Meet our team

Pleased to meet you

BCM’s core team and trustees have many interests and areas of experience. We share a love of Birmingham and a passion to help people feel inspired and confident about making things happen in our wonderful city. 

Jo Burrill

Development Coordinator

“I have worked in the not-for-profit sector since 2001. As Birmingham Community Matters’ Development Coordinator, my role is to further our charity’s work in supporting micro and emerging community groups across the city.”


Development Assistant

“I have lots of experience in customer services, which helps me in my role at BCM. I enjoy hearing why people set up their group or charity, exploring together the questions they need answering, then finding the best ways for us to support them. No two enquiries are ever the same!”

Claire Johnson

Selly Oak NNS lead

“I work mainly on the Selly Oak Neighbourhood Network Scheme, providing one-to-one support to community groups as well as helping to build peer support networks. I really enjoy meeting people that are doing amazing things within their local community – we are lucky to have so many hidden gems in Birmingham.”

Marie Kreft


“I’m a writer, supporting Birmingham Community Matters with marketing and communications. One of my favourite tasks is composing BCM’s monthly newsletter: finding useful events and opportunities to share. We often get lovely replies”.

Kerry Leslie

Design & Development

“At BCM I have two ‘hats’ – the first as a graphic designer, the second in supporting with events and enquiries. I’m really proud to be part of a growing organisation which, at its very core, is set up to help people and places that are meaningful to them”.

Meet our trustees

Emma Woolf MBE


“I’m a veteran volunteer with 35+ years’ experience of running and setting up community groups. Alongside BCM, I’m a volunteer and trustee for the Friends of Cotteridge Park and Birmingham Open Spaces Forum. What I like most about BCM is that it celebrates and uses the vast experience of Birmingham’s volunteers for the benefit of the people of Birmingham.”

Chris Bonnard

Vice chair

“I live in south Birmingham and for nine years was chair of Shenley Youth & Community Trust. Previously I was chief officer for two infrastructure voluntary organisations. I have been a deputy director for an organisation resettling refugees from Vietnam; a community worker in Redditch; and leader for a team of volunteer organisers working for Croydon Social Services.  I offer management, business planning and governance skills to the work of BCM.”

Dipali Chandra


“Having worked in the community and voluntary sector for over 20 years, I am currently a freelance consultant who runs West Midlands Funders Network, and undertakes funding assessments, monitoring, organisational reviews, research, strategy and business development for the third sector.”

Emma MacPherson


“I have worked in the charity sector for nearly 30 years, originally in the arts as an orchestra manager and freelance project administrator. Currently working for a small sheltered housing charitable trust in Birmingham, I have over a decade’s experience in the housing sector. I’m a fervent advocate of local charities and organisations with extensive experience of serving as a trustee in the arts, education, housing and community sectors.”

Helga Edström OBE


“Now retired from life as a civil servant working in social and economic regeneration, I am a trustee at Saathi House in Aston and here at BCM. I am also a director at Upcycle, a social enterprise in Castle Vale; a resident partner with Birchfield Big Local; and I chair my Neighbourhood Forum. It’s refreshing and energising to experience community action bottom up rather than top down.”

Sandra Cooper


“I have been on the committee of Stirchley Neighbourhood Forum for many years. I am also the Forum Planning Officer. My interest in local history led to me being a founder member of Stirchley History Group, of which I am now chair. My involvement with the voluntary sector highlighted to me the need for support for small community organisations to help them grow and flourish, which is why I am delighted to be a trustee of BCM.”

Meet our partners

Get Grants

Grant fundraising consultancy

Get Grants is a Birmingham-based grant fundraising consultancy which gives practical support (training, information and advice) to groups and charities who are seeking and applying for grants. We enjoy working with Get Grants to deliver workshops that help people feel more inspired, confident and ready to secure funding for their Birmingham community group.


Birmingham City Council

We’re grateful for our working relationship with the Neighbourhood Development Support Unit (NDSU) team at Birmingham City Council, which supports the aspirations and activities of community organisations and active citizens in Birmingham’s 69 wards. We’re especially thankful to Head of NDSU Karen Cheney, who did so much for BCM when we first started up – and continues to help us now. 

We worked with the NDSU team to deliver grant support for Birmingham City Council’s Celebrating Communities fund (see Locality section on the right). We have also been awarded small grants from Selly Oak NNS, managed by NDSU, to provide capacity-building support to groups working with adults aged 50+ in the Selly Oak constituency. 


National network for community organisations

Birmingham Community Matters is pleased to be a member of Locality, the national network providing advice and connection to independent community organisations. 

We worked in partnership with Locality when delivering support to groups applying for Birmingham City Council’s Celebrating Communities grants,  set up to help local people celebrate the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It was a joy to combine our knowledge and resources with Locality’s, to host workshops and create information sheets and videos for applicants. 

We are proud to maintain this close working relationship with the Locality team, for mutual benefit and indeed for the good of all the community groups we support.