Experience

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Community Business Management

The Community Farm: establishing and delivering a project to set up a community-owned social enterprise (CBS) to provide a sustainable model of farming. Responsible for strategic development and leading overview of the project as well as marketing, fundraising, member relationships, partnership working, community engagement, working directly to the Board. www.thecommunityfarm.co.uk

Red Brick Building: managing a social enterprise (CBS) delivering events, arts, office and hot desking space, hire spaces with a focus on community, arts, education and enterprise. Supporting new businesses and working towards financial sustainability through revenue generation. Raising funds through grants. www.redbrickbuilding.co.uk

Buzz Lockleaze: managing a social enterprise (CIC) setting up and opening of a Community food shop and Café in a deprived area of Bristol. Managing an employability project, enterprise hub and small grants scheme.  www.buzzlockleaze.co.uk

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS May 2005 – present  Freelance Project Manager

Project Management

OrganisationRole
Project Coordinator
Window Wanderland

https://www.windowwanderland.com/
August 2020-July 2021
Coordinating award-winning project, which provides tool kits for communities around the world to set up their own magical illuminated art trails at any time of the year.
Quartet Community Foundation Evaluation of funding the Future  
January 2020-July2021
18 month project evaluating a major funding project to enable community anchor organisations in Bristol to work towards financial sustainability.
Learning Manager School for Social Entrepreneurs, Dartington
https://www.the-sse.org/
April 2018-March2020
Facilitating action learning programmes for social entrepreneurs, community businesses and rural enterprises at all stages of business development.
Project and Enterprise Manager Red Brick Building www.redbrickbuilding.co.uk
April 2016-November 2018
Managing a social enterprise delivering arts, education and enterprise opportunities for all ages in Glastonbury. A CBS in a restored industrial building, working towards financial sustainability.
Enterprise Development Manager Creativity Works
September 2018-March 2019
Developing and promoting Creative Resilience training programme to businesses.
Marketing adviser – Real Farming
October 2017-June 2018
Contracted to advise Plotgate CSA in Somerset to increase trade for future sustainability.
Business Development Manager Buzz Lockleaze www.buzzlockleaze.co.uk  
March 2015-March2016
Managing a social enterprise running an employability project, enterprise hub and community shop and café.
Project Manager The Community Farm Denny Lane, Chew Magna www.thecommunityfarm.co.uk  
June 2010-December 2014
Establishing a social enterprise to take on an existing organic veg box scheme, growing and wholesale business. Secured over £500,000 in community shares, awards, grants and contracts. Project managed complex multi-faceted project.
Project Co-ordinator – for Quantocks AONB and Somerset County Council.
January-October 2013
Stepping up to the Market – West Somerset. Short term supply chain contract for west Somerset food producers. Organised marketing,  social media workshops, meet the buyers events.
Food Co-ops Adviser, South West Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming www.foodcoops.org
December 2009-May 2012
Advising existing and new food co-ops in the south west as part of the Making Local Food Work programme. Encouraging groups to purchase in bulk dry and fresh produce, organic when possible. Offering training and support.
Community Shops and Local Food Adviser Plunkett Foundation
October 2009-February 2012
Advising community and village shops on local food sourcing as part of the Making Local Food Work programme.
Eat Somerset Project Officer Sustain: the alliance for better food and farming www.sustainweb.org/eatsomerset
September 2007-July2009
Co-ordinating local food project aimed at getting more local food into retail outlets. Working with businesses including shops, wholesalers, food producers, distributors, public sector procurement, including successful funding applications e.g. Rural Renaissance.

Training

OrganisationRole
National Trust
October 2009-March 2010
Designed and delivered 16 training sessions on sustainable food and visitor engagement for 210 National Trust staff and volunteers.
WRAP / Resource Futures
September 2005-March 2011
Design, develop and deliver training course on waste sector partnership working with local communities. 9 x delivery of training course ‘Working with the Community Sector’ and assignment marking to March 2011.

Previous Employment

OrganisationRoleDates
South Gloucestershire CouncilArea Facilitator – working in  partnership with the Police, Health authority and others to resolve community issuesApril 2000 – March 2005
South Gloucestershire CouncilWaste Reduction & Recycling Officer (Planning and Promotions) 1997-98 secondment to Environmental Co-ordinator postApril 1996 – April 2000
Kingswood Borough CouncilRecycling OfficerFeb 1992 – April 1996
Bristol City CouncilSpecial Projects Officer (Campaigns, Promotions and Education)March 1990 – Feb 1992


Alison is both incredibly knowledgeable, experienced & skilled as a community and social business advisor, leader and facilitator. We have now worked together on many projects and events, she is a pleasure to work with, always supportive, efficient, easy going but professional and eager to find collaborative solutions. I would highly recommend her to support your business. She is also brilliant at leading Action Learning Sets, if you want an outside facilitator to help your team become unstuck and find their own solutions to the many challenges they face.

Traci Lewis, Sustain-Live and Catalyse Change


Alison has a deep understanding of how social enterprises and community businesses work, and is thorough, conscientious and always a pleasure to work with.

Michelle Virgo, Dartington School for Social Entrepreneurs

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