Mike Taylor (Chair)
Over many years I have been involved with the Third Sector – Chair of the Chester Voluntary and Community network; Chair of Chester Aid to the Homeless (CATH) and since moving to Cumbria 10 years ago, I have been Chair of Cumbria’s Third Sector Network and Chair of St John Ambulance Cumbria – as well as having held senior appointments in the private sector (Shell) and the public sector (Chair of Cumbria Primary Care Trust (PCT) and Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT).
I am now a Trustee of Citizens Advice Carlisle and Eden (CACE) and Chair of Action for Health for Cumbria.
My commitment to Cumbria is absolute and my knowledge of the county gained through my countywide roles has become quite extensive.
I have 10 years’ experience working in the local NHS within mental health and learning disabilities services with a focus on Patient and Public Involvement, volunteering, customer services, advocacy and complaints. Following redundancy I spent some time working within our family photography business before moving to Cumbria County Council where I have spent two years in community engagement & community development and four years working for Active Cumbria with a focus on marketing and insight.
In 2017 I graduated with a first class BSc (Hons) in Social Enterprise Leadership as part of the Aspiring Leaders Programme with the University of Cumbria and Brathay. After graduating, I joined the Board of Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership and have influenced Cumbria LEP to recognise social enterprise on the same footing as private enterprise. I have done this through championing social enterprise and the third sector in my role of Councillor for Carlisle City Council during 2016-2019 where I held the position of Vice Chairman of Economic Growth Overview & Scrutiny.
I am an eager advocate of the third sector in Cumbria and have volunteered in many guises since the age of 16 when I first started as a volunteer with Victim Support. I am currently a Trustee at Brathay Trust and have held a number of other Trustee positions including Vice Chair at Cumbria Youth Alliance and Trustee at Citizens Advice Carlisle & Eden.
I am based in Kendal where I am chair of Stricklandgate House Trust (an umbrella organisation for charities), chair of the building sub-committee for the Kendal Alms Houses, and chair of Hay Bridge Nature Reserve. In addition, I am treasurer of South Lakeland Action on Climate Change Transition Town – (SLACC-tt) and treasurer of the Eden & South Lakeland Credit Union. I am also the examiner for the Kendal Civic Society accounts and I volunteer for Manna House in Kendal where I am team leader for one of their Winter Shelters.
I worked in the charity sector at London Advice Services Alliance as a Project Manager and with Homeless Link as their Head of Information. I was also the CEO of the Lancaster & Morecambe CVS and was a director of a sales and marketing company that worked with a multitude of publishers, including Age UK and CPAG. As a volunteer, I was a Samaritan for fifteen years and one of their deputy-directors. I currently work for the National Trust and a book business in Kendal.
I started my working life in commerce in the City of London. I have now lived in Cumbria for 35 years and my home is in Carlisle. I helped set up and was responsible for running a small charity providing an alternative to care and custody for young people. I was the Project Manager for 12 years and was able to sustain funding over this period from a number of sources, and the charity still operates today.
I subsequently was employed by Cumbria Children’s services managing early year intervention teams supporting families and then managing a service for Cumbria care leavers.
I have been involved heavily in community arts and have organised and ran art projects, community and youth theatres.
Through my work I am familiar with all of the distinct areas of Cumbria.
I fully support the aims of Cumbria CVS and believe I have the proven experience, skills and qualifications to support the organisation.
I am a local Carlisle girl educated at St Aidan’s School and Leeds University. I have worked in the voluntary sector for the last 32 years. For the last 21 years I have been the Chief Officer at Carlisle Mencap. Previously I was the Marketing Manager for the British Deaf Association. In my time Carlisle Mencap grew from an organisation with 6 part time staff and £36,000 a year turnover to an organisation with 150 staff and a turnover of £3 million. My personnel expertise has always been around income generating and starting new projects. I have raised around £8 million from grants and tenders for Mencap. My greatest achievement is raising the capital for the £1 million Grace Little Children’s Centre. Previously I was on the boards of the Laurie Brewis Trust and Cumbria Training Partnership. I am a board member at Glenmore Trust. I chair the Cumbria Public Health Alliance. I am a member of the 3rd sector Executive and a member of Eden ICC.
As a carer of a person with dementia and a cancer survivor, I take an interest in those in need of medical and social care. I also support a number of animal welfare, environmental and wildlife charities. This ties in with my hobbies which are gardening, birdwatching and fell walking.
I am delighted to be a Trustee for Cumbria CVS, helping in whatever way I can to support the many and varied voluntary organisations across the county. Having commissioned and worked in partnership with third sector organisations, as well as fundraising and volunteering both here and abroad, I am a strong advocate of the vital difference made by the voluntary sector.
I have worked for much of my career in local government in a wide range of roles, perhaps most relevant to my role as Trustee commissioning third sector organisations to deliver non-statutory services across Hertfordshire. I have also worked for the Behavioural Insights Team and as a journalist while living overseas and have degrees in Law, Public Service Management, and Philosophy. I currently work for What Works Centre for Wellbeing as their Civil Society and Community Wellbeing Lead, working between and with voluntary sector organisations and academics to build, grow and share evidence of what works in improving individual and community wellbeing.
Since completing my Master’s degree in International Development in 2019 I have relocated back to Cumbria and would like an opportunity to utilise the skills I have gained within the third sector over the years to enhance my local community.
Currently, I am employed as the sole Fundraising and Communications Officer for International NGO Carers Worldwide where I am responsible for all aspects of Trusts and Foundations fundraising and managing the charity’s digital communication activities. I am also involved with a national charity seeking to promote social justice, supporting the charity with their fundraising activities.
