The Team

ROAD is hosted by Groundwork NE & Cumbria, and managed by a team of 7 core staff, working at the eco-friendly Greenhouse in Stanley.

The ROAD Management Team is:

Craig Drummond - Partnership Lead at Groundwork NE & Cumbria

With many years of Business Management experience at People Plus behind him, Craig joined ROAD as he was excited by the idea of working on a Programme that addresses real barriers and supports individuals to reach their potential. Craig’s proudest moment to date is when the Partnership received a result of 100 percent accuracy in our first Big Lottery Fund audit shortly after the project launched. Always one to stick his neck out for his team, if Craig was an animal, he’d be a giraffe!

Philippa Golightly - Senior Navigator (Quality & Compliance) at Groundwork NE & Cumbria

Before ROAD, Philippa worked as an Advisor on the Community Work Programme at Groundwork NE & Cumbria, operating from Durham and Gateshead. Of working on ROAD, Philippa enjoys the challenge of delivering ROAD across the Partnership and keeping up with contractual requirements, is very proud of the success stories coming in from Participants with whom we work and enjoys hearing how people are progressing. Her love of rock music means Philippa travels around the UK to see the Foo Fighters whenever she can.

Vicky Wood - Senior Navigator (Employer Engagement) at Groundwork NE & Cumbria

Vicky worked People Plus as an Information Advice and Guidance Advisor before joining ROAD and to date, enjoys working with a variety of Participants, helping them to the skills required to become job-ready. Vicky loves holidaying in her caravan, far preferring glamping in some luxury as opposed to camping in a tent, and woe betide you if you try to steal pens from her desk, as these are her favourite stationery item!

Rachel Vickers - Programme Finance & Marketing Officer at Groundwork NE & Cumbria

Having worked in numerous Data Quality and Finance roles in education prior to joining ROAD, Rachel joined the team at Groundwork NE & Cumbria after relocating from the Midlands. The variation of daily work, constant challenges and reward from overcoming them, and being able to add creativity to the Programme is what Rachel most enjoys about her job. Her proudest moment of working on ROAD to date is having the project’s social media channels presented as good examples at a Regional Building Better Opportunities meet. Rachel was once the owner of the largest collection of Sex Pistols badges (punk memorabilia) in the United Kingdom.

Kerry Whitfield - Administration Officer at Groundwork NE & Cumbria

Kerry has worked in Admin for most of her career working as a Doctor’s Receptionist prior to joining ROAD. Before that Kerry worked for several years for a well known Training Company. In her time there Kerry did a few different roles varying from Information, Advice & Guidance Officer, signing learners onto the Programme to Administrator in the Claims Team dealing with Data Quality and all administration tasks within the team. Kerry is also a Dance Teacher running her own school in Consett teaching children to dance which keeps her busy. Kerry not only judges competitions on a national basis, but accompanies her school to participate in these events.

VACANT POSITION - Financial & Claims Administrator

For more information on this exciting vacancy, and details on how to apply, click here.

Alastair Hill (07812 663 764) - Engagement Navigator

Before becoming a ROAD Navigator, Al was a Project Officer with the Newcastle United Foundation working on an employability programme. Al enjoys the variety of work entailed with each ROAD Participant, helping them to overcome their barriers. Al is proud of being able to help one of his Participants to claim back over £1,000 in benefits, council and income tax overpayments. If a film was made about his life, he would choose Tom Hardy to play the role of Al Hill. Al works as a Navigator for ROAD Partner, Changing Lives, and is currently seconded to a role specifically dealing with Engagement across County Durham.

ROAD Navigators are:

Alexandra Neely

Coming soon!

Crook, Willington, Weardale & Teesdale

Sarah Menday

Sarah Menday - Navigator Before joining the ROAD Team, Sarah has worked for a number of educational establishments in a variety of roles, most recently for Centrepoint working with young and homeless. Of joining ROAD, Sarah is excited to be part of a unique Programme that value each individual. Always creative, Sarah enjoys tattoos and upcycling furniture.

07715 201 689

Chester le Street & Durham City

Julia Fletcher

Previously, Julia has worked as a Trainer for many well-known companies as well as experience in HR and managerial roles. She was really excited to come on board the ROAD Programme as she loves helping people to get in a better place and better themselves. She is a happy-go-lucky kind of girl, who enjoys being around people. She hopes to make a difference to many different peoples' lives. In her spare time, she likes to live life on the edge with Thai boxing and ride motocross.

07736 264 979

Newton Aycliffe & Bishop Auckland

Alison Soulsby

Alison Soulsby - Navigator

Alison was a Business Advisor before joining ROAD as a Navigator, and she loves working one-to-one with the Participants to help them to find their potential. In her spare time, Alison loves to shop for vintage dresses.

Hollie-Jo Chalmers

Before becoming a ROAD Navigator, Hollie-Jo worked with people within Changing Lives services to help them get into employment. She enjoy helping people work towards their goals and achieve what they thought they couldn’t. Of ROAD, Hollie-Jo is looking forward to starting new journeys with Participants to help them progress into employment. When not working, she loves to spend time socialising with friends and family – Duvet days are also big part of this, as Hollie-Jo think relaxation is key!

07812 672 668

Chester le Street & Durham City

Sophie Bottomley

Sophie Bottomley - Navigator

Sophie has lots of experience of working with vulnerable individuals through her employment with Changing Lives, and of being a ROAD Navigator, Sophie's favourite aspect is supporting Participants on their journey. Always colourful, Sophie's favourite of all is purple.

07812 663 034

Chester le Street & Durham City

Bev Ellis

Coming soon!

Chris Cowley

Chris Cowley - Navigator

An Employment Training Manager before ROAD, the Participants are what Chris likes most about working on the Programme. His proudest ROAD moment to date is guiding Participants into paid employment. Not one for superstition, 13 is his favourite number!

07525 813 065

Newton Aycliffe & Bishop Auckland