Work Experience

Freelance Communications Facilitator and Community Engagement Consultant (2016-2017)

  • provided services to Silloth-on-Solway for their Cumbria in Bloom and Britain in Bloom Campaigns
  • submitted Silloth in Bloom and Britain in Bloom entries on behalf of Silloth Town Council and the local community
  • set up Silloth’s display stand for Cumbria in Bloom at Holker Hall Garden Festival (winning gold award)
  • photographed ‘in bloom’ developments in Silloth
  • set up the ‘Silloth in Bloom’ website (https://sillothinbloom.wordpress.com) and added content
  • organised presentation and tour of local developments for Cumbria in Bloom judges matching judging criteria to developments
  • liaised with volunteers gathering relevant information for the judges portfolio
  • compiled Britain in Bloom judges portfolio matching RHS development criteria to local developments in Silloth (http://bit.ly/2qoOZxt)
  • organised information pop-ups and gave a presentation to Britain in Bloom judges, illustrating the extent to which local developments matched their judging criteria
  • organised Britain in Bloom judges route again matching developments to judging criteria
  • accompanied Britain in Bloom judges on their tour, highlighting where the efforts by volunteers matched their criteria

Cumbria in Bloom Awards for Silloth (2016) included:

  • Gold Award – Coastal Resort Trophy
  • Allerdale Trophy for ‘Best in Borough’
  • Rickerby Ltd Trophy, as ‘Best Overall Town and Urban Community’
  • Amberol Trophy for ‘Best Sustainable Development Town’
  • Runner Up in ‘Special Category for Continental landscapes’ (Discovery centre Garden)
  • Runner up for the Cumbria Tourism Rose Bowl awarded to ‘Self Catering Establishments and Visitor Attractions’ (Silloth Golf Course)
  • The Silloth Green Community Garden and Heritage Rose and Bee garden were individual winners of the RoyalHorticulturalSociety’s’It’sYour Neighbourhood’ Awards, each gaining a level 5 ‘Outstanding Result’
  • The Heritage Rose and Bee Garden volunteer received a Community Champion Award for ‘Outstanding contribution to Cumbria in Bloom’

Britain in Bloom Awards for Silloth (2016) included:

  • Silver Gilt Award in the Coastal Town (up to 12K) Category
  • Community Champion Award for Silloth-in-Bloom Chairperson

Ongoing Development of Silloth Airfield Website (2016-2017)

  •  researched heritage information and added content to the Silloth Airfield website
  • presented information about the Heritage of Silloth Airfield to Cockermouth Civic Group

Neighbourhood Planning (2017)

  • provided services to Eden Town Council in relation to their Local Neighbourhood Plan
  • provided an engagement and consultation plan
  • provided marketing material/poster

2012-2016 – ‘Silloth Green Refurbishment Project‘ Silloth Town Council. Heritage Lottery Funded. (£1.2 million)

  • led on community engagement between 2012-2016
  • organised events eg. Silloth Green opening day event in 2012, Silloth Green Day in 2013, Community garden opening event in 2014 (now a regular annual event), BMX Track opening event in 2014.
  • identified external funding and wrote bids for funding a variety of events and projects
  • worked closely with volunteers in Friends of the Green and Silloth Tourism Action Group (STAG) to organise their events
  • worked with Friends of the Green and Solway Woodcarvers to organise the creation of a story telling chair for Silloth Green
  • developed themes from the Heritage Lottery Interpretation Strategy for Silloth Green, selected images and wrote content for signage and heritage interpretation panels
  • provided briefs for procurement of signage and interpretation structures, 
  • implemented the volunteer, education and training plans, and established outcomes and targets
  • managed public consultation for the BMX Track and the Community Garden
  • managed the design and development of the Community Garden, working closely with landscape gardeners and the local community 
  • liaised with partners and created links with heritage, tourism and leisure initiatives
  • mentored volunteers in events groups, Friends of the Green and Silloth Tourism Action Group; and completed volunteer time sheets for all volunteers
  • developed and maintained good relationships with local and regional media, ensuring high levels of recognition and publicity for event, activities and projects
  • ensured all events and activities respected the Green’s heritage value
  • set up Silloth Green website and added content
  • wrote content for the e-learning pages on the Silloth Green website; produced  eNewsletter on educational aspects of Silloth Green for 380 schools in Cumbria
  • set up and wrote content for an online heritage database
  • set up and added content to Silloth Coastal Communities Team and Silloth in Bloom websites
  • wrote content and produced promotional leaflet for Silloth Green
  • collated monitoring activity to measure the success of the Silloth Green project
  • wrote progress reports and compiled the final evaluation for Heritage Lottery

