Somerset Rural Youth Project is a registered charity and as such is managed by a board of trustees. The following comprised the board as of February 2014. Members describe their background and interests and what they contribute to the work of SRYP.
Nicola Slawski, - Acting Chair
formerly of Sedgemoor District Council, now retired, Independent member
I first became involved with SRYP in my role as Head of Community Services (later Group Manager) for Sedgemoor District Council. My remit at Sedgemoor included support for voluntary organisations, community development, crime and disorder reduction and environmental issues.
I initially joined the SRYP Board as a representative of the District Councils in Somerset. In April 2010, I took early retirement in order to spend more time with my elderly parents, but accepted an invitation to remain on the Board as an independent member. I currently chair SRYP's fundraising committee.
My other voluntary sector interests include chairing Somerset Levels and Moors Local Action (part of the Rural Development Programme for England, an European-funded programme) which is due to complete at the end of 2013. I am also a Board Member and the Company Secretary for the Victoria Park Centre in Bridgwater. My leisure interests include walking (could link to item on my sponsored coast to coast in May) and gardening.
Stuart Rance, - Self Employed Businessman, Independent Member
Stuart has not yet sent in his commentary.
Oliver Woodhams - Strategic Manager for Traded Services, Somerset County Council
I joined the SRYP Board in November 2008 and have loved working with the organisation ever since. I share SRYP’s passion for enabling young people to reach their potential, and our nimble, innovative and flexible approach makes a refreshing change from my day job in a much larger public sector organisation.
I am a qualified accountant with a background in local authority finance and contract management, and bring a range of financial and commercial experience to support SRYP. I am a member of the Finance sub-committee and also a representative of Somerset County Council. In my day job I have responsibility for passenger transport operations, and understand the challenges of providing sustainable and affordable transport solutions in a rural area.
My other interests include walking, travel and cycling around the lanes of Somerset. I live in Taunton with my wife and daughter.
Jacky Barnes - Retired - Independent member
My expertise is in local government finance. I have worked in a number councils in both accountancy and audit. My last role was as deputy treasurer to Somerset County Council.
I believe that SRYP not only benefits the rural youth of Somerset but also has a positive impact on the wider community. When I retired I joined the board, hoping to contribute my experience and expertise towards making that happen. I may not have worked with the young people of Somerset directly but I am the mother of two adult children and now have two grandchildren so I can understand some of the challenges that face them.My interests are music, art, literature and the WI!
Alex Sherman – Avalon Marshes Landscape Partnership, Independent Member
I have worked on joint projects to do with transport, employment and rural skills with SRYP for 12 years or so and also worked at the organisation for just over a year in 2010. I now manage a large scheme in the Avalon Marshes and Glastonbury to do with wildlife and the landscape, training, education and heritage as well as volunteering.
My other interests as well as my job are in sustainable development and ‘upcycling’, local food and drink and lots of different types of music. I often help out with my wife’s jewellery business which takes me to events and festivals in the summer.
I’ve moved all over the south of England and spent as much time in cities as I have in rural areas but settled in Somerset 15 years ago. I am a strong believer in equal rights for all and that everybody should have the chance to reach their potential.
Stuart Parker - Company Secretary
"I am a corporate and commercial solicitor and a partner at Clarke Willmott solicitors, based in Taunton. I specialise in all aspects of private company law, commercial contracts, company finance and also carry out transactional work for clients looking to buy and sell businesses.
I grew up in rural Somerset and attended schools in the county. Prior to becoming a solicitor, I spent 7 years as an officer, serving with the Royal Navy throughout the world, notably in the Gulf region in 1992. I returned to Somerset in 2003 and have lived here ever since. I have two teenage children, who live with me in a rural environment and, like me, they are familiar with the issues facing young people in such communities. I am therefore very pleased to have been invited to join the board of trustees of such an innovative and forward thinking charity. I am also company secretary.
In my spare time, I cycle, walk and enjoy exploring the countryside in my motorhome."
Last Updated (Friday, 28 February 2014 13:35)