Lee Bates

Lee Bates - Project Coordinator

I started my career in catering management working for Bass Breweries and Compass Catering. I then went into Training and was part of a training team providing Customer Service, IT Systems, Inductions, first line management training programmes for 10 years before moving into working for the community voluntary sector. I was the founder of Community Together CIC and work as the organisations Project Coordinator. I have also been volunteering for good causes in Tamworth the past 25 years and I am donor advisor for the Tamworth Forever Fund and a Rotarian in Tamworth Rotary Club. In my spare time I enjoy listening to music, watching films and taking my dog on long walks.

Karen Morgan

Karen Morgan – Support Officer

I started working for Community Together CIC in 2015 after 17 years with the Department for Work and Pensions.Throughout my career with the DWP, I have held front line customer facing roles, providing advice and support to job seekers and liaising with employers to help fill their vacancies. My background knowledge and understanding of the benefits system and the job-hunting process have been crucial in assisting the service users I now work with, and I am always looking to develop my knowledge through close links with Jobcentre Plus and other partner organisations.
I am lucky enough to have a very varied role, running Community Togethers’ Job Clubs from various locations across Tamworth, writing our newsletter and providing general administrative support. I also assist with crafts, pottery painting, greeting and welcoming the public to our Hub in the Castle Grounds. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, yoga and spending time with my dogs.

Steve Hodgetts

Steve Hodgetts – Business Support Officer and Director

Prior to joining Community Together CIC in April 2012 I worked for Nationwide for 17 years as Operations Manager. I was responsible for a team of 40 staff as well as project managing the implementation of regulatory guideline into the business. I am a qualified mortgage adviser (CeMAP). As Business Support Officer for Community Together CIC I am responsible for the smooth running of our day to day operations and as Director I am responsible for the financial operations as well as HR, Health and Safety and Compliance. In my spare time I enjoy gardening, photography and walking.

Deborah Bates

Deborah Bates – Hub Co-ordinator (Volunteer) and Director

I have two children and 2 grandchildren. I have 28 years’ experience of Senior Care Management providing high quality care to the elderly as Care Manager for a local Residential Care Home.  During this time, I have always received outstanding inspections from CQC (Care Quality Commission) and have a degree in Care Management.  In my spare time I like gardening, spending time with my family and friends and listening to music. I volunteer for Community Together CIC every day managing our Hub in Tamworth Castle Grounds as a Volunteers as well as lead coordinator for our befriending and seated exercise groups. As a Director of Community Together CIC I am responsible for our team of Volunteers.

Annette Ford

Annette Ford – Catering Assistant

I was born in Tamworth in August 1959. I have enjoyed a career in the Care industry and was privileged to be a Care Manager for many years while bringing up my family. I retired to later work in the community assisting young and elderly to live independently. In February 2016 I was given the opportunity to work for Community Together CIC as Catering Assistant at their Community Café in Glascote and have found this a fulfilling period of my career and have taken the opportunity to continue training and developing new skills.

Dr Anthony E Goodwin

Anthony Edward Goodwin B.Ed. (Hons), MSc, DMS, FRSA - Director

A graduate of Glasgow and Leicester Universities, I achieved my ambition to teach Physical Education and Geography to High School pupils in Glasgow. However; after only two terms I realised the scale of the challenge and elected to pursue a safer career and so joined the Royal Marine Commandoes in which I served until medical discharge following injuries sustained in combat. With the rank of Major (Retired) I returned to Glasgow where I was employed initially by the Scottish Sports Council prior to commencing life in Local Government. After 33 years working in Scotland and England initially as a Director and, for the last decade, as a Council Chief Executive I retired in October, 2017. I have dedicated my life to serving local communities through the provision of compassionate leadership, shared understanding and a collegiate approach to innovation. I have a genuine desire to continue to do so in whatever way I can. My specialist areas of expertise have been in the fields of Economic Growth & Regeneration; the public health and community safety agenda with specific focus on the PREVENTION agenda. My national profile is primarily linked to my involvement in the Troubled Families programme led by Dame Louise Casey; the Early Intervention and Integrated Offender Management programmes led by the Home Office and, various studies into the causes and effects of ‘Homelessness’. Away from work I’m a dedicated husband, father and now grandpa. A former international canoeist, with my claim to fame playing for Combined Services RUFC against the 1976 New Zealand All Blacks…….also clean bowled Sir Ian Botham in a Charity Cricket match. My mind still plays sport at the highest level but sadly, my body contradicts it. I remain keen to be the best I can be in this the next phase of my career. I am currently the Honorary Chairman of Community Together CIC; a non-Executive Director of Safer Staffordshire CIC and a non-voting member of the South East Staffordshire CCG Management Board. Previous roles include being an Independent Business Governor of a Further Education College and representing my Professional Institute at a Regional and National Board level.

Ann Robinson

Ann Robinson – Director

was born in April 1947 and I am married with five children. My career in catering started in 1997 when I moved to Tamworth. I enjoyed working in the Café located in the indoor market at St Editha’s square following working at the Belfry in their kitchens for many happy years. I retired and became a Volunteer for Community Together CIC in 2011, volunteering four days a week. I find my voluntary work rewarding and fulfilling with the support of a dedicated team. I joined the Board of Directors in February 2015 and along with Debbie are responsible for our team of Volunteers. In my spare time I enjoy going out with family and friends, gardening and reading

Rebekah Vlaar

Rebekah Vlaar – Director

Originally from New Zealand, I have been living in the UK for the past 10 years and have made Tamworth my home. My early work experience began as an entrepreneur at age 13 when I formed a business partnership with a friend and provided children’s entertainment at parties and events. I later moved on to fulfil roles in logistics then in sales, both in retail and full commission work. Since moving to the UK, I gained my Health and Social Care Diploma and began work in Tamworth as a Personal Assistant for adults with disabilities. I love my work as every day is different and it gives me the opportunity to meet different people at the heart of the Tamworth community. My diverse experience has always aligned with my enthusiasm and enjoyment for interacting and communicating with people and creating new experiences. My successful commission-based work shows I work well on my own though I am happiest when I am in a team environment. I also feel my unique background enables me to bring fresh ideas to my role with Community Together CIC. When I am not working with my service users or dreaming up new ideas for the Community Together CIC team, I love to travel and to experience new places, cultures and activities. I also enjoy reading, crafts, learning to play the keyboard and spending time with family, friends and my new puppy. As a Director of Community Together CIC I am responsible for Commercial awareness raising.

Rebekah Vlaar

Nicki Robinson – Director

A former NCTJ-qualified journalist, with 14 years’ experience in media. I am now PR and Communications Officer for the world’s largest children’s hospice charity.
I began my career as a journalist with Central Independent News and Media (CIN) as a Reporter for the Lichfield Mercury. I was then appointed District Chief Reporter for the Atherstone and Coleshill Heralds before progressing to a Senior Reporter on the Tamworth Herald. From there I became News Editor for the Herald before being appointed Group News Editor for CIN.
My final position as a journalist, before making the transition to PR, was Sub Editor; editing and designing pages for Central Independent News and Media, the Nottingham Post and Trinity Mirror Plc. I am now PR and Communications Officer for Acorns Children’s Hospice. As a Director for Community Together CIC I am responsible for PR and Media