About

Oswestry Community Action, otherwise known as Qube, is a registered charity based in Oswestry, Shropshire. Its aim is to improve the quality of life for people in North Shropshire and North East Powys through the provision of Community Transport Services, a Volunteer Centre, Arts and Culture, Shopmobility and Care Services.

Qube also has a community building with facilities which include a purpose built contemporary art gallery and meeting/activity rooms.

 

Qube began as Oswestry Helpmates in 1989 with an ethos of access to services for all. Our services have been developed over time in response to local need such as rural poverty and lack of opportunities. The majority of our services are aimed at those who are disadvantaged which includes disability, health including mental health, unemployment and rural poverty and isolation.

 

Our services keep people engaged in their community, help them to feel less isolated and to live as independently as possible for as long as possible.

AllOfficersTrusteesAdmin & CoursesArtsBuildingFinanceSocial GroupsSocial PrescribingVolunteeringTransport
Chief Officer

Laurel Roberts

Head of Trustees

Heather Noble

Trustee

Sylvia Dyke

Trustee

Davina Fairweather

Deputy Chief Officer

Michelle Kelsall

Trustee

Janet Byatt

Trustee

Len Graham

Transport Operations Assistant

Tim Mountfield

Receptionist & Administrator

Sophie Jones

Finance Officer

Helen Worthington

Arts & Marketing Officer

Charlotte Jackson

Arts & Engagement Officer

Sarah Nelsey

BBO Volunteering Officer

Susie Sutcliffe

Volunteer Engagement Officer

Eden Ihle-Vance

Social Group & Befriending Coordinator

Bella Doolan

Well-being & Befriending Officer

Sam Teare

Social Prescribing Development Officer

Sara Lanyon

Social Prescribing Triage Officer

Marie Stratford

3P Big Local Community Development Officer

Thirzah Deakin

Arts Assistant

Sam Bellis

Reception Assistant

Freya Hunstone

School Bus Driver

Graham Roberts

School Bus Driver

Peter Camber

Cleaner

Sue Davies

Chief Officer

Laurel Roberts

Hello from Laurel. I’m the Chief Officer for Qube and, as I have been in this role for 15 years, I’ve seen a lot of growth and change. Before Qube I worked for the Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

Being the Chief Officer at Qube requires me to have an overview of all our services and how they are operating. Because Qube is so diverse this can involve thinking about arts one minute and buses the next. In fact, no two days have been the same in the last 15 years! I also manage our wonderful staff and work to ensure Qube is taking advantages of opportunities and achieving the best for those people in the community who rely on us.

A large part of my role is applying for grants and funding as without these Qube could not deliver the wide range of services it does. We are a charity and so rely heavily on grants and donations from individuals and organisations. I am pleased to say that we have an excellent reputation; the feedback we receive is wonderful. When I’m out and about hearing how well Qube is thought of makes me proud to be part of it.

I work with all the Qube team and with the board of trustees. Outside of Qube I also work closely with Shropshire Council officers and my fellow colleagues in the Voluntary and Community Sector.

I love a lot about my role: the variety, working with our brilliant staff team and volunteers and seeing and hearing the difference that Qube makes to people’s lives in our community. There is a fantastic camaraderie in the office, and we have continued this while all working from home.

Working from home can be made fun. I’m checking in regularly, using our communications software, to see what the rest of the team are posting. So much of it makes me smile, if not laugh out loud. Watching the birds feeding outside my window when I look up from my laptop and stopping now and then for a cuddle with my dogs. Graham, my husband, also keeps coming to tell me jokes he has seen on Facebook. These make me laugh too.

The things I miss most about being at Qube HQ are, of course, seeing all the team, in person, every day. I also miss the people who call into Qube and the volunteers, the chats about anything and everything and the laughing which we do a lot. I miss seeing all the lovely artworks in the gallery and the excitement of not always knowing what each day will bring.

The first thing I’m going to do when things get back to ‘normal’ is enjoy a chat and a cuppa face to face with everyone and arrange a visit to Plymouth where my family live to see them and give them a big hug.

My favourite biscuit of all times is a Mint Viscount because they are yummy and remind me of my Nan who always had them in the fridge. I’m also partial to a lemon puff.

My top three lock-down songs are:

Moonlight shadow – Mike Oldfield
Keeping – Embrace
Bad romance – Lady Gaga

Head of Trustees

Heather Noble

Hello. My name is Heather, I have been a trustee with Qube for three years and I am the Chair of Trustees.

 

I had come to know about Qube and some of the valuable work they do in the community as part of my involvement with Oswestry Chamber of Commerce and dealings with Oswestry Town Council. This is why I chose to join the trustee board. I also wanted to be able to offer support through my local contacts, knowledge and skills. Little did I know just how much more to Qube there is!

 

I work closely with Laurel our Chief Officer and my fellow trustees but have been enjoying more regular contact with everyone during the recent crisis.

 

The thing I love most about my role, I have to say, is the team, they truly are amazing. I think it takes a special type of person to work at Qube and fortunately for us not only we have attracted them, but they stay! We have a team with a wide range of skills and experience who come together to create a fabulous support service for the young through to the elderly.

 

On a personal level, I too get to be part of the team. I have learned so much about how charities and the local community work and the types of support our community needs. I’m now much more aware of just how significant a difference Qube makes.

