Our Team

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

Board of Trustees

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Beryl Evans

Chairperson

Beryl is the Chairperson for the Board of Trustees, she qualified as a solicitor in 1973 when living in Cardiff. She moved to Barnstaple in 2003 with her last post being legal services manager for North Devon Council. After retiring in 2011 Beryl has been a trustee of Encompass and has seen the charity grow and prosper as an organisation over the years, which is due to the dedication of the staff, vision of its chief officer and support of the Board of Trustees.

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Caroline Leaver

Trustee

Caroline has been a trustee for Encompass for a couple of years, she has worked in the voluntary sector for many years and brings a wealth of experience with her. Most recently Caroline has been elected as a North Devon District Councillor

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Irene Hockin

Trustee

Irene has been involved with Encompass Southwest since before 2001, when it was first registered as Barnstaple Poverty Action Group (BPAG).

Irene’s strengths, as a Trustee, lie in her roots, she was born in Barnstaple, and so is aware of the problems that lie within the town and its surrounds – the areas of deprivation, the lack of public transport for the rural areas, and the shortage of employment opportunities.

“I am a Trustee of other local organisations – North Devon Against Domestic Abuse, Pilton House Residential Home and Barnstaple Fair Carnival Committee, I also sit on Youth Offender panels, and am an Independent Advisor for the Police, sitting on the Violence Against Women and Children thematic group.”

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Liz Steele

Secretary

Liz has been an Encompass Southwest board member since 2016.

Her interest in Encompass's work stems from her career in public sector housing, and, in particular, in the field of homelessness and homelessness prevention. Liz's last job in housing was for Torridge District Council, based in Bideford, so she is 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 her time at the Council Liz worked in partnership with Encompass and is pleased to continue this collaboration as a Board member now that she is retired.
"Encompass is an innovative and very effective organisation and I am proud to be involved in its work."

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Moses Warburton

Trustee

A recent addition to the board of Trustees, Moses career has been varied, starting out in the wine trade, specialising in Port and Champagne. At one point he found himself 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 Moses 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. Moses arrived in Barnstaple just before the Foot and Mouth outbreak, and 20 years later he is immersed in the Covid 19 outbreak. Moses has 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 Encompass has delivered for the citizens of Devon in my NHS role I am looking forward to supporting the Trustees in delivering the organisation’s future.

Senior Management Team

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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
Stories for Change   @Risk Project  

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Ian Gibson

Operations Manager

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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Louise Merrifield

Office and Finance Manager

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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Nic Joslin

Administrator

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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Nicola Topham

Advice Services Manager and Flow Co-Ordinator

During Nicola's time at Encompass, She has been involved in various projects, including; setting up, managing and delivering a ‘Rural Outreach’ project which aimed to address social and financial exclusion by delivering housing, money and debt advice across North Devon, this ran from 2009 to 2017.

Nicola is passionate about addressing social and financial exclusion and the inequalities that people across North Devon encounter and is very proud of how far Encompass Southwest have developed over recent years to help address these issues.

Supported Housing

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Esther Campbell

Accommodation Support Worker

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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John Bowle

Accommodation Facilities and Maintenance Support

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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Kaye Corfe

Senior Support Worker - Supported Accommodation

Kaye has worked for Encompass for 8 and a half years. She has worked on a variety of projects and currently is the senior support worker for our supported accommodation projects. Kaye has worked in some kind of care or support role since the age of 19 and couldn’t see herself doing anything else.

"A stable and safe home is the basic foundation for anyone and I am pleased we can offer this through our accommodation projects, many people then move on to secure and good independent accommodation."

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Sophie Porter

Accommodation Support Worker

Sophie joined Encompass in 2017 after discovering her passion for support work through volunteer work in the local community. Sophie began her time at Encompass working with young people at risk of homelessness, with the Junction Project. She joined the team at Encompass’s supported living in September last year. She now works across four different properties supporting clients, based on their individual needs using a trauma informed approach in order to prepare them for independent living.

“No two days in supported accommodation are the same! We pride ourselves on the relationships that we build with our clients and the trauma informed way that we work with each individual. Our aim is to empower people to make positive changes in their own lives”

Women First

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Isabelle

Apprentice

Isabelle (Iss) joined our team at Encompass in June 2021 as
an apprentice. She will be working in various roles across
the charity.

Iss has first-hand experience of working with a range of
people having worked locally in tourism and hospitality.
She is keen to work in different areas of the charity,
although her main role being the Women’s First team. She
is currently shadowing team members from Encompass in
the Women’s First team, and with the team members in
the supported living that encompass offers.

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Lesley Brooks

Mental Health Support Worker and Rough Sleeper Outreach

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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Rhiannon Churchill

Support Worker - Caroline House

Rhiannon has been working on the Women First project since is started in 2020. After a long time working within Drug and Alcohol and recovery Rhiannon started to take a real interest in women’s services and has spent time working in Exeter on the Resilient Women’s program. Rhiannon has a fine arts degree and loves working with the women she supports on creative projects.

Rough Sleeper Teams

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Becky Fausset

Housing First and Rough Sleeper Outreach Support Worker

Becky joined Encompass in 2016 and works as a support worker for our Torridge Housing First Project and our Torridge Rough Sleeper project. She has over 20 years experience working in the voluntary sector mainly with clients with mental health and drug and alcohol issues.

