Meet the involve Team

Phil Cook

General Manager

My background is varied, but this helps me day by day in my role. My ‘career’ includes; working in the prison service, working in a secondary School, running an off licence, working in the Voluntary and Community sector doing; volunteering, administration, marketing, fundraising, project, staff and contract management…
I have even worked in Burger Vans at Lords Cricket Ground!

involve is working with lots of different charities, community groups, volunteers, people, business and other partners. I love meeting all these people and organisations, finding out about the difference that charities make locally and then being a part of trying to empower charities and community groups to do more. The staff, volunteers and Trustees at involve are great, a strong team that works to ‘make a difference locally’ – I love being a part of all of this.

Outside of involve I am married to my wonderful partner, Leonie, and I am a father of 3. We enjoy being out and about, taking in walks and fresh air. I am a bit of an artist and enjoy sculpting and creating pieces of art work. Over the years I have taken on charity challenges including the Three Peaks Challenge, cycling London to Paris and London to Brighton, half marathons and a walking full marathon. I enjoy music, films, reading and spending time with family and friends.

Email me: philip.cook@involve.community

Jackie Eddolls

Finance Manager

As I am passionate about working for an organisation that’s ethos is to help better the lives of those in the local community as an employee of involve and having worked in the Charity Sector for some years I consider myself to be in that privileged position as the Finance and Administration Manager at involve.  My role is never dull as there are so many things to keep me challenged on a day to day basis.  The other part of my job is to produce the bi-weekly newsletter which keeps me in touch with the local community and with all the fab things that are happening here all the time.  When at home I love to relax at the moment I’m into jigsaw puzzles, its’s been many things over the years Sudoku, crosswords, DIY, collecting, dancing, music, and I am currently about to join a beginners ukulele class, I know little things?

Call me: 01344 383514
Email me: jackie.eddolls@involve.community

Phil Bell

Deputy Manager

I have lived in and around Bracknell and Wokingham all my life. I am passionate about my community and about assisting those charities, community groups and individuals who support it.

I have enjoyed a varied career, though have primarily worked across health and social care settings, and from 2010 to 2013 was the director of a neighbouring area children’s charity. As such, I have developed skills that are transferable to my role at Involve. 

Email me: philip.bell@involve.community

Diane Benford

Mike Allen

Trustee Recruitment & Liaison Officer
Bracknell Forest & Wokingham Borough

I’ve almost always worked in the Voluntary & Community Sector, from when I volunteered during my first time at University back in the 1970s through to eventually becoming senior employee of a few small and medium-sized charities. I started with Adventure Playwork, followed by Youth Work, Community Development, then joined some nationally-well-known charities, usually working with Boards of Trustees to help with governance and training.

It’s thus appropriate I’m now helping the broad range of Bracknell & Wokingham voluntary & community organisations and charities to recruit and support Trustees and Committee Members, looking to increase the diversity of local people involved. I believe in a strong Voluntary & Community Sector, simply because I feel we are better equipped to respond to local issues with appropriate means and methods.
I’m owned by two cats, married to a University Professor, a Trustee of a small local charity, a lapsed off-road cyclist and enjoy cooking, gardening, walking and beer-making (although not at the same time).

Call me: 01344 383519
Email me: mike.allen@involve.community

Jackie Leslie

Funding Advisor
Bracknell Forest & Wokingham Borough

I joined involve in January 2019 as funding advisor and look forward to working with and supporting and local CSV organisations to provide funding and fundraising services to meet their organisation’s needs.

I have worked in the private sector, academia and charities in training; project planning and funding. Working for one UK charity supporting health campaigns in 7 countries in Africa, one part of my work was to assess costs, benefits and effectiveness of the programme and policies. This provided information both for fund raising and to support policy and implementation plans. Most recently I worked with environmental programmes to develop corporate partnership funding, and supported a large grant application for town centre environmental works to compliment on-going partnership work to regenerate the town, and its sense of place.

I live locally and have volunteered with several different local charities and community groups and am pleased to be using my skills, insights and experiences in my work with involve for the local community.

Call me: 01344 383523
Email me: jackie.leslie@involve.community

Diane Benford
Diane Benford

Diane Benford

Volunteer Services Manager
Bracknell Forest

The first day I started in the volunteer sector, I knew I had finally come home.  Years of working in corporate businesses, being constantly pushed with a clear view to earn money was good, but not fulfilling.  By nature and like most people, It gives me great pleasure helping others and to be in a team of likeminded people.  My role at involve is so diverse and interesting. One minute I’m helping to find someone a volunteer opportunity doing something they love, the next I am working with local corporates in fore filling their Corporate Social Responsibility policy through the volunteering of their staff to local groups.   I find, my heart fills with admiration  every time I meet a group or individuals who are selfless and honourable to their cause which humbles me every time (how lucky we are)

On a lighter note, I am arty, love art and design and colour is my life.  I love having parties for friends and family.  I am a serious plane geek and have been to every air show ever put on around the country.  I am also a massive food fan who adores experimenting with foods from all over the world.