2014-2015 – Silloth Airfield ‘Community Memories’ Project. Heritage Lottery Funded (£9,600)

In 2014, I wrote a bid for funds from Heritage Lottery on behalf of Silloth Tourism Action Group (STAG) to support a one year heritage project about Silloth Aerodrome.  Over the year, I researched the history of  the Airfield to preserve local heritage for future generations. Specific outcomes included:

  • A short documentary film about the airfield. Desk research, script, production and direction of the film by  Anna Malina.  Photos supplied by local people, local social media administrators and families of those serving at the airfield during WW2. Overhead video shots of the Airfield (as it is in the present day) by James Smith Photography.  Voiceover by Tim Barker (an actor who lives locally, who also runs the Soldiers in Silloth Museum).  Voiceover recording by Geoff Bettsworth, who ives locally and teaches guitar. Film edited (above and beyond the call of duty) by John Hamlett, Lunar Creative Video Productions.
  • The Silloth Airfield Website – researched, designed and administered by Anna Malina. The website traces the history of the airfield and highlights memories of the men and women who were based there during WW2. Interviews conducted by Anna Malina. Photos supplied by local people in Silloth, local historians running heritage Facebook pages and families of those who served at Silloth Airfield during WW2.
  • A stage drama, scripted and performed by Solway Community Technology College students.
  • A leaflet about the Airfield. Content by Anna Malina. Layout by Mike Hughes Creative.
  • A diorama of the airfield, complete with buildings, hangars, runways and planes replicating the aerodrome as it was during WW2 (designed and built by Brian Irwin)
  • A Simulator for landing a WW2 Beaufighter on Runway 21 Silloth Airfield (by Open Source Programmer Stuart Buchanan)
  • A Computer Simulator loaned by the Solway Aviation Museum
  • A stall with artefacts borrowed from the Solway Aviation Museum
  • An Exhibition of information and WW2 artefacts (Pop-up displays designed by Mike Hughes Creative and printed by John Cook Signs; artefacts relating to the airfield loaned by a number of local people, the Solway Aviation Museum and Dumfries and Galloway Aviation Museum.
  • A WW2 table display was made by the pupils at Silloth Primary School
  • An end of project celebration promoted learning about the heritage of the airfield

Finally I balanced the budget, monitored and evaluated the project and wrote the final report.

Silloth Airfield Film

Description and photos from Silloth Airfield Celebration Evening, 24th April, 2015. Photos courtesy Brian Clarke, Gordon Akitt and John Hamlett

2004-2012 – Community engagement and consultation – Eden District Council 
  • produced guidance and wrote consultation policy
  • organised public engagement and consultations
  • provided training in consultation methods to elected councillors
  • liaised with Delib to set up and evaluate a new e-consultation system designed specifically for local councils.
2001-2006 Academic Research and Consultancy
Itech-Research, Dublin. Senior Research Consultant

The approach to the study was based on the idea that citizens from all demographic groups in diverse communities should have opportunity to participate using information and communication technologies (ICTs). Interviews were an important element of the research and the team heard from or discussed priorities for an inclusive information society with more than 60 people from Government departments and agencies, public authorities and bodies working at national, regional and local levels, also community and voluntary sector organisations, social partners and others.

International Teledemocracy Centre (ITC)
  • Researched, monitored and assessed a new ePetitioning system for the Scottish Parliament, set up by British Telecom (BT) in partnership with the International Teledemocracy Centre; wrote high level briefings for the Public Petitions Committee.
    • Subsequently, the Scottish Parliament took the ePetitioning system in-house, re-branded it, and it has been in constant operation ever since.
      • One of the early recommendations made in my evaluation report, ePetitioner: A Monitoring and Evaluation Report (2001) was that ePetitioning systems would be useful at local level, allowing people to petition their local councils about the things that concerned them. Since that time, many national, regional and local governments have developed such systems.
  • published a number of articles publications and presented at several international conferences
  • South Queensland Parliament in Australia subsequently set up a similar system.
  • Outcomes of research fed into organisation of the UK Parliament’s petitioning system.
Honorary Research Fellow 
  • Hon. Research Fellow (2005-2012) with the University of Dundee.
  • strengthened research, practice, learning and writing in the area of ICT enabled community education and community development.
National Grid for Learning, Scotland
  • Produced case studies outlining good practice electronic communication and a range of educational resources related to e-Democracy.

Freelance Communications Facilitator & Community Engagement Consultant

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