I have been in the Hospitality and Events industry since qualifying at Westminster Catering college in the 1980’s. I have travelled all over the world as Food & Beverage Manager, supporting events for clients such as Bentley, Google, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and BT. When the pandemic arrived in March 2020 and the events world collapsed, I offered to step in and oversee the daily running of the food bank. I have a working Black Labrador, Zulu, who keeps me fit with long walks around Bromyard.
My name is Katherine Smith and I have lived near Bromyard for the last 25 years. I am a registered social worker and have worked in the area for various local authorities and the NHS both as a front line worker and a Senior Manager. I am semi retired though currently working for the NHS. I am very committed to making sure local people including children and young people from Bromyard and the surrounding rural area have access to nutritious food, money advice and general support when it is needed especially at the time of Coronavirus where life may not be as stable and predictable as we would like. It’s important we value and enhance local communities when times are hard. If I can use my expertise then this is a way of giving back to the area which has supported me over the years.
Rev Phil Warrey
Rev Phil Warrey is a Superintendent Methodist Minister based in Ledbury and is responsible for the Methodist Churches in Hereford City, Ledbury, Bromyard and an URC/Methodist Church in Ross-on-Wye. Rev Phil is also a Trustee of Ledbury Foodbank, a Vennture Street Pastor and Street Ambassador. Rev Phil is also District Ecumenical Officer for Herefordshire. In his previous appointment in Essex he also took his turn in being duty manager for Southend Winter Churches Night shelter. Rev Phil is married with 2 daughters and 2 grandchildren. Coming to ministry in later life, Rev Phil’s previous experience was as a Control Systems Engineer with a multinational company, a Methodist Lay Preacher and Boys’ Brigade Captain.
My background is in education and administration. I moved to Bromyard nearly five years ago from the West Midlands. I serve on Bromyard and Winslow Town Council and attend St. Joseph’s Church where I am responsible for health and safety. I have two very active Jack Russells who make sure I am out on Bringsty Common every day. In this extraordinary year that we are still experiencing, it is vital that we work together and use our individual skills for the common good.
Helen Combe – Bromyard CMA Connect Centre Manager
Helen Combe is a ‘can do’ person who is passionate about bringing hope to people trapped in the tyranny of insurmountable debt, and the fear, shame, anger and mental health problems that accompany it. A wife and mother, she also spent some years as a business development manager, and latterly has worked as a volunteer with Christians Against Poverty, now putting that experience to good use with CMA Connect. Helen is very active in her local church, and with her husband enjoys gardening and growing vegetables, walking and taking a break in their caravan. Their Christian faith has helped them weather many a storm, both emotional and financial, and she is glad to have an opportunity through CMA and the Foodbank to give back to others.
Peter Mercer-Wilson – Money Mentor
Peter Mercer-Wilson spent sixteen years in the army in different jobs. His responsibilities included planning and developing projects, making the best use of resources available and often in difficult situations. It is hoped that we will be able to impact the poor and needy in our local community through the great work being done by volunteers and the professional support of the CMA staff. The need we know is growing and as a team we will, with God’s help, fulfil our calling. He believes that the CMA model is the best practical way that church members can give support and outreach to those in financial need alongside the food bank support. He spends any spare time working in the garden, reading, taking the dog for a walk and DIY in and around the house and garden.
Graham Francis – Money Mentor
Graham Francis believes that everyone has unique talents and abilities but sometimes through life circumstances, people have been denied the opportunity to flourish or simply have made ‘life decisions’ that have led to poor outcomes. Graham brings many years of experience of developing successful relationships both within the technology industry and the education sector, the latter whilst working with some extremely vulnerable adults in the prison sector. His Christian faith has shown him that freedom from debt and financial difficulties is often made easier when we trust in God and that often poverty has many painful underlying causes. When he’s not helping his wife in her vegetable and flower garden, Graham can usually be found in the garage tinkering with his classic cars and motorcycles.
Angie Allport – Money Mentor
Angie Allport was brought up in Malvern but left there around 30 years ago to further what was then a budding career in local government, working in the democratic core (council meeting administration and elections). Following a twenty-year career, she quit to work for the Methodist Church and volunteer in her local Oxfam bookshop. Having felt called by God, she offered and was accepted to train for ordained ministry. After serving for five years in Harpenden, Angie was sent to Hereford in September 2019. Most of her work is in Hereford but she also works with Bromyard Methodist Church. Angie is volunteering with CMA Connect because she wants to see people’s lives transformed as they rid themselves of the burden of debt. Angie is currently mid-way through a post-graduate theology degree so there’s not too much time for hobbies, but she enjoys cross-stitching. She is also a bit of a film buff and particularly likes the old black and white films of the 1930s and 40s.