Management & administration

Karen Mitchell
Karen MitchellChief executive officer
Karen joined us in December 2019 to take the helm and steer CAfS’ vision going forward. She has an MSc in Natural Resource Management and has worked in the environmental sector for most of her career.

Having started out as a policy analyst for the Institute of European Environmental Policy, she worked in the public sector for a while. This included stints at Natural England and its precursor English Nature in various roles including agriculture policy, corporate governance, campaigning for marine conservation and stakeholder relationship management.

She then moved into charity management as Director of a charity promoting responsible tourism in the Lake District followed by some time in the far north of Scotland heading up fundraising and marketing for Trees for Life before returning to Cumbria.

Karen has developed and run courses on communication and campaigning for pro-environmental behaviour change and is a guest lecturer at the University of Surrey.

Kushti Morsman
Kushti MorsmanAdministration officer
Kushti joined CAfS as the administration officer in 2013. As well as keeping the office running smoothly, she looks after all of our systems, finances, payroll and HR administration and provides line management to a small team of Project Support Officers.

Working in administration for over 20 years, Kushti’s previous admin roles were mainly within the retail and education sectors. Her responsibilities have spanned a range of disciplines, including reception, retail operations, facilities management, corporate services and more.

As well as supporting the work of CAfS and other environmental organisations, she is committed to reducing the carbon footprint of her family and encouraging her young children into greener choices. Kushti is very proud of the work she has done to convert a small and messy front garden into a highly productive veggie patch.

Caroline Turner
Caroline TurnerDevelopment manager
Caroline works tirelessly to increase our impact and ensure our long term financial viability by finding and developing new income streams through forging new partnerships with investors, clients and partners. She’s also a specialist in charity project management, with 18 years’ experience developing and delivering environmental sustainability projects.

Caroline was previously the climate change officer for South Lakeland District Council, and developed their carbon management programme, driving a 5% annual reduction in CO2 emissions and overseeing the council’s first renewable installation.

She is passionate about protecting our environment and is a founding director of Community Energy Cumbria, as well as a keen cyclist, runner and wanabee mountaineer.

Tim Reid
Tim ReidFinance and resources manager
Tim joined CAfS in February 2021 to manage the restructured finance and resources team and keeps a close eye on the organisation’s funds. He is an ACA accountant with over 10 years experience working in public/charity sector audit and consultancy.

As well as his background in finance, Tim has an MSc in Environmental Policy and Management and has also spent time working in conservation as a ranger on the Farne Islands nature reserve and for Dedham Vale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

A relative newcomer to Cumbria, Tim enjoys running on the fells with his dog and nature watching.

Low carbon communities team

Molly Hogg
Molly HoggProgramme Manager: Low Carbon Communities
Molly manages the Low Carbon Communities team, co-ordinating our support to a range of different communities, including towns and villages, the farming community and the business community. The team’s approach is broad, looking for carbon-reduction solutions that are right for that particular community, whilst also offering specialist advice.

Molly qualified as an architect, then moved into project management in the construction industry. Since then she has focused on sustainability, working for a spell in a smart cities consultancy as well as supporting St Chad’s College, Durham University, to understand and reduce its environmental impact. She is a qualified IEMA Environmental Management Practitioner and a qualified Carbon Literacy Trainer.

Outside of work, Molly is a governor at her local primary school. She is also an Eco Schools adviser, passionate about harnessing the enthusiasm of children to accelerate the transition to sustainable living. For fun, she loves walking, yoga and quirky off-beat films.

Roe Baker
Roe BakerProject manager: Low Carbon Communities
Roe leads CAfS’ role in the Fellfoot Forward Landscape Partnership Scheme and is currently focusing on work with the farming community.

Roe joined CAfS in June 2015 and specialises in community engagement, project development and management. She has experience of leading sustainable, environmental and built-heritage community projects, including urban and rural regeneration schemes.

Roe works closely with communities to facilitate, develop and finance projects that will have a lasting beneficial impact on day-to-day lives. She’s led an impressive range of projects, from community transport and community-owned renewable energy schemes, to community land and food-growing plots, green business and green waste projects.

Her previous role at CAfS was leading the Alston Moor Greenprint, an exciting three-year programme funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, which concluded in spring 2020.

Nick Lancaster
Nick LancasterProject manager: Carbon Reduction
Nick joined the low carbon communities team in April 2022.

