Our Work
Connecting Wakefield

Connecting Wakefield

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Connecting Wakefield is our regular networking space for anyone working or volunteering at a Wakefield-based VCSE organisation.

Do you work or volunteer at a local charity, community group or social enterprise in Wakefield District? You need to know about these brilliant meetings - they're run BY the sector, FOR the sector.

All VCSE colleagues are welcome to join, whether that's for the odd one or two or every one.

Find all the dates on our Eventbrite collection.

The aim of the group is to aid communication and collaboration across our sector, bringing us together so that we can better serve each other and our communities.

There's lots to gain from these meetings - from personal development to getting the word out about your organisation. So let your team know to book a spot, tickets are limited!

Here's some ways you can make the most out of Connecting Wakefield

  • Share information about your organisation's work and any exciting updates
  • Meet local organisations who could support your work - through collaboration, signposting to your services or just a friendly chat
  • Make connections with our guest speakers from various sectors, including local authority & health and care colleagues
  • Hear first hand about projects and resources that could support you (at a previous meeting, we heard about Connect to Support)

So, what can you expect from these meetings?

At each meeting, there will be:

  • An introduction from our host organisation
  • A speaker
  • A discussion around a particular topic
  • An opportunity to network

Take a look at the individual event pages for details of what's planned that month.

Meet your Chairs - Paula and Andy from Evergreen Active

As we mentioned, these meetings are run by the sector, for the sector. They're chaired by Paula and Andy from Evergreen Active, one of our brilliant member organisations. So let us introduce them...

Paula Appleton – Co Founder & Director

Paula is a Mum and Yaya and passionate about helping people to be physically active – in any way they enjoy and at any age - for the multitude of life enhancing benefits it can bring.

The physical health benefits may seem obvious, but Paula believes that it’s about so much more than that; feeling more connected with community, forming new friendships and improved mental health are just three of the key outcomes she observes across a wide range of activities.

After over 22 years of selling playground equipment for public parks, you’re more likely to now find Paula either running, walking, Boxercising in them or chatting to other mid-life women about menopause!

One thing you might not know; Paula was a British Ballroom Dancing Championship finalist age 14

What did you want to be when you grew up? A police officer

Andy Freeman – Co Founder & Director

Andy is a Husband as well as Father of 3 girls and is passionate about helping children and young people to develop their physical literacy and broader skills for life.

Degree qualified in Sports Coaching and Development with honours, he is also certified in over 14 sports and fitness qualifications. Andy cares passionately about people's health and wellbeing, ensuring that they keep their body and mind active.

With over 20 years of experience in working with children and young people, Andy has worked in a diverse range of child environments including primary schools, leisure centres and youth clubs.

One thing you might not know; Andy worked in American Holiday Camps for 4 Summers

What did you want to be when you grew up? A footballer

A little bit about Evergreen Active

Paula and Andy created Evergreen Active (originally named Family Fit) in 2017 when they had a joint lightbulb moment over a coffee. Realising that there was no provision for individuals, children and especially families to be active together in their local communities.

Using local parks and spaces and making activities free to access removes some of the most common barriers people have to being physically active. Making all sessions fun and inclusive has always been apriority because…why would people keep coming if they didn’t enjoy it?

Other information about Connecting Wakefield

If you've got any questions about Connecting Wakefield, contact Nova at 01924 367418 or info@nova-wd.org.uk. And if you'd like to speak to Paula and Andy, email hello@evergreenactive.co.uk.

Keep up to date by following the new Connecting Wakefield Twitter account @ConnectingWF

Catch up on previous meetings with the recordings on Evergreen Active's YouTube channel.







How do I apply?







Rebecca Dunford
Social Prescribing Services Manager
Shannon Simpson
Service Coordinator
Caroline Sylvester
Service Coordinator
Adele Spaven
Social Prescribing Advisor
Gemma Naylor
Social Prescribing Advisor
Fareeda Mir
Social Prescribing Advisor
Dave Harrison
Social Prescribing Advisor
Gemma Newman
Social Prescribing Advisor
Helen Hackney
Social Prescribing Advisor
Janet Watson
Self Management Advisor
Paul Boyd
Self Management Service Administrator
Dawn Gzella
Senior Social Prescribing Advisor - Wakefield Health Alliance North
Callum Buck
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Trinity Health Group
Justyna Banks
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Wakefield Health Alliance Central
Andrea Vickers
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Five Towns
Mirban Hussain
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Brigantes PCN
Jazz Johal
Social Prescribing Link Worker - West Wakefield PCN
Sharon Kennedy
Social Prescribing Link Worker - Wakefield Health Alliance South
Katty Keyhani from Alzheimer’s Society
The Health and Wellbeing Board
Sharlene Featherstone from Second Chance Headway
The Health and Care Partnership
Amaina Elzoubir from One Ummah Community
Health Inequalities Steering Group
Ross Grant from Wakefield & District Society for Deaf People
The People’s Panel
Jenn Bravo from Turning Lives Around
Housing Health and Social Care Partnership
Steven Busfield from Empath Action
The Children and Young People’s Partnership
Anna Blight from Pontefract Reads
The Early Years Strategic Partnership Board
Chris Bingham from Pontefract Reads
The Early Years Strategic Partnership Board
Sanel Ncube from Young People’s Empowerment Project
The Wakefield Local Area SEND & Alternative Provision Strategic Partnership Board
Berni O'Brien from St George's Lupset
Early Help Strategic Partnership Board
Eleanor Bradbury from Rycroft Youth Centre
Wakefield Safeguarding Children Executive
Madeleine France from Blossom Training & Development
The Safer Together Partnership
Louie Stafford from Learnest CIC
Hate Crime Strategic Group
Lisa Kaye from Well Women Centre
The Safeguarding Adults Board and The Domestic Abuse Management Board
Tamsin Lim from Well Women Centre
The Domestic Abuse Management Board
Helen Oades from Rosalie Ryrie
Wakefield District Domestic Abuse Workforce Development Group
Dick Davies from Wakefield District City of Sanctuary
Wakefield Multi-Agency Asylum Meeting
Ali Robinson-Rowe from CoActive Arts
Learning Disability and Autism Partnership Board
Angie Callaghan from Alzheimer’s Society
Wakefield Carers Strategy Implementation Group
Duncan Smith from Trinity Church
Wakefield Carers Strategy Implementation Group
Angie Callaghan from Alzheimer’s Society
Jane Walton from Yorkshire Mentoring CIC
The Employment and Skills Strategy Group
Julius Olutokun from Dominion Training
The Employment and Skills Steering Group
Lucy Herrick from Turning Point
Wakefield Combatting Drugs Partnership

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