About Us

Meet Our Team

We are a small, friendly team based in Knaresborough, with a big ambition to create a Yorkshire where every person is empowered to thrive in their life and work.

The Better Connect immediate family consists of our amazing staff members who are united in their passion for our mission but unique in their specific contribution of skills, qualities and substantial talents.

Introducing our staff team…

Alex Kelley

Alex Kelley

Head of Programmes
Christine Brass

Christine Brass

Participant Experience Coordinator
Deborah Chaddock

Deborah Chaddock

Participant Experience Manager
Emily Lain

Emily Lain

Kickstart Assistant
Emma Lyons

Emma Lyons

Programmes Manager
Hannah Prole

Hannah Prole

Programmes Manager
Helen Weatherill

Helen Weatherill

Finance Coordinator
Jacky Wendon

Jacky Wendon

Finance and Audit Co-ordinator
Joe McKenzie

Joe McKenzie

Programme Manager (ATI)
Jonah Potter

Jonah Potter

Finance and Audit Coordinator
Laura Sandiford

Laura Sandiford

Participant Experience Coordinator
Sam Alexander

Sam Alexander

Chief Executive Officer

Join Our Team

If you think you would like to join our team, you can find out more about what it’s like to work at Better Connect and see our existing opportunities on our Careers page.

Testimonials

“WOW – working with Better Connect has always been an exhilarating experience. I can only describe my work with Better Connect as a “decade of opportunities” from ATI to ESF to Kickstart and TEWV. A funder who embraces our shared values enabling the people we support to benefit from so many life changing opportunities.
SDAVS continues to be committed to supporting the needs of the communities we support. Working with Better Connect is always a pleasure, combining a positive work ethic, inclusive delivery style, and open communication at all times. This has ensured that our shared aspirations can be achieved, with so many individuals assisted to succeed.
May the opportunities continue!”

— Chris Hailey-Norris, Chief Officer, Selby District AVS

“Better Connect is a fantastic organisation with a diverse, accessible and person led ethos. They are incredibly supportive and provide an invaluable bridge between organisations and funders, helping to maximise the potential of vital community-based projects throughout the county. They have enabled our organisation to expand and develop, as well as supporting us personally, as practitioners, to have the confidence, resources and backing, to dream big!”

— Emily Havercroft – Director of Making Things Happen

“Orb Community Enterprise has worked closely with Better Connect (previously Your Consortium) for many years now and it has been a very successful working arrangement. The staff are very approachable and responsive. They understand what Orb does and do their very best to accommodate the way we work – some funders are quite rigid in their requirements and negotiating flexibility isn’t always easy – but Better Connect do listen and are very supportive. 
Effectively they are a great team, and we enjoy working with them very much indeed!”

— Elizabeth Marshall Operations Manager – Orb Community Enterprise

“Rural Arts brings creativity to every community in North Yorkshire – and Better Connect (previously Your Consortium) are an important part of making that happen. We’ve partnered together on many projects, and Better Connect are always collaborative, supporting and trusting. They help us to deliver the best outcomes for our communities and work to be flexible about how we achieve this in a way that’s right for us, and our participants. Their team is knowledgeable, friendly, and passionate about what they do. Our partnerships with Better Connect are an important strategic driver, and the organisation is invaluable as a connector, contract manager and support body for the VCSE sector across North Yorkshire. ”

— Max May – Director and CEO of Rural Arts

“I am proud and excited to be moving forward with Better Connect as they step out, in their ever-increasing support, to reach some of the most vulnerable and isolated individuals across North Yorkshire.  Having worked very closely with them (under their former name of Your Consortium) since 2018, I cannot praise their work enough.  Their work with both individuals and partner organisations is exceptional; their vision is far-reaching and all-encompassing; their staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and prompt in their support.  As ever, this is Yorkshire at its best and I cannot think of any more appropriate way to ‘better connect’ with those who need it most.  Looking forward to many more years of working together as the organisation develops.”

— CJ Allison – Yorkshire Employability Manager – Resume Foundation

Meet Our Board

As a not-for-profit company, we’re extremely lucky to be supported by a highly skilled and (we think) pretty impressive Board of Directors.

Our Directors all have experience of senior leadership roles with non-profits or governmental organisations and provide strategic leadership, creative thinking and accountability to our Executive Team.

Introducing our Board…

Our Values

We are proud to be a values-based organisation. Our values were developed by our staff team and they inform what we do, the way we communicate and what it’s like to work with us. They are:

Collaborative

Collaborative

Everything we do is based on partnerships. We are committed to demonstrating generous leadership and ensuring that everyone who is affected by our work, is involved in shaping it

Empowering

Empowering

We believe in the potential of our partners and participants to thrive. We are committed to recognising and building on strengths and we aim to unlock the potential of everyone we work with

Fair

Fair

We champion diversity and treat everyone fairly and with respect. Fairness and transparency are embedded within the culture, processes and procedures of the organisation at all levels

Mindful

Mindful

We take the time to get to know what’s important for people we work with and to understand how we can best support them. We build relationships on a foundation of mutual trust and respect

Pioneering

Pioneering

We have an ambitious vision and we know that achieving it will involve doing things differently and leaving well-worn paths. We are excited by this opportunity to take new and innovative approaches

Hopeful

Hopeful

We recognise the huge challenges facing society. Yet we remain hopeful that a better society can be created and that our programmes and our strategic influencing can contribute positively to that change