Nick brings a wealth of experience from previous lives. He was formerly managing director of Langdale Leisure, one of the largest single site hospitality businesses in the Lake District. During this time he developed a strong business that was conscious of its impact on, and responsibilities, to the local community, environment and landscape.

Since leaving Langdale in 2021, he has established his own business and has worked with a portfolio of local companies and organisations with a diverse range of projects across Cumbria. These range from his core skills of hospitality into the development of cycling and walking routes, advice on sustainable business practises and supporting adults with learning disabilities.

Nick is a Professor of Practise at the University of Cumbria and sit as a director or trustee on a number of boards, including Cumbria Tourism.

Quentin Merritt
Quentin MerrittProject Manager: Low Carbon Communities
Quentin joined the Low Carbon Communities team in April 2022. He works on community energy initiatives as part of the Zero Carbon Cumbria programme, provides support on carbon reduction to businesses in South Lakeland and helps third sector organisations reduce their carbon footprint via the Going Green Together project.

Quentin has worked in the environmental field since the late 1980s, and has a background in higher education, consultancy and community development. He is a trustee of South Lakes Action on Climate Change, a director of Burneside Community Energy and a member of the team developing the Natural Kendal project.

In his spare time, Quentin enjoys spending time outdoors in the Lakes – hiking, cycling, swimming and running (knees permitting!) – and taking holidays in the Highlands and the Alps.

Energy team

Andrew Northcott
Andrew NorthcottProgramme manager: Energy services
Andrew joined us in 2013 with experience providing home energy advice and thermal imaging assessments. He is qualified in a City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Green Deal Domestic Advice and is a certified thermographer.

Andrew leads our range of home energy advice services, including Cold to Cosy Homes and our retrofit advice service, Home Retrofit Planner and coordinates our non-domestic energy audits services. Andrew developed our professional training programme, leading our successful series on retrofitting for energy efficiency since 2016 and also wrote a series of short films on energy saving, dampness and condensation.

Andrew also provides energy audits and thermal-imaging surveys and delivers workshops on energy saving and draught-proofing techniques.

Tina Holt
Tina HoltProject manager: Retrofit for Cumbria
Tina joined CAfS in 2019 to coordinate our home energy efficiency services but now manages Retrofit for Cumbria, developing a service that supports householder centred energy retrofit.

Her experience in energy efficiency includes leading behavioural change programmes, creating a project to support and inspire retrofit in her local community, home energy consultancy, working for a Green Deal Provider and editing and running the AECB’s CarbonLite Retrofit online course.

She also has hands-on experience of deep retrofit through coordinating building work on a previous home in Nottingham. This became one of the first UK homes to achieve the space heating target of EnerPHit (the Passive House retrofit standard).

Originally she trained as an earth scientist with a PhD on coastal response to sea-level rise driven by climate change.

Tina is a volunteer with Sustainable Keswick and likes to rock climb in her spare time.

Gareth Field
Gareth FieldProject manager: Cold to Cosy Homes
Gareth joined the energy team in July 2021 to aid the expansion of the Cold to Cosy Homes project.

Having previously worked in outdoor education and outdoor activities in Scotland, Wales, Maine and New York, Gareth moved to Cumbria and became the Senior Development Officer for the North of England for British Canoeing and became a national coach and coach educator.

He has also worked for the National Trust as the Outdoors and Sports programme manager for the Lake District and was part of the National Outdoor Experiences programme. Gareth managed a visitor economy and experiences programme with Morecambe Bay Partnership before coming to CAfS.

In his spare time, Gareth likes getting out into natural world to cycle, walk, canoe or swim and always has a future adventure up his sleeve!

Kim Kimberlee-Smith
Kim Kimberlee-SmithProject Officer: Cold to Cosy Homes
Kim joined our Cold to Cosy Homes team to help manage qualified assessors and energy champions and enable vulnerable people to access free home energy efficiency advice, and practical help.

Kim has come from a charity background, working in community engagement, volunteer and events management and fundraising. She has managed projects in Cumbria for the NSPCC and Leonard Cheshire Disability, and worked as a consultant for an environmental and ecology business.

Kim is passionate about Conservation, Regenerative Futures and Dormice and is a holistic therapist and reiki master. She lives on the west Cumbrian coast and loves being close to the sea and walking the fells on her days off.

Laura Keefe
Laura KeefeCustomer Services Co-Ordinator: Cold to Cosy Homes
Laura joined the team in May 2021 to support the expanding Cold to Cosy Homes service after working a few months as a contractor for the energy team.