"Having worked in this sector for many years I have a passion for supporting people that are marginalised by society. I have seen first-hand the transformational difference that the support from Encompass can have on someone’s life, and I feel proud to be part of this process"

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Julia Mitchell

Housing First Support Worker

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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Stuart Hall

Housing First Support Worker

Stuart joined Encompass in 2019 and has worked across both our supported housing and more recently our housing first project, supporting complex rough sleepers from the streets into their own homes. Stuart takes great pride in seeing the transformation in his clients when they finally get their own front door.

Young People’s Services

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Ben May

Youth Support Worker

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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Nikki Ryan

Youth Support Worker

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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Simon Tattersall

Youth Support Worker

Simon joined Encompass in 2011 and has been working on the Streetwise Project with Torridge District Council for nearly 10 years. Simon has a long history of supporting people throughout is career in various roles. As well as working with young people Simon is an avid Kite surfer and can often be found on Westward Ho! beach evenings and weekends.

Wis£rmoney

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Alex Mucha

Welfare Benefits Adviser, Wis£rmoney

Alex has worked for Encompass since 2018 as a Welfare Benefit Adviser for the British Gas Energy (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 Pooley

Specialist Money Adviser, Wis£rmoney

Anna is a Money and Debt Advice Caseworker for Wis£rmoney for the Transitions Project covering the Torridge area. Anna has worked in tenancy related support and the money and debt advice service for over 20 years. Developing a vast experience of dealing with benefit agencies, utility companies, creditors and landlords to support her clients who are facing financial difficulties.

Anna has a great passion for helping people and enjoys being part of improving peoples lives in a positive way. She supports and guides people to manage their money, debts and tenancies independently. The support she provides can help maximize income, clear debts, sustain tenancies and improve people’s mental health leading people to lead happier and less stressful lives allowing them to focus on other important parts of their lives.

“I love what I do and it’s so rewarding to stand back after I have helped someone and see them flourish, become more confident, debt free and use the skills they have picked up along the way quite often to help others. “

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Kim Akhurst

Money Advice Caseworker, Wis£rmoney

Kim joined Encompass during the first lockdown and is a Money and Debt Case worker on the Transitions Project working across Torridge and West Devon.
Kim provides support on debt, budgeting, welfare benefits to help clients address their money worries and become more financially resilient in the future.

Flow Members

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Anna Lewis

Flow Coordinator

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. 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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James Moss

Youth Flow Work Coach

James joined Encompass in 2020 having worked within the local drug & alcohol service for the couple of years prior; including as a Recovery Worker; on a homeless project; and working on a rehabilitation and social enterprise in Dartmoor prison where he trained the men to design and make furniture. James’ background is in design but across his work life he has carried out youth work, homeless work, work in Special Needs Schools and worked for a charity tackling poverty around the world.

“I really enjoy my role, I work with young people with complex situations and help them to overcome the various barriers they face to gaining employment. It is hugely rewarding to see progress being made in their lives and often to see them taking their first steps into work”.

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Katie Simpson

High Flow Caseworker

Katie has worked for Encompass since January 2020 after having worked in the Police since 2004. In 2016 Katie was lucky enough to have been asked to help set up a team that focused on understanding why people were committing crime & then seeked to place support in the right place to further prevent offences & to help improve their quality of life.
Katie still work collaboratively with Police, Mental Health Services , GP’s Surgeries , North Devon Council, Torridge District Council , Ambulance Service , North Devon Health Care Trust , Adult Social Care. Katie works 121 with referrals from all agencies on an intensive level & promote TAP Meetings ( Team Around the Person ) – a consent led proactive process Drawing on her own ACE’s (Adverse Childhood Experiences ) subsequent trauma & illness in adult life, Katie has lived experience of having to access services herself.
"I love my job & hold hope & aspirations for all my clients until they are ready to hold it for themselves & ‘ Fly Solo’ moving forward in their own journey of life."

@Risk

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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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Gareth Alvarez

Gareth is a filmmaker, copywriter, and teacher – just not always in that order.

As a secondary school teacher with more than 15 years’ experience teaching Media, Gareth has always sought opportunities for his students to gain real-life filmmaking experience. Because film has tremendous power to engage, inspire and provide a platform for creativity and impactful storytelling. This is his main focus as Creative Director at North Devon Moving Image CIC (NDMI) and the reason for his involvement in the @RISK Project. This is a wonderful opportunity to provide young people and the wider community with access to film and its potential to inspire creativity and tell important stories, giving people a voice and building a platform where they can be heard.

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Sam Walls

Hi, My Name is Sam Walls. I am an 18-year-old Student and Filmmaker from North Devon. Over my time learning new filmmaking skills I have developed a passion for creating videos and have since been chasing every opportunity to further work on my craft. One of which is working with encompass, this is something I am hugely excited about as it allows me to tell such real, and impactful stories, of which when done well I believe can have an immense influence both positive and negative.

My Roll within the media team is as the Videographer and editor, it brings me great excitement to see where the @Risk project will go, and the future stories I will be able to help tell.

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