Beyond this I have gained experience within several other third sector organisations over the years which started with me being a volunteer receptionist at Cumbria Law Centre when I was 16 years old. I have completed a six-month placement at an NGO in Tbilisi, Georgia; provided support to refugees in Greece through a grassroots organisation; acted as an ambassador for a children’s charity in Sheffield; and co-founded and served on the Committee of a new International Development society at Northumbria University.
I was a registered Pharmacist for 40 years and worked in both Hospital and Community Pharmacies also within Academia and the Pharmaceutical Industry. Previously as a Hospital Consultant Pharmacist and also as Chairman of the Welsh Executive and Council Member of The Royal Pharmaceutical Society I had been involved at senior level with many major NHS changes. I have chaired professional organisations and working committees at Local and National levels.
Presently I am Chairman of South Lakeland Hydrotherapy Trust (Sandgate Hydrotherapy Pool, Kendal) and have been a Trustee of Cumbria County Volunteering Services for 3 years. I have been a Public Governor for about 5 years of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS FT, about one year as Deputy Head Governor and nearly 4 years as Head Governor.
These organisations are involved in delivering and actively contributing to the Health and Wellbeing Services as part of the local NHS network and Cumbria County Council which I engage with. My direct engagement is as a member of Cumbria Health and Wellbeing Board, a member of the Third Sector Network Executive and Member Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Health and Social Care Sector Panel.
I am also the immediate past Chairman and present Vice-Chairman of University of Sunderland Students’ Union and have been an Honorary Assistant Professor at the School of Pharmacy at Nottingham University.
I have also been honoured with an Alumni Fellowship of the University of Sunderland (my alma mater)
I hope to be able to use my skills and experience to help Cumbria CVS continue to nurture a flourishing third sector. Prior to retirement I was Chief Claims Manager for NFU Mutual Insurance. I was responsible for defining and delivering the company’s UK-wide claims strategy; including our response to weather events. I have good expertise in leading operational teams, delivering financial control, and overseeing regulatory compliance. I worked collaboratively at an industry level to deliver successful changes; including engagement with local and national government on a range of issues.
I took early retirement in 2017 to care for my wife Michele. I moved back to Cumbria recently, following her death last year. Originally from Blackpool, I have huge affection for Cumbria because Michele and I were married in Tebay and had our first home in Kendal before work took us elsewhere.
My life as a carer gave me first-hand experience of the huge value of the third sector to communities. I have previously volunteered on a part-time basis for a Warwickshire dementia charity. I also played a part in helping create the ‘Farm Safety Foundation’; a charity dedicated to reducing accidents and improving mental health in the farming community.
I aim to apply my wide range of experience and knowledge to further Cumbria CVS core objective, supporting the Third Sector to reduce inequality, poverty and sickness. Since July, I’ve been a Digital Volunteer with CVS, helping support the Funding Forum and advising upon the digitisation of CVS services.
Over the past 30 years, I’ve worked in or with the NHS, having undertaken many leadership roles both locally and in other parts of the UK. My experience in healthcare is wide ranging, and includes Mental Health, Acute Hospital, General Practice, Community and Ambulance Services. I now run a specialist consultancy supporting organisations to change and transform through a focus on people. We often work with and advise healthcare partnerships and systems to transform services, organisation culture and develop effective partnerships. I hold two Masters Degrees from The Open University and Cranfield University.
Cumbrian through and through, I live near Penrith with my wife, two grown up children and a number of cats and dogs. At weekends I can often be found walking dogs, taking photos or supporting Carlisle United at Brunton Park.
After graduating, I have spent large part of my career to date in the third sector, spending seven years with Citizens Advice Bureau in Greater Manchester, working both in money advice, financial capability and training. This gave me the opportunity to work alongside volunteers and was my first experience of recognising the vital work that volunteers undertake in a huge variety of roles. Following a move to Cheshire, I became involved with a local education setting as Chair of the Board and worked with a dedicated team of staff and volunteers to ensure the long-term sustainability of the organisation. I have spent some time in a supporting role within the education sector which has shown me the challenges that our public sector face and the similarities and differences between the public and third sector.
After moving to Cumbria, I currently work in two part time roles. I work as a Regional Development Manager for GFS, a national organisation that empowers girls and young women to develop their full potential. I also work as a Project Manager for Keswick Community Emergency Recovery Partnership, a vital local organisation primarily responsible for flood recovery in Keswick. Both roles enable me to support volunteers, with a key part of my role being ensuring both the growth and sustainability of these organisations.
I have over 20 years working within the civil service beginning my career working for the British Cattle Movement Service based in Workington, and more recently part of the senior leadership team at the Rural Payments Agency, working directly to service our rural communities. I specialise in leading and delivering change, particularly customer services transformation.
Since 2015 I have led the third sector organisation Carnegie Theatre Trust as chair. The organisation that manages the Carnegie Theatre and Arts Centre in Workington. From developing the early business case to transfer from local authority management, developing a Board of Trustees, TUPE transfer and most recently steering the organisation through the pandemic.
I am now harnessing my change leadership skills to undertake a root and branch review of the Carnegie Theatre & Arts Centre, focussing on understanding who our audiences are and developing a holistic fundraising strategy to take the organisation forward post-pandemic.
Having experienced first hand the benefit that the third sector can get from Cumbria CVS I want to champion the cause and see others thrive from receiving support and giving support to Cumbria CVS.