She has a background working in support roles across a number of sectors including Financial Services and Education where she developed internal systems and processes and delivered training.

Laura has a huge personal interest in sustainable living and tackling climate change and has held voluntary positions working in an animal sanctuary and a zero-waste shop as well as with local and national conservation projects.

In her spare time she enjoys running on the fells with her dog, open water swimming and wildlife gardening.

Vibeke Aalmo
Vibeke AalmoProject support officer: Cold to Cosy Homes
Vibeke joined the team in September 2021 to aid in the expansion of Cold to Cosy Homes. She facilitates the admin that is vital for the rest of the team to run the service, speaking with customers and referring them on.

She is Norwegian and moved to the UK and Cumbria in 2018 to try out a new way of life closer to nature.

Most of Vibeke’s career has been in Norwegian residential building companies as a client consultant and accountant. She soon shifted towards the CRM system, both with support and best practise internally, and as a tester for the CRM supplier.

Her hobbies include running and walking in the fells. She spends a lot of time in her garden enjoying and supporting its wildlife and trying to improve thenew vegetable patch.

Sarah Munton
Sarah MuntonCustomer Service Administrator: Cold to Cosy Homes
Sarah joined the team in January 2022. She provides admin support for the Cold to Cosy Homes project officers and is likely to be one of the first points of contact for customers before referring them on.

She moved to Cumbria in November 2021 to be closer to family and to embrace the outdoor life she loves. She has previously worked in legal services and for an Essex Hospice where she was part of the Corporate Services and Facilities team. Her responsibilities included maintaining external stakeholder relationships and supporting the team’s volunteers.

Away from the office you will find her on the fells, at the gym or on her yoga mat. A keen charity fundraiser she has participated in the London marathon, 3 peaks challenge and has even pulled a passenger plane in NYC.

Lee Walker
Lee WalkerCustomer Service Administrator: Cold to Cosy Homes
Lee joined the Cold to Cosy Homes team in January 2022, supporting project officers and assisting customers when they contact the service.

Having completed an MSc in Housing Practice at Salford University she initially came to Penrith for a 7 week contract, fell in love with the area and never left! Over the last 18 years she has worked in the local Social Housing sector helping vulnerable people and working with other Cumbrian districts to research local needs. Most recently she has worked for a local social enterprise charity shop.

She enjoys travelling and different cultures, and has a passion for the Cumbrian fells, Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides. She is a volunteer Youth Hostel Warden, and when not out and about can be found trying her hand at DIY in her home and garden.

Alison Smith
Alison SmithHome Energy Advisor: Cold to Cosy Homes
Alison joined CAfS in February 2022 to be part of the Cold to Cosy homes team. She has a background in customer facing roles in diverse sectors from both public sector and private industry.

During a degree in Environmental Health, Alison particularly enjoyed the Housing element of the course and for the last 4 years Alison has been building her own house, converted from an old agricultural building. This has been an excellent apprenticeship in putting into practice the technical construction knowledge and experiencing all those retrofitting issues.

In her spare time Alison juggles building with her young family, peppered with occasional cinema trips, loves nothing better than a good comedy gig and adores her chickens. She is looking forward to biking and canoeing more often in the future.

Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership

John Forbes
John ForbesProject Manager: Zero Carbon Cumbria
John has worked in the environmental sector for more than 20 years, giving advice and support to householders, community groups, businesses and other organisations on energy efficiency, renewables, water, waste and sustainable transport. Many of these activities have involved working in partnership with community groups, local government, environmental organisations and other stakeholders.

John was delighted to join the team at CAfS in late 2020. He is really impressed by the ambition, community involvement and strength of the Zero Carbon Cumbria partnership and is very much looking forward to working with the community and all the partners in the project.

Alongside his passion for the environment, John enjoys hill walking, cycling, music and woodworking.

Hazel Graham
Hazel GrahamClimate and Carbon Literacy Training Manager
Hazel oversees our Climate & Carbon Literacy programme, leading the education of a network of clients in the specifics of climate science and helping push them towards more sustainable lives and businesses.

She previously led CAfS’ work to build the strategic partnerships and networks that will be instrumental in the drive towards a zero-carbon Cumbria. She co-chaired the Zero Carbon Cumbria Partnership, which she helped to form in 2019.

Hazel has wide knowledge of sustainability issues. She served as a housing association board member and environmental champion for six years, and holds an MSc in Environmental Sustainability.