 

I’d struggle to say I’ve made working at home fun. Being unable to see people, unless via a computer screen, is the worst thing. Nevertheless, we have come up with creative ways to keep in touch and make sure we get our fix of silly nonsense each day. The good weather makes things bearable, so I aim to eat my lunch outside, listen to the birds and watch my flowers grow.

 

Not seeing people has been hard enough to deal with, but I miss the Qube building too; I always get a warm welcome. Every time I visit there’s something new, whether it’s art, something for sale in the cabinets or some quirky thing on someone’s desk with a personal story attached to it.

 

Let’s just say when we get back to ‘normal’ there is going to be a lot of hugging going on. I never hugged the team before but I think it’s going to have to be done. So, look out!!!!

 

My favourite biscuit of all times is a fig roll.

 

My top three lock-down songs are

 

Hold My Hand – Jess Glynne (because of the wonderful father and daughter lipsynch and dance routine that went viral
Spell Songs – Scatterseed
Ain’t Nobody – Rufus and Chaka Khan

Trustee

Sylvia Dyke

Hello. My name is Sylvia and I have been a trustee with Qube for just over 2 years, having moved to Shropshire in 2016.

 

I’ve had in many roles throughout my career, all involving working with people: as a social worker, city councillor, justice of the peace, member of a children’s safeguarding board and Healthwatch. I wanted to continue working in the community once I retired and made the excellent decision to help Qube.  I am also involved with the Three Parishes Big Local initiative in Gobowen, St Martin’s and Weston Rhyn.

 

I work closely with Laurel, Bridget, Paula and the other Qube trustees.

 

Qube most definitely helps me to keep my brain active – there are so many different aspects to the work we do. I enjoy meeting new people as well as feeling that I am doing something useful and valuable our community.

 

Since we had to close Qube HQ it has been great to be part of the twice-weekly staff meetings.  It’s not something that we would usually do as trustees but now we can just by sitting at home and joining all the video meetings. When I’m not involved with Qube I am an avid reader and knitter in any spare time and have two dogs to look after.

 

Of course, video, when you see just head and shoulders, is not the same as seeing the whole person, so I do miss visiting everyone and travelling to Oswestry. The first things I’m going to do when things get back to ‘normal’ are a visit to the hairdressers for me and the groomers for my dogs – both are equally important!

 

My favourite biscuit of all times is a plain water biscuit.

 

My top three lock-down songs are

 

  1. The Lark Ascending – Vaughan Williams
  2. Always on my mind – Willie Nelson
  3. Your Never Walk Alone – Gerry and the Pacemakers
Trustee

Davina Fairweather

Hello.  My name is Davina and I have been a trustee for Qube for just over a year.  My background is a varied one.  I started my career in market research and then took on marketing, income generation and fundraising roles in the corporate sector, higher education and charities.  I have worked overseas as well in the UK.  I’m also a governor at Ellesmere College and treasurer of the Oswestry and District Embroiderers’ Guild Branch – ‘StitchPlus’.

 

Qube is such a lovely and worthwhile organisation to be involved with. Being a part of it is really rewarding.  Everyone is so committed and there is an emphasis on getting things done, as opposed to agreeing endless procedures!

 

For the last seven years I have run a consulting business with my business partner so working at home is the norm for me.  Not a lot has changed other than not being able to travel and meet people. In fact, I’m probably much more relaxed now because I’m not travelling to meetings all over the country using the trains.  I’ve given myself permission to slow down and as a result I’ve started to write poetry for the first time since my school days.  It’s a relaxing change from writing business reports.

 

I work most closely with my fellow trustees, Laurel, Jim and Charlotte.  One of the best things about the current arrangement has been for trustees to be able to roll up their sleeves as part of the team and to learn more about what everyone is doing day to day.  I’m sure this is going to make us more effective.

 

Aside from all the smiling faces, with Qube HQ closed I’m missing the art exhibitions which show what a talented community we have.

 

Once we can meet with other people, I’m going to enjoy seeing friends and family for coffee and lunch and to see the sea, though how long it will take to persuade myself to travel again by train I’m not sure.

 

I never buy or eat sweet biscuits as a rule but to compensate for our circumstances my choice has been a chocolate digestive.  It was quite a shock to see that they have suffered from global thinning – they’re half the thickness they used to be.

 

It’s almost impossible to narrow music down to my top three lockdown songs, however, I have chosen:

 

  1. Peter Gabriel – In Your Eyes (with Youssou N’Dour)
  2. Michael McGoldrick, John McCusker, John Doyle – Leaving Uist / Lochaber Badger
  3. Clannad – I Will Find You

 

I must also squeeze in Happy by Pharrell Williams.

Deputy Chief Officer

Michelle Kelsall

Trustee

Janet Byatt

Trustee

Len Graham

Transport Operations Assistant

Tim Mountfield

Receptionist & Administrator

Sophie Jones

Finance Officer

Helen Worthington

Arts & Marketing Officer

Charlotte Jackson

Arts & Engagement Officer

Sarah Nelsey

BBO Volunteering Officer

Susie Sutcliffe

Volunteer Engagement Officer

Eden Ihle-Vance

Social Group & Befriending Coordinator

Bella Doolan

Well-being & Befriending Officer

Sam Teare

Social Prescribing Development Officer

Sara Lanyon

Social Prescribing Triage Officer

Marie Stratford

3P Big Local Community Development Officer

Thirzah Deakin

Arts Assistant

Sam Bellis

Reception Assistant

Freya Hunstone

School Bus Driver

Graham Roberts

School Bus Driver

Peter Camber

Cleaner

Sue Davies