Committee members

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Ellen Jurczak
Ellen Jurczak
Chair

Ellen has been a fundraiser for her whole career, working for charities including Cancer Research UK, Dementia UK and Shelter. She is currently Head of Regional Philanthropy (Central) for the Prince’s Trust. Ellen joined the CIOF West Midlands committee in 2015 and took over as chair in October 2019.

Claire James
Claire James
Vice Chair

Claire got the fundraising bug at University and hasn’t looked back since. During 2020, when she was furloguhed, Claire co-created the Furloughed Fundrasiers Chat Facebook group, along with fellow West Midlands Committee Member, Nikki Wrench and fundrasier Louise Bingham. Claire is currently the Volunteer Coordinator at Rooftop Housing in Worcestershire, where she looks after & runs volunteering lead activities. Claire joined the Committee in August 2018 and is currently leading on the committees communications, so if you're signed up to the mailing list, it’s probably Claire who's writing to you!

Ruby Jones
Ruby Jones
Secretary

Ruby started her career as a fundraiser in 2015, after volunteering for charities throughout her time at school and university. Her first role was at Dementia UK, working in Supporter Care, then as a Community and Events Fundraiser. She went on to look after challenge events at Refuge before becoming the Fundraising and Partnerships Manager for The Vegan Society, her current role. She loves getting to know people’s reasons for supporting charities and forging relationships with fundraisers. Ruby joined the committee in 2018, helping with training, events, and socials, and is currently the group secretary.

Paula Dower
Paula Dower
Treasurer

Paula has worked for DASH (Disability Arts in Shropshire) since 2004 and became Operations Director in 2012. She works with the artistic director and board to ensure the organisation is managed effectively, within budget, true to its ethos and aligned to the charity’s policies. Paula’s role also includes fundraising, creation and delivery of DASH’s community based programmes and organisational development for the organisation. Paula joined the West Midlands committee as Treasurer in May 2021 and is currently studying for a Masters in Business Administration.

Sallie Brettle
Sallie Brettle
Marketing and Communications

Sallie joined the Barnardo’s Gifts in Wills team as a marketing executive in 2012 having decided she wanted to help create some positive changes to the World. In 2017 Sallie moved on from Barnardo’s to become Corporate Partnerships Manager at Emmaus UK. Sallie joined the committee in September 2016 and has predominately focused on communications, including the website and Eventbrite.

Sally Insley
Sally Insley
Events, training and sponsorship

Like most, Sally fell into fundraising over ten years ago whilst working for a local hospice. With a passion for people, Sally is now employed as Head of Public Fundraising at Newlife, the charity for disabled children and is a trustee for Tiny Tickers. Sally joined the West Midlands committee in 2015 where she leads on our monthly Second Thursday events programme, providing local fundraisers with the opportunity to come together to network and inspire one another

Sophie Burt
Sophie Burt
Mentoring Lead

Sophie has worked in fundraising for over 10 years, starting in community fundraising for a local Air Ambulance charity. She led the fundraising team for Children's Liver Disease Foundation based in Birmingham and is now heading up Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity where she moved to in September 2019. Sophie joined the West Midlands Committee in 2017 and now looks after the Mentoring and Buddying Scheme.

Olly De Croz
Olly De Croz
Communications Lead

Olly has been in fundraising since 2009 (after starting out in journalism and then PR), spending most of the next decade as Communications and Fundraising Manager for the Church Pastoral Aid Society. In 2019 he took a similar role with a very different type of charity, now working for the International Nepal Fellowship as Marketing and Communications Manager. He joined the West Midlands committee in 2022 and helps with the group’s communications.

Rachel Cranny
Rachel Cranny
RAISE Champion

Rachel is Head of Fundraising at Birmingham Rep and in her 8 years there, she has transformed fundraising at The Rep, trebling the number of donors, exceeding the £1m target of the ‘REP First’ campaign and recently delivering a capital appeal which raised almost £3m. Rachel is proud to be a member of the CIOF West Midlands Committee and Regional Advocate for the Arts Council funded RAISE programme, championing the charitable case for culture. Rachel previously worked as a successful corporate fundraiser at Acorns Children’s Hospice and began her career at community music and social impact charity, Sound It Out.

David Skoppek
David Skoppek
Warwickshire & Coventry sub-group
Jit Pundal
Jit Pundal
EDI Champion

Jit has been a proud member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising West Midlands group committee since July 2018. Jit is a committed Midlands fundraiser and “Brummie”, an active member of the community. Through running events as a volunteer for Diabetes UK in Birmingham and the Black Country, they are also on the Advisory Group for Diabetes - Birmingham & Solihull CCG. Jit focuses on working with small charities and community groups across the West Midlands and at a national level. They lead on equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives for the Chartered Institute of Fundraising West Midlands, engaging the BAME community to access the many benefits we have to offer.

Nikki Wrench
Nikki Wrench
Staffordshire & Shropshire sub-group

Nikki has been volunteering & working in the charity sector for over 20 years, starting her career as a fundraiser at a Children's Hospice. She has since been a Challenge Events Manager & Regional Fundraising Manager at Make-A-Wish UK. During Covid, Nikki founded Furloughed Fundraisers Chat, a Facebook group which supported over 2000 third sector workers & charities during the pandemic. Since May last year, Nikki has been working as a Community Manager at the RNLI & continues to volunteer her time to support fundraisers with their development in the third sector, championing fair recruitment opportunities & practises.

Nicky Langford
Nicky Langford
Worcestershire & Herefordshire sub-group

Nicky joined Worcestershire Acute Hospitals Charity in April 2017, leading one major fundraising appeal. Since then the role has grown into a generic Community Fundraising role, leading on two major appeals, community engagement and events. Nicky has been leading the Worcestershire networking arm for two years, arranging regular sessions covering a wide range of subjects for the fundraising community in Worcestershire.

Katherine Ellis
Katherine Ellis
Sponsorship Lead

Katherine is a solicitor and legacy consultant, and provides advice and support to regional and national charities. Katherine has previously worked as an in-house solicitor for the veterinary charity PDSA, and for the British Heart Foundation based in London, specialising in legacy fundraising and management. In 2020 Katherine joined the committee and she currently works on securing sponsorship for our events.

Laura Iliff
Laura Iliff
Charley Burke
Charley Burke
Membership Lead

Charley worked in not for profits in a marketing capacity from the start of her career, and fell into fundraising through her love of building relationships with supporters. Since August 2019 she has been the Worcestershire Fundraising Executive for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, working with local communities to raise funds and increase awareness of the vital service. After completing the Diploma in Fundraising in March 2022, she joined the West Midlands committee as she wanted to work more closely with those in the sector and help others to engage with the CIoF.

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