Meet our staff
Linda Hamnett, Charity Manager - CAFAG
Linda is the Charity Manager. She took up the post in May 2011. Throughout her career she has worked with children in some capacity, either in special education, nursery education, day care and out of school clubs and leaving care.
Since taking up the post, CAFAG's activities have developed at the Whitfield Valley Centre. The Community Cafe provision has increased to open for 5 days rather than three, the Crèche provision doubled to run for four sessions a week through funding from firstly Robbie Williams "Give it Sum" fund and then from Children in Need. The Lunch Club runs every week rather than every fortnight. We have opened two Nurseries, one within the Community Centre and the other at the Children's Centre in Chell Heath. We have a very successful Youth Project and we are about to embark on two new social enterprises comprising of a gardening project and a catering project. Linda continues to successfully attract staff members and volunteers who share her desire to promote and develop the objectives of the charity for the benefit of the local community.
Managing CAFAG keeps Linda busy for most of her time. When she does get spare time she enjoys spending it with her family and friends and in particular, with her three young grandsons. She also enjoys getting out into the fresh air of the garden at the weekend where she continues to learn more about planting and cultivation.
Bernie Webbe, Community Enterprise Officer
Bernie has over 21 years’ experience of working within the regeneration, business support, social enterprise, charity, voluntary and community sector working with a wide range of organisations and groups. Bernie has worked with a variety of groups across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent over the last 20 years in project management, social enterprise, community development and funding bid writing roles.
Bernie started volunteering with CAFAG in 2013 working on funding bids, business planning and project management before becoming a Trustee and Vice-Chair in 2014. She then became a paid member of staff in November 2015 as CAFAG’s Community Enterprise Officer and is currently heavily involved in delivering CAFAG’s Fit for the Future Lottery funded project.
In her spare time Bernie is a keen amateur photographer, enjoys reading and being kept busy with her two children!
Paula Purcell, Crèche Supervisor
Paula has worked in the crèche at CAFAG for ten years and has been Crèche Supervisor since 2014. She has been a part of the project since it's beginning. Since starting to work in the crèche Paula has gained her NVQ level 2 in Children’s and Young People's workforce and is currently working towards gaining her NVQ level 3 qualification as an Early Years Educator.
Paula has three grown up children of her own and four grandchildren who keep her quite busy. When not busy with her grandchildren Paula likes to spend weekends in her caravan
Jim Hazelton, Youth Worker
Jim has 10 years’ experience of working within the youth sector. His background includes working with a varied range of young people city wide from different communities and backgrounds including managing different youth projects across the city, community sports coaching, youth offending service and young carers.
Jim has worked for CAFAG since the youth project started in 2016. There are currently two successful Youth Clubs catering for ages from 11-19 and offering activities including sports, music, computer games, pool, table tennis, table football, darts, board games, cooking, issue based sessions and arts and crafts.
Dave Johnson, Community Gardener
After working for over seventeen years in education Dave decided to take early retirement in January 2018. When the opportunity to work at CAFAG as their Community Gardener came along he couldn’t wait to apply for the position.
Following his appointment, Dave's first task was to catalogue the equipment and to get everything working so that he and the volunteers could maintain the gardens that surround the centre. He has also been training the volunteers on how to make the best use of the equipment and health and safety. Once the grounds around the centre have been tidied Dave's plan is to start the allotment area in order to start growing fresh fruit and vegetables.
Emma Obhi, Finance Administrator
Emma has over 18 years management experience within the customer service sector working with a range of national and international companies. Her role at CAFAG involves making the money work for the Charity through managing the day-to-day finances, recording income and expenditure, making payments, producing monthly Management Accounts and making monthly and weekly reconciliations.
When she’s not keeping CAFAG’s finances on track, Emma loves spending time with her two boys especially in the great outdoors and she also enjoys reading a wide range of books as well as being a bit of a film addict!
Nannette Hulse, Community Health & Wellbeing Officer
I worked for the Local Authority for 8 yrs, based in Stoke North Children’s Centre where I was the Community & Economic & Development Officer. I was made redundant in April 2017 so decided to take early retirement. I became a Trustee for CAFAG but when the opportunity came up to work full-time I applied for the role, Community Health & Wellbeing officer and was successful.
Since my appointment I have started to update all the volunteer files, recruit new Trustees, look at the marketing, promotional and display boards in the Centre and to build upon relationships with partner agencies and with families who use the centre.
Melissa Mcmaster and Tracey Vicarey Nursery Managers
Tracy and Melissa have between them 21 years experience working with young children, both have worked within our nursery since opening in 2014. Tracy began her time at CAFAG in 2009 working as supervisor of our creche. Both our managers hold a Level 3 Childcare qualification and each have undertaken leadership and management courses and continue to keep up-to date with regular training.
Tracy and Melissa continue to develop our nursery and learning opportunities for our children alongside forming good relationships with local schools and parents.
Tracy and Melissa each have two children of their own and both enjoy movies, keeping fit and healthy and spending time with family and friends.