Her past experience includes leading behaviour-change projects, developing energy-efficiency training programmes and working as a consultant to improve the financial viability of charities. She is also part of the local transition movement in Carlisle.

Angie Bewick
Angie BewickProject Support Officer: Zero Carbon Cumbria
Angie joined CAfS in December 2020 to provide support to the Zero Carbon Cumbria project team working towards the county’s zero carbon goal. She will also be giving administrative support to the wider project.

After attending and enjoying a number of CAfS events over the years, she is thrilled to now be a part of the team and is looking forward to working with the community and all of the partners involved in the project.

Angie’s background is in the public sector and finance.

Angie moved to Cumbria from Newcastle in March 2017 to live closer to the Lake District. In her spare time, she enjoys fell walking, yoga and dressmaking.

Helen Attewell
Helen AttewellCumbria Sustainability Network Coordinator
Helen joined the team in April 2021, bringing experience and skills honed over four decades in a variety of different voluntary sector and campaigning organisations.

Following a degree in natural sciences, Helen began her career as a science teacher. She has spent some time volunteering overseas in Bangladesh and in rural Lesotho, where she developed an awareness of how climate change will disproportionately impact the poorest and most vulnerable.

Helen has supported community groups, including networks of BAME and refugee organisations in the north east of England. She also provided infrastructure support as a Regional Development Officer for the National Lottery Community Fund. Most recently, she has led a criminal justice charity in the north east.

A recent offcomer from the other side of the Pennines, Helen is a keen walker and volunteer walk-leader and is inspired by the landscapes and wildlife of Cumbria.

Nigel Jenkins
Nigel JenkinsEvents and Training Coordinator: Zero Carbon Cumbria
Nigel is part of the ZCCP team responsible for designing, coordinating and delivering the partnership’s five-year program of innovative training and events.

He’d previously organised and evaluated our 2019 Cumbria Green Build & Sustainable Living Festival and been part of our team working to install electric vehicle chargepoints across the North of England.

Nigel has been connected with CAfS for a decade, supporting our work as a volunteer and as a founder member of Penrith Action for Community Transition. He’s also produced some of our films over the years, through his role as a film-maker at Eden Lighthouse.

Nigel brings a diverse range of skills, with a professional background that includes event management, project management, training and engineering.

He has hands-on experience of low-energy building, having renovated an old farmhouse recently, which equips him well to plan a diverse range of events during our festival. He’s also a dab hand at upcycling with pallets.

Ceri Holman
Ceri HolmanYouth Projects Coordinator: Zero Carbon Cumbria
Ceri joined CAfS in October 2021, having studied an Environment and Development postgraduate MA at Lancaster University. Previously she worked in secondary school education for fifteen years.

Ceri is keen to encourage young people’s involvement in, and discussion around, society’s sustainable transition. Her MA research explored how a place-based curriculum could support a more holistic approach to sustainability across schools and the local community, linking the environment to education, health, wellbeing, recreation, and employment opportunities.

Ceri sits on the Cumbria schools’ group for the Morecambe Bay Curriculum, led by Lancaster University, Eden Project North, and University of Cumbria.

As a qualified librarian, Ceri has also worked in information and research-related roles for King’s College London, Breast Cancer Now and Hospice UK.

Outside of work, Ceri loves literature and time spent on the fells and by the coast.

Clare Taylor
Clare TaylorCommunity Climate Champions Coordinator
Clare joined us in May 2022 after recently moving to Cumbria to grow our network of community climate champions across Cumbria, and give those champions the support they need to increase awareness and understanding about climate change in their communities.

Clare has significant experience of volunteer coordination and support and still works as the Carers Service Coordinator for Richmond Borough Mind alongside her CAfS role. She also brings a career history that includes developing and delivering training programmes on a range of topics, volunteer recruitment and event coordination.

She has been concerned about climate change for a long time and strives to live a low carbon impact lifestyle. In her spare time, Clare can be found keeping active, reading, listening to music and podcasts and exploring new places.

Anna Clapp
Anna ClappAdministrator: Zero Carbon Cumbria
Anna joined CAfS in May 2022 to help provide admin support to the ZCC partnership. She had recently been involved with a local charity that runs child-led outdoor summer camps, helping young people to connect with the land through play, and supporting young volunteers to access work in the outdoor sector.

