Community Connectors

Our friendly team of Community Connectors will have conversations with local residents in key neighbourhoods in Norwich to discover what matters to them, what they are passionate about and what they would like to do with others to help them flourish in community life.

The conversations will take place in a range of settings such as cafes, outside local schools, community events, door knocking and at The Shoebox. Some of you may have even had a chat with the Connectors already!

Feedback from the conversations will be shared with our funders including Norwich City Council and more widely with the community, local forums and colleagues to inform further learning and community development. 

Get in touch.

Get in touch with your local Community Connectors using the details below. Please note that our team of Community Connectors work flexibly, they will get back to you as soon as they can but their working days will vary.

Our Community Connector Coordinator, Ruth Jenkins, can be reached at ruth@theshoebox.org.uk or 07933787437.

Heathgate, Mousehold & Cowgate.

Saskia Townsend07933787949 / saskia@theshoebox.org.uk

Chloe Laurie – 07933787438 / chloe@theshoebox.org.uk

Lakenham.

Mel Tilford07933787956 / mel@theshoebox.org.uk

Abby Leaverland 07933787948 / abbyleaverland@theshoebox.org.uk

Mile Cross.

Rachel Wood – 07517454053 /  rachel@theshoebox.org.uk

Claire Davy – 07933787438 / claire@theshoebox.org.uk

Kathryn Pearson – 07933788598 / kathryn@theshoebox.org.uk

Nadine Pardon – 07933788603 / nadine@theshoebox.org.uk

West Pottergate & Russell Street.

Zoe Mitchell 07922700851 / zoe@theshoebox.org.uk

Lorna Smart 07922700850 / lorna@theshoebox.org.uk

Mancroft.

Abby Erwin – 07933787434 / abby@theshoebox.org.uk

Amanda Fox 07922700849 / amanda@theshoebox.org.uk

North Earlham.

Sonya Masimbesonya@theshoebox.org.uk

Rainy Waller rainy@theshoebox.org.uk

Meet the team.

Get to know our team of Community Connectors!

Ruth Jenkins

Community Connector Coordinator

ruth@theshoebox.org.uk

07933787437

I initially started working for The Shoebox as a Community Connector for Mancroft ward. I love the area, to me it’s the heart of the City. There’s always so much going on, so much creativity and energy.

Now working with all the Connectors, it’s lovely to see the different discoveries they are making in their own areas of the city. 

When I’m not working I’m a yarn spinner and love making my own clothes slowly and sustainably from scratch.

– Ruth

Rachel Wood

Community Connector – Mile Cross

rachel@theshoebox.org.uk

07517454053

I originate from Buxton, Derbyshire and have lived here for 10 years. I live on the outskirts of Mile Cross with my cat.

I love learning more about Mile Cross and meeting local people.

In my spare time I love writing stories for children and have a story published by Norwich Writers circle. I also love weaving on a table loom and spending time in nature.

– Rachel

Claire Davy

Community Connector – Mile Cross

claire@theshoebox.org.uk

07933787438

I have lived in Mile Cross about a year and have already discovered lots of things to do locally! I love chatting with new people and making friends. I like to help out where I can.

I’m learning new skills all the time and I’m eager to learn more.

– Claire

Kathryn Pearson

Community Connector – Mile Cross

kathryn@theshoebox.org.uk

07933788598

I live on Drayton Road. I am a mother and I enjoy living in the area and connecting with people and learning about their stories. I take my little boy regularly to the soft play centre on Aylsham Road and the Mile Cross Library.

I used to be a carer and I love helping, so community work to me is very important. I enjoy creative writing and I am interested in how we communicate and how we can get the best out of each other as individuals and within the community.

– Kathryn

Nadine Pardon

Community Connector – Mile Cross

nadine@theshoebox.org.uk

07933788603

I’ve lived in the Mile Cross area for most of my life. I love to get involved with the community as much as I can.

I like to do crafts in my spare time and I am passionate about elephants.

– Nadine

Abby Erwin

Community Connector – Mancroft

abby@theshoebox.org.uk

07933787434

I am a writer who loves gardening, cooking, and sustainable fashion.

My favourite things to do in Mancroft are browsing the charity shops on Magdalen Street and trying new food stalls for lunch on Norwich Market.

I am passionate about social justice, and also work for a charity which supports people who are leaving prison.

– Abby

Amanda Fox

Community Connector – Mancroft

amanda@theshoebox.org.uk

07922700849

Having worked with native wildlife for the last fifteen years, I am super passionate about conservation and making certain that everyone has access to wild space.

I want to create a socially just society that is kinder, fairer and where everyone’s gifts are valued. I campaign on these issues in my spare time.

I have lived in rural Norfolk all my life and moved to the King Street area just over a year ago, I have been pleasantly surprised how friendly and welcoming this area is. I love the conversations I have out walking my dog Halo, so if you see us please stop and chat.

– Amanda

Zoe Mitchell

Community Connector – West Pottergate and Russell Street

zoe@theshoebox.org.uk

07922700851

I live near the West Pottergate area and am interested in how community green spaces are being used for growing plants and food.

Connecting to and working in nature is very important to me.

I also run a small business making reusable hemp sanitary products. When I’m not working, I regularly attend open mic events in Norwich and sometimes perform if I’m feeling brave!

– Zoe

Lorna Smart

Community Connector – West Pottergate and Russell Street

lorna@theshoebox.org.uk

07922700850

I have lived in the Russell Street/West Pottergate area for over twenty years. I love its quietness and its closeness to shops and other amenities.

I enjoy arts and crafts, film and music. I am passionate about helping people and putting back into the community.

– Lorna

Saskia Townsend

Community Connector – Heathgate, Mousehold and Cowgate

saskia@theshoebox.org.uk

07933788588

I’m fairly new to the city but have been a regular visitor all my life. 

I have family who live in the Heathgate area and are struck by the vibrant activity in their community. I’m looking forward to discovering how we feel connected to our surroundings and how we can engage in conversations about real and perceived communities.

In my spare time I love doing crafts and enjoy making stained glass windows.

– Saskia

Chloe Laurie

Community Connector – Heathgate, Mousehold and Cowgate

chloe@theshoebox.org.uk

07933787949

I live close to Heathgate and am a mother to two girls. I’ve attended many groups in the area in the past. 

I love soul music, art, upcycling and basically anything wacky!

I’m chatty, open minded and love a good giggle with people.

My passions are empowering people to overcome any struggle in their lives and spread positivity.

– Chloe

Mel Tilford

Community Connector – Lakenham

mel@theshoebox.org.uk

07933787956

I’ve lived in Lakenham for 17 years and love it as it’s close to the city and the countryside. I’m really looking forward to finding out what’s happening in my neighbourhood and getting to know it a lot better.

I’m passionate about using creativity to improve wellbeing and see first hand how this really works. I’m part of The Common Lot, a community theatre group and The Common Plot, a community allotment. I’m also part of the Norwich Carnival Collective.

– Mel

Abby Leaverland

Community Connector – Lakenham

abbyleaverland@theshoebox.org.uk

07933787948

I have lived in the area for the past 4 years and now feel very at home within the community. 

I love the Netherwood Woods and walking the grounds around County Hall. I am passionate about the outdoors, conservation and the environment.

I am also a keen snowboarder, often found at the dry slope in Trowse.

– Abby

UK Government

The Community Connectors project is supported by funding from the government’s Community Renewal Fund,  (CRF) , Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council.

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