Community Development Team

Elaine Davies

Development Officer

I have been involved in the voluntary sector in Sheffield for more than 20 years since I worked with a local group to set up and run a charity delivering childcare and play activities for children. From there I moved into various paid roles within the sector including as the manager of a charity, accountable to a board of trustees. I have also been a trustee of a local and a regional charity.

My role at VAS enables me to put my experience of the huge rewards and challenges of working in the sector to good use. I love the face to face work with people that my job involves and get real satisfaction from developing and supporting lots of amazing groups across the city making a real difference.

Telephone: 01142 536634


John Rick

Development Officer

I have been involved in the voluntary sector in Yorkshire for more than 10 years. Initially working as a consultant helping charities to become more financially sustainable, I went on to lead a charity and it’s subsidiary social enterprise training company. I am also a volunteer director of a local community centre.

I am looking forward to my new role as part of the VAS’s Development Team and hope that some of the experiences I’ve gained over the last 10 years can be put to good use to support others in the sector.

Telephone: 0114 253 6624


Bluebell Smith

Health and Wellbeing Lead

Having always lived, worked and volunteered in Sheffield I’ve got a real passion for bringing out the best in our amazing city and the communities that make it.

My role at VAS involves developing networking and partnership opportunities around health and wellbeing, specifically the prevention agenda and person centred care.
I provide independent support to partnerships that are delivering social prescribing services through the People Keeping Well framework and feel passionately about the potential of social prescribing to reduce health inequalities and provide opportunities for local people.

In the coming year I look forward to working with neighbourhoods on initiatives like Move More that will go one step further in developing healthy, resilient communities.

Telephone: 0114 253 6632


Sophia Arthurs-Hartnett

Lunch Clubs Development Officer

I’ve been interested in cultivating community for a long time now; since I was about eight and I set up the “tree climbing club” with my sister and the children in the neighbourhood!
That’s what I love about working as the Lunch Clubs Development Officer; I have the privilege of working with people who are passionate about their community.
I support the lunch club organisers and groups with their day-to-day running as well as their long term aims.

I also volunteer for the charity Assist who support destitute asylum seekers and as a Dementia Friends Champion.

Telephone: 0114 253 6650


Jill Malcolmson

Development Officer - Volunteering

I have lived in Sheffield for over 45 years, volunteering for the National Childbirth Trust and as a school governor in the city between 1988 – 2005. I now volunteer locally and am joining the board of a Yorkshire-wide charitable trust. I worked for a national charity for 20 years in development and quality improvement roles, supporting volunteers, staff and managers in all aspects of their work.

I am very pleased to be focussing now on voluntary sector partners in Sheffield, building relationships and adding my experience to the VAS Development Team.

Telephone: 0114 253 6630


Liz Searle

Lunch Clubs Administrator

I’ve worked in most of the teams in VAS since I joined in 2009, and I started on Reception so I know lots of people/organisations that we have links with.
I have an administrator’s love of detail (I actually enjoy proofreading) and I have no fear of shifting desks and fixing photocopiers. I like talking to people too, but I like listening to their stories even more…this is an important part of what I do in my Lunch Clubs work.
I chose VAS because I agree with the values of cooperation, support, diversity and creativity that symbolise the third sector.

Telephone: 01142 536650


Patrick Wood

Lunch Clubs Referrals Officer

I’ve worked with VAS since 2007 and I’ve been involved with the Lunch Club Referrals Service since it started in 2014. I’ve learned a lot from the conversations I’ve had with older people in Sheffield and I feel privileged to work alongside Lunch Club organisers in the city, who give freely of their time to make life better for the people they support.

I’m a member of the Social Care Institute for Excellence Coproduction, Equalities and Human Rights Steering Group and I try to uphold the coproduction principles of accessibility, diversity, equality and reciprocity (or getting something back for putting something in) in my day to day working life.

I also work as an Influence and Participation Coach with national Mind and I have been actively involved in mental health survivor groups since 1989.

Telephone: 0114 253 6674