Call me: 01344 383513
Email me: diane.benford@involve.community

Lynn Baldwin

Befriending and Community Choices Manager
Bracknell Forest

I have lived in Bracknell for 28 years and have worked in various roles. One of these roles, caring for the elderly, lead me to wanting to help those in our society who may be lonely and isolated in the elderly community.

My role sees me coordinating the befriending project whilst operating the whole process of recruiting, training and matching volunteers to clients. These volunteers offer companionship and help the clients to engage back into the community.

I am sure you can imagine this role is incredibly fulfilling and satisfying and it makes me so happy knowing I am helping people and making these connections.

Out of work I play hand bells for Crowthorne Chimes, and we regularly put on concerts. I enjoy walking, and the theatre and like nothing better than relaxing on a beach somewhere hot!

Call me: 01344 383522
Email me: lynn.baldwin@involve.community

Angie Cowan

Supported Volunteering & Community Choices Coordinator
Bracknell Forest

I am a qualified social worker and have worked with a number of Local Authorities in London over many years, and across many disciplines within Adult and Children’s social care.

I have particularly enjoyed managing a number of projects and teams across Health and Social Care in the development of integrated community services to provide multi-disciplinary support at home as an alternative to an admission to hospital.

Having lived and worked in London all my life I moved to Bracknell Forest 5 years ago. In order to integrate into my new community, I looked for volunteering opportunities and started volunteering with involve. From there an opportunity arose to develop the Community Choices Scheme, linking and supporting socially isolated adults with activities of interest to them. This was very much an area of interest for me and was happy to be able to join this work up with the existing Supported Volunteering scheme, providing support for those individuals who would like to volunteer but require some support to do so.

I enjoy music, travel and walking, and although I still miss the hustle and bustle of London at times, I love that I have miles of open countryside virtually on my doorstep!

Call me: 01344 383525
Email me: angie.cowan@involve.community

Claire Page

Training Coordinator
Bracknell Forest & Wokingham Borough

I have had several roles working in an office and found I had finally found where I needed to be when working for a charity in 2007. I started working for involve in 2015. My first time working in a charity I loved the fact I found it very rewarding helping others that were in need. I am very much a people person and like to feel that I can make a difference. My role at involve is offering training for local charities which helps them to be well equipped to help those in need. This gives me great satisfaction.

In my personal life I am very active and always busy. With 3 children at home my days are never quiet. I always have new projects around the house and am constantly making more improvements in the home to make it a lovely place for myself and my children. I enjoy having regular get togethers’ with friends and family entertaining sharing a glass or two of wine.

Call me: 01344 383524
Email me: claire.page@involve.community

Liz Penn

Community Navigation Manager
Wokingham Borough

Having worked in various roles and sectors during my career, this is my first role with a Charity organisation. Whilst working as a Parish Clerk I began to realise how important ‘community’ is to us all and decided to follow another path.

I am excited to be working at involve as their Community Navigation Scheme Manager and look forward to working alongside an experienced team, signposting clients to organisations and charities that will provide benefit to themselves and their families.

Over the years I have taken on various voluntary roles, the latest being a Community Bar! I am passionate about social media and run several community Facebook groups, I also enjoy literature, walking and entertaining.

Call me: 01344 383 511
Email me: liz.penn@involve.community

Jason Bowles

Community Navigation Administrator
Wokingham Borough

I moved to the Wokingham area just over two years ago and have had a vast range of experience working and volunteering for large and small charities, both national and local. I worked as a fundraiser for about 15 years before moving in to paid and voluntary youth and children’s work. I have been a trustee for a number of small charities and am currently on the steering group for a small Wokingham community group. In my spare time, when I’m not working as a Community Navigator, I help run two children’s after-school clubs and a youth group in Wokingham.

 I have always found the charity sector very rewarding and love working for involve. I love everything community development related. Away from work I volunteer quite a bit, but also run to keep fit. I am involved with a church in East Reading which is an amazing support, and I have made some great friends through the church. I also love music of all kinds and have a large collection of Rupert Bear annuals dating back to the 1950’s! I am married to my wife Jackie and we have been together since 1994 when we met at University.

Call me: 01344 383 526
Email me: jason.bowles@involve.community

Clarissa Webb

Administration / Media Support

My first experience of the workplace was in a busy restaurant, so changing from such a fast paced and stressful environment to such a calm and friendly environment at involve was such an amazing transition for me. Everyone here is so helpful and genuinely cares about the work that they do. I never thought I’d work within the voluntary and community sector, but now that I do, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. The work everyone does for our community is so inspirational and I’m so lucky to have found a place here. I still enjoy cooking and baking though, so hopefully the people here will appreciate the occasional random cake! 🍰

Call me: 01344 383527
Email me: clarissa.webb@involve.community