In 2004 at the request of the Parish Priest a small committee was formed, of interested members of the parish community with experience and professional expertise in social care and support, who wanted to be involved in a project that would benefit the wider community.
The Father Hudson’s Society Community Projects manager was invited in to facilitate these meetings.
After meeting monthly for a year the Committee had written a constitution and carried out a number of surveys of need with the local community.
What became clear in the surveys was that elderly people living on their own, and adults who have disabilities, were two main groups who would value support.
Subsequently the group designed a set of services including both outreach and use of the centre that would contribute to meeting those needs.
Mary, 62, a parishioner from Our Lady of the Assumption, Maryvale, is a retired Learning Disabilities Nurse with over forty years’ experience in this field. Mary Joined the Project as a volunteer in 2008 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2014 following the Annual General Meeting.
Barbara, a parishioner of Our Lady of the Assumption, Maryvale is a Registered Mental Nurse with over thirty years’ experience. Barbara has been involved with the Project since its inception in 2005 after being approached by the then Parish Priest Fr. David Oakley. As one of the original members of the Board of Directors she has been involved in every step of the Project’s development and in 2014 was elected to the position of Chair of the Board of Directors.
Tony was ambushed by Fr. David Oakley to be on the first management committee in 2005 for his financial acumen. Tony is by profession an accountant and it was for this reason that he was asked to be treasurer. Some six years ago he was again “persuaded” by the then Project Manager, to be a volunteer driver for the Project-run Sunday Minibus Service. Originally there were three drivers operating in rota, now there is only Tony who operates the service alone.
Gary was formerly a solicitor but now teaches law at Hagley Catholic High School. He was asked by Fr. David Oakley to join the Management Committee in 2011. Following the conversion of the Maryvale Community Project into a company, Gary became a director and is the Company Secretary.
Jo has been a Trustee since September 2015 and represents Father Hudson’s Care (a foundation partner) as their Head of Community Projects. She has a degree in Politics and Sociology and has had a career in the voluntary sector for over 12 years – working for both local and national charities, her roles have included Birmingham Carers Centre Manager and Head of Region at the RNID. Outside of work Jo enjoys keeping fit, in particular running and taking part in local races.
Joy has been our Project Manager since 2016. Joy brings a wealth of experience and abilities to her post of overseeing everything from funding applications to working with our volunteers and has recently completed and been awarded her Masters’ Degree in Transformative Practice.
Donna is our Outreach and Activities Co-ordinator. She joined the Project in May 2018 and has hit the ground running. She has already begun work on our clubs, finding new activities and trips for our members and working on updating your literature for the Project services. Donna will also be heading up our new club, our Craft Café. Donna has several hobbies including a love of crafting using a variety of mediums.