Karina Ross, Programme Manager
Karina is local to Helmsdale and was brought up in the village, only leaving at the age of 17 to be able to study BA (Hons) Business Studies at University in Aberdeen. Having lived and worked in Inverness for the past 10 years, Karina decided to return to East Sutherland in the summer of 2016 and is delighted to be working back in her ‘hometown’. Karina started working with us in October 2016 and is responsible for the day to day running of the Connecting Communities projects and for managing all the staff involved in the various projects.
Sarah Kerr, Communications Manager
Sarah is originally from the Isle of Wight and has a HND in Video Production and BA(Hons) in Media Writing. She began working for the dementia cause in 2008 when she joined Alzheimer’s Disease International in London. After some chance meetings with Ann Pascoe and a move to the Highlands in 2013, she became a part of the team.
Mary-Anne Ross, Finance Manager
Mary-Anne joined Connecting Communities as Office Manager in 2015. She also works at Helmsdale Primary School and as a mobile hairdresser. She grew up in Edinburgh, but moved north with her family when she was young, and now lives in Helmsdale.
Anne Rutt, Office Administrator and Art ‘n Blether tutor
Anne joined us in April 2017 providing administration for all of our Connecting Communities projects. Anne also runs our Art ‘n Blether classes. Originally from Calverton in Nottinghamshire, Anne now lives in Helmsdale and is a landscape artist.
Wendy Simmonds, Project Lead for Helmsdale Village Hub
Wendy is originally from Nairn and was a retail manageress before moving to Brora. She has an SVQ3 in Health and Social Care and has previously volunteered as an adult literacy tutor and for HUGS Action for Mental Health. Wendy has also enjoyed tutoring creative writing classes at community learning centres. Wendy lives with her husband Stuart and their two dogs, Max and Holly. In her spare time she enjoys Tai Chi, dog walking, writing and singing.
Sue Honey, Support Worker
Sue is one of our Support Workers in the Helmsdale Village Hub.
Eden Taylor, Support Worker
Eden is one of our Support Workers in the Helmsdale Village Hub.
Michelle Johnston, Cook – Dinner To Your Door
Michelle is local to Helmsdale, having lived in the village for most of her life. Michelle initially started with us as our Delivery Driver but moved to the role of Dinner To Your Door Cook when the vacancy became available in October 2017. Michelle is an excellent home cook who also enjoys baking.
Margaret Bashir, Assistant Cook – Dinner To Your Door
Margaret helps Michelle in our Dinner To Your Door kitchen and also provides cover as cook when required.
Kareen Mcconnach, Delivery Driver – Dinner To Your Door
Kareen joined the team in May 2018 as our Dinner To Your Door Delivery Driver. Kareen’s role is to take our freshly cooked Dinner To Your Door meals directly to people at their homes and places of work.
Tom Hughes, Project Lead – Helmsdale Men’s Shed
Tom took on the role of Project lead for our Men’s Shed in May 2019. Tom is a joiner by trade and has a strong interest in gardening. His role is to oversee the day-to-day running and use of the Men’s Shed.