups, welcomes new members and helps with shopping. She makes sure everyone is happy, well looked after and safe. She listens and helps with any enquires, about anything she can or she passes on any questions or comments to the office. Ilona supports our members in the way she would like to be helped and looked after.
Stephen Bostridge | Transport & Training Co-ordinator
Stephen joined the Scheme at the start of 2019. His job is to look after the minibus, making sure it is serviced and maintained. He arranges and drives the Tuesday Minibus Trips and the Short Walks and ensures the minibus has a driver for the other days it is used. Stephen also ensures that new volunteers are DBS checked, he then carries out their induction and provides ongoing support.
Claire Wall | Community Support Worker
Information to follow
Dianne (Di) Dines | Activity Support Worker
Di’s role as Activity Support Worker is to ensure our members are safe, happy and listened to whilst making life as much fun as possible! Di loves being with her family including Brooklyn, her 4.5 year old grandson. She enjoys music of many eras and dancing (not any particular sort) just loving the rhythm of music.
Emily Baxendale | Business Admin Apprentice
Emily is our Business Admin Apprentice. She also assists Sam with IT, supports Claire at the Community Hub, and helps with activities and other work as needed. She enjoys working here because it gives her the opportunity to offer help and support for the community whilst she also learns and gains experience.
Jane Robinson | Communications Worker
Jane started working at Cross Gates in 2008 managing a Lottery Funded Living History Project. She returned in 2012 to manage our communications, including our newsletter and website. She is also the Manager at Leeds Bereavement Forum.
Lynda Pitts | Chair
Lynda joined the Scheme as a volunteer in 2015, after retiring from a career as a Nurse in the NHS. She became a Trustee in 2017. Lynda then took over as our Chairperson in 2022. Lynda is originally from a small community in North Wales, but has worked in Leeds all of her professional life.
Lynda is extremely grateful for the support given by the local community network who supported her parents in their later years and through significant ill health. Lynda hopes that drawing on her experiences, personally and professionally, that she can influence and support the day to day and long term running of the Scheme.
Jacki Lawrence | Vice Chair
With a background in volunteering since her early teens Jackie has been a trustee since 2005. She has seen the Scheme grow from offering coffee mornings twice a week to what is is now, supporting over 1,000 people and offering 28 different activities. She is proud to be a member of a board which has people with such a diverse range of skills and experience all of whom are determined to make this Scheme one of the best Neighbourhood Networks in the city.
Irene Midgley | Treasurer
Irene started volunteering at the Scheme in 2003 when she retired from NatWest Bank, after 33 years as a cashier. She has been Treasurer/Trustee for 16 years.
She enjoys every minute working with and for everyone at the Scheme, “It has been a lifesaver for me over the years and I hope I can continue for many more years to come.”
Councillor Pauleen Grahame
Pauleen is Chair of Outer East Community Committee for Cross Gates and Whinmoor Ward. She is also Chair of Crossgates Forum and Governor at John Smeaton Community College, Swarcliffe Primary School, White Laith Primary School and Manston Primary School.
Over 18 years ago, Anita suffered a slight stroke and had to stop working. She loved to read so called into Crossgates Library to become a member. She heard music coming from one of the side rooms and discovered a chap called Doug playing the keyboard. She was offered a coffee and got talking to him. Doug told her that he and a few other were trying to start a local coffee morning and she was asked if she would join them. Eighteen years later, she is still making coffee and us now on the Board of Trustees.
Anita has met some wonderful people over the years, and has lost some wonderful people too. She continues to volunteer at our Tuesday and Friday coffee mornings.
A retired scientist, David became a member of the Scheme in 2017, quickly joining the ukulele group and then becoming a volunteer befriender. He was appointed as a Trustee in 2018. Through his wider interests in the charity sector in Leeds, he is also a Trustee of Leeds Older People’s Forum.
Hazel lives in sheltered housing in Cross Gates after returning to the UK after living for 42 years in Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
She is a friendly lady who enjoys social contact with people she meets in Cross Gates, even if she does not know them personally. She joined the Scheme on the advice of a fellow church goer. Her daughter and three grandchildren all live in Canada.
Living in her small flat means that she has some company with other residents, however she enjoys the social connection at the Scheme as she mixes with different people.
When his wife Audrey was diagnosed with dementia, Brian knew that he would need help and hearing that Cross Gates & District Good Neighbours’ Scheme CIO had a Carers Group, he headed over to the Centre to join. “Story of my life… the group was away on a day trip but Jo sat me down with a cup of tea and we talked for quite a time about where I could get help and what the Scheme had to offer.”
Brian and Audrey joined the Scheme and attended many of the activities, especially ‘Sandwich and Song’, his particular favourite. He was invited and accepted to join as a Trustee in 2021. He feels so indebted to the organisation that probably helped save his sanity while he was caring for Audrey. The staff were so kind to them every time they came in. He has also written the odd rhyme when asked to do so.