Our Team

Encompass has a dynamic, passionate team who are committed to delivering high quality trauma informed services to ensure they are supported to live a safe live free of hardship and discrimination. 

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Claire Fisher

Claire Fisher, Chief Officer

Claire joined Encompass in 2011 having spent over 15 years working within the private sector as a contracts manager. Starting as an Advice Services Manager and working her way up to Chief officer in 2018, Claire has been influential in the development and growth of all our services, specifically the introduction of our new supported accommodation and the development of a number of existing and new partnerships.

“I am incredibly proud of the work Encompass delivers across Northern Devon, we have built a strong reputation locally based on trust, strong engagement with clients, confident service delivery and our ability to work in a trauma informed and psychologically informed way with all of our clients.

2020 has been like no other and I am looking forward to guiding the charity through what ever challenges come our way."

Recent Projects
@Risk Project  

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Louise Merrifield

Louise joined Encompass in February 2010, shortly after viewing the BBC’s “Secret Millionaire” she took on the role of part time Administration Assistant. Bringing with her a wide stretching commercial and retail knowledge of sales, administration and accounts. Louise now sits on the senior management team as Finance and Office Manager.

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Alex Mucha

Alex has worked for Encompass since 2018 as a Welfare Benefit Adviser for the BGET Project covering North, Mid Devon and West Somerset. She has worked in different social care roles for last 15 years, having experience of working within both children and vulnerable adults settings.

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Anna Lewis

Anna joined Encompass in 2020 as a Flow Coordinator working in primary care and mental health care. Anna previously work for over 20 years working within the private sector both. Anna has a background in counselling and has worked with both children and adults. Anna lived and worked in Asia for 7 years before coming to Devon.

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Axel Morgan

Hi, I’m Axel, a 19 year old from Bideford. I began volunteering at Encompass in 2020, in the year between my A-levels at Bideford College and a Philosophy, Politics, and Economics degree. I have been involved with the @RISK media team from the start, working as Encompass’ blog writer. I have also been involved with the Youth Flow project, and found it highly rewarding to sit on the Youth Advisory Panel, as well as providing a young person’s voice on a number of bids and projects. My main interest is in empowering young people in Northern Devon, and the role of the education system and media in achieving this. I’m not impartial to a game of table tennis either.
Through the @RISK project, I hope that we can document this journey, and raise awareness on some of the key symptoms of unfairness in our society.

Recent Projects
@Risk Project  

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Ben May

Ben currently works on two projects, The Junction Project, and The Ripple Project, supporting young people and Care Leavers (respectively) to find improved living conditions. Ben joined Encompass in 2018 as part of The Junction and then took over the Ripple project, he is now also a park of the new @RISK project. Ben has over 10 years of experience supporting young people in various settings. In this time, he has achieved many relevant qualifications and has a BA Hons degree in Film which he is now using in his role in the @RISK media team.

“I am proud of my role with Encompass and happy to find a charitable organisation that deliver a service that respects each client as an individual.”

Recent Projects
@Risk Project  

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Esther Campbell

Esther currently works in our supported accommodation projects for people who are at risk of homelessness or rough sleeping. Her role is to prepare individuals for independent living through a trauma informed approach, with support and skills to help improve their physical and mental well-being, accessing services, budgeting & tenancy management, and much more. Esther also works on the pattern changing course run by the Women First Project, for women who have been in abusive relationships that helps them to break the cycle of abuse, enables them to develop effective coping mechanisms and empowers them to make healthy relationship choices.

“I feel privileged to be part of an organisation that so passionately empowers and advocates for otherwise marginalised people, and provides services which understand and respond to each individual need respectfully and without prejudice.”

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Ian Gibson

With 24 years’ experience of delivering and managing projects in the voluntary sector, Ian joined Encompass in 2013. For the first half of his career, Ian was involved with supporting children and young people in a variety of projects across the country, and he has been working within the field of housing and homelessness for the past 16 years here in Northern Devon. He is a firm believer in the values of a trauma informed approach to the delivery of our work and, since becoming operations manager in 2020, has helped embed our culture of support and supervision for everyone within Encompass.

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John Bowle

John joined Encompass a year ago at the very start of the COVID lock down. John has enjoyed a very mixed career including, serving in the Parachute Regiment, running his own Exhibition company, caring for others including the elderly, disabled and young adults who have acquired brain injured, as well as working at Petroc on the Princes Trust project helping young adult with confidence and life skills.
Currently John is responsible for the cleaning and maintenance for some of our supported accommodation across Northern Devon, which he has seen expand over his last 12 months with us.

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Julia Mitchell

Julia joined Encompass in September 2020, and comes from a background of working within both care and supported service provision.
She works to support clients maintain their tenancy as part of the Housing First Project and believes in the ethos of everyone deserves a safe home. After moving around for many years with her family she now calls North Devon her home.

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Kim Akhurst

My name is Kim Akhurst I am a Money and Debt Case worker. I help my clients with some of their financial needs whether this be budgeting, debt or benefit advice.

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Lesley Brooks

Lesley joined Encompass in 2020 after working in NHS Mental Health services for 5 years. Lesley has been working on both the Torridge Rough Sleeper project conducting outreach and linking in with rough sleepers across the Torridge District. Lesley also works as part of the Women First partnership representing the MIND in Somerset element of this project providing mental health support for women experiencing homelessness.

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Liz Steele

I have been an Encompass South West Board member since 2016.

My interest in ESW’s work stems from my career in public sector housing, and, in particular, in the field of homelessness and homelessness prevention. My last job in housing was for Torridge District Council, based in Bideford, so I am aware of the local issues of poverty, rurality and a lack of social and affordable housing that can all combine to create significant problems for some people. During my time at the Council I worked in partnership with ESW and am pleased to continue this collaboration as a Board member now that I am retired. ESW is an innovative and very effective organisation and I am proud to be involved in its work.

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Moses Warburton

I am lucky enough to be a recent addition to the board of Trustees interviewed and attending only by Zoom/Teams so far. My career has been varied, starting out in the wine trade, specialising in Port and Champagne. At one point I found myself managing an Off-Licence in Brixton in the 1981 riots. Then moving onto running wine-bars and a small restaurant/hotel, which was exciting but in a different way. The majority of my working life, 28 years so far, has been in the NHS in a very wide variety of roles but more latterly as a Commissioner covering urgent and emergency care, ambulances and non-emergency ambulances, particularly in Northern Devon. I arrived in Barnstaple just before the Foot and Mouth outbreak, and 20 years later I am immersed in the Covid 19 outbreak. I have always set aside time to volunteer and for nine years was the independent Chair of the North Devon Social Care Fostering Panel. Having seen the excellent work that BPAG-Encompass have delivered for the citizens of Devon in my NHS role I am looking forward to supporting the Trustees in delivering the organisation’s future.

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Nic Joslin

Nichola joined Encompass in 2020 as a volunteer, alongside studying Business Administration. She has over 20 years of experience working within the customer service sector and over 20 years’ experience of managing teams within the tourism industry. Since joining Encompass as a volunteer, she is now an employed member of staff, who’s main duties consist of supporting the smooth operation of the charity and promoting any volunteering positions that we have.

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Nikki Ryan

Nikki joined Encompass in 2020, having previously worked in a variety of roles. Ranging from supporting those in a mental health crisis; with dementia; with learning disabilities & challenging behaviours; to end of life care. Nikki uses her knowledge and experiences gained from past and present paid and voluntary roles, to support the clients she works with at Encompass.

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