Our People

Elaine Harris Project Manager for The CYP Elaine is a JNC Nationally qualified Youth Worker with 27 