She began first as a trustee and is now one of the project coordinators applying for funding, taking bookings and on-site pastoral care and coordination during the camp itself. Anna is also a partner in a workers’ cooperative wholefood shop in Alston.

In her spare time, Anna is studying medical herbalism and has a keen interest in growing her own herbs and using them to treat minor ailments and illnesses. She is in the very early stages of planning to build a Passivhaus in Alston.

Carolyn Hoar
Carolyn HoarAdministrator: Zero Carbon Cumbria
Carolyn joined the ZCC team in May 2022 to provide admin support to the team and the £100,000 Community Climate Grant fund, helping to support climate action by grassroots community groups and local sustainability groups to get established and develop.

She comes from a work background of over 30 years admin experience in the charity community sector including working for a community grant giving charity in Kendal and a wood recycling social firm on the Isle of Skye.

At home, she is often found outside tending her vegetables, fruit bushes and apple trees or looking after a small flock of unruly hens. In the last few years, Carolyn has been renovating a small Westmorland barn attached to her cottage learning new skills such as plastering with insulated lime plaster.

Central support

Jaki Bell
Jaki BellMarketing & communications manager
Jaki joined CAfS in June 2016, and leads communications on all our diverse projects as well as looking after our social media and other online channels. Jaki has worked in communications throughout her working life, starting as a reporter in local and regional newspapers before moving into corporate communications.

She has previously been internal communications manager with the City of London Police, Metropolitan Police Service and Lancashire County Council before moving to Cumbria. Since coming to the county, she has been running her own communications consultancy, mainly supporting charities and civic organisations.

She’s a volunteer with Penrith Action for Community Transition and the Penrith and Eden District Freegle group.

Kieran Macfadzean
Kieran MacfadzeanMarketing & communications officer
Kieran joined CAfS at the tail end of 2019 to work on the project to install electric vehicle charging points across the North West. He now supports Jaki in the day-to-day running of the website and, as his title suggests, assists with general marketing and communications across all of CAfS activities.

He has previously been a regular face on Cumbria’s screens as the lead presenter for That’s TV Cumbria. During his time there he travelled the length and breadth of the county to uncover stories and interview the people making things happen throughout the region.

His experience is in media production including recording video and audio, scripting and post-production as well as presenting, public speaking and customer services.

During his spare time, he can be heard as a drivetime presenter on Monday evenings on Lake District Radio.

Rebecca Stacey
Rebecca StaceyMarketing & Communications Officer
Rebecca joined CAfS in December 2021, joining the marketing department.

Previously Rebecca worked as a teacher in primary schools across the country, passionate about literacy and climate change education. In 2014 she moved to Cumbria to lead a local primary school and became the first Head Teacher in the country to achieve the United Nations Climate Change Teacher accreditation. This lead to a deep desire to change sectors – working towards a low carbon and sustainable future for the next generations.

Rebecca is currently studying for an MSc in Zero Carbon Communities at the University of the Highlands and Islands. She has developed a keen interest in ensuring that communities have the tools and information to develop their own sustainable path. When not in work she can be found walking her two dogs and enjoying books about anything and everything!

Gemma McCall
Gemma McCallEvents & project support officer
Gemma supports our domestic energy team with delivering our energy advice and draughtproofing services, including LEAP and our Cold to Cosy Homes scheme.

She supports all our project managers with delivering their wide range of activities – from liaising with customers, to reporting and analysis and everything in between.

Gemma also helps to organise CAfS events across the county. She joined CAfS in November 2017, initially to provide maternity cover for Kushti as our administration officer and she continues to support with our business and financial management.

Gemma moved to Cumbria from Scotland in August 2017. Her background is in the public sector, having previously worked for the Procurator Fiscal’s Office in Kilmarnock.

Jo Gibbs
Jo GibbsProject support officer
Jo joined CAfS to provide support to the domestic energy team to help deliver our growing Cold to Cosy Homes scheme. Jo will also be providing administrative support to the wider team and making sure the CAfS ship sails smoothly.

She has previously worked as a Volunteer Coordinator and has a background in the outdoor charity sector, specifically working on programmes supporting marginalised young people. Her roles have ranged from coordinating remote overseas expeditions to helping administer European Social Fund grants.

Having moved to Cumbria in 2017 to live closer to the fells, Jo enjoys walking, rock climbing and cooking up vegan feasts. She also volunteers with ‘Waste into Wellbeing’ in Kendal, helping to redistribute to the community food that would have otherwise gone to waste.