Meet the Team!

Strengthening Communities currently work with communities and individuals, churches and other faith groups, across Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, The Black Country and north Shropshire in these three main areas:

  • Places of Welcome – supporting our network of weekly community groups, offering free refreshments for all
  • Enabling All – advocating for accessible communities where all can belong
  • Dementia-Friendly Church and Schools - helping churches and schools to increase thier understanding of dementia and supporting their work to make environments better for those living with dementia

But we are always keen to hear how we can support and signpost in other areas of social justice.

Team Members

Carrie Blount
Mobile: 07377 918 101

Strengthening Communities Enabler

As well as overseeing the team, Carrie’s role is to support individuals, community groups and churches with their community outreach, including supporting the opening and development of Places of Welcome and other community responses. She provides advice and guidance, working with statutory organisations and the wider voluntary, community and social enterprise sector to increase engagement and partnership working..

Sarah Thorpe
Mobile: 07982 248949

Dementia-Friendly Churches Enabler

Sarah is glad to work with any churches that want to join our Diocese-wide network, taking next steps to become more dementia-friendly churches at the heart of dementia-friendly communities. Sarah’s dad had dementia in the last years of his life – and this prompted her to start a dementia group in her home church.

Lesley Bovington
Mobile: 07704 485 332


Places of Welcome Facilitator

(Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent)

Like Carrie, Lesley supports our local Places of Welcome, encouraging existing community groups to join the network and working with others to start theirs from scratch.  She provides day to day support, online promotion, funding information, and local training and networking opportunities. Lesley loves to visit the Places of Welcome, to thank the wonderful volunteers - and to share in the tea, cake and chat, of course!

Revd Zoe Heming
Mobile: 07871 622598

Diocesan Enabling All Church Advisor

Zoe's passion for the Enabling All (EA) work draws on her personal experience of how inaccessible groups and churches can be as a disabled Vicar with dyslexia and ADHD.  With a growing network of people sharing simple, practical advice for churches and community groups, the team are excited to be part of equipping, empowering and enabling others to notice and remove access barriers. 

Su Parker

PA to the Enabling All Disability Advisor

Su supports Revd Zoe Hemming at Enabling All. She is passionate about making sure that our churches build communities that are welcoming to all. For over 10 years worked in different areas where welcome is central, including Dementia Friendly Churches and Places of Welcome. She has lived with disabilities in the past and is neurodivergent.

Emma Smith
Mobile: 07745 244 285

Engagement & Comms Co-ordinator 

Emma heads up the daily social media posts and is responsible for the Newsletters and general upkeep of Strengthening Communities part of this website! Emma manages both internal and external comms; collecting stories from a variety of community and church groups from around the diocese to help everyone's voice to be heard and stories celebrated. 

Page last updated: Monday 9th October 2023 10:15 AM
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