Management & administration
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.
As a professional administrator, Kushti worked previously in the retail and education sectors. Her responsibilities have spanned a range of disciplines, from facilities management to training coordination and reception. In her London days, she was operations supervisor responsible for stock control at a fashion brand’s flagship Oxford Street store.
Kushti and her fiancé also run the superb Country Coffee Shop in Penrith.
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.
Project management & development
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.
Roe is currently leading the Alston Moor Greenprint, an exciting three-year programme funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, paving the way for a more sustainable future for the area, with practical actions linked directly to the development of a community plan and the neighbourhood planning process.
Phil has been recognised by the EU Commission for his success in delivering an ERDF-supported programme of energy-efficient refurbishment, whilst managing a £1.6 million ESF programme of training in the low-carbon economy.
In his spare time, Phil is chair of Community Energy Cumbria and was a driving force behind its Killington Reservoir hydro scheme and solar arrays at the Lake District National Park Authority headquarters. He’s also a volunteer with Burneside Community Energy.
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.
It’s a three-year programme funded by the National Lottery Community Fund to help Cumbrians prepare for events similar to the floods of December 2015, and build resilience.
Emma’s overseeing our initiatives to help people adapt their homes to cope better with extreme weather, while also improving their energy efficiency.
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 homes in the UK to achieve the space heating target of EnerPHit (the Passive House retrofit standard).
Previously, Tina has worked as a consultant and project manager implementing business systems across private, public and third sector organisations. 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.
He’d previously organised and evaluated our 2019 Cumbria Green Build & Sustainable Living Festival.
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.
Andrew also established and trained teams of energy-saving advisors. He developed our professional training programme, leading with our successful series of courses on retrofitting for energy efficiency since 2016. He has produced videos for householders and housing associations targeting energy saving and damp and condensation.
He also conducts comprehensive energy audits and thermal-imaging surveys for CAfS and delivers a series of workshops on energy saving, draught-proofing techniques and thermal-imaging assessments.
Andrew joined us from LESS in Lancaster, where he completed numerous thermal surveys for clients throughout Lancashire, assessing heat loss and providing comprehensive energy-saving advice. He also has a wealth of experience providing draughtproofing and efficient LED lighting solutions. He is qualified in a City and Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Green Deal Domestic Advice and is a certified level 1 thermographer. Andrew previously worked in central government where he delivered many training projects throughout the UK.
Rhona has worked as a practitioner, policy maker, researcher and lecturer in sustainable development and regeneration during her 25-year career. Notably, from 2003-2010 she led Yorkshire Forward’s Rural Capitals programme, including the ground-breaking Renaissance Market Towns, creating new jobs and revitalising town centres.
Since 2010, Rhona has run her own consultancy specialising in sustainable development and regeneration, supporting partners in delivering research and projects. She conducts research and lectures at Newcastle University on sustainable development, and completed a PhD there on energy self-sufficiency for rural areas.
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.
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 works as contributor to a youth literacy blog as a film reviewer and current affairs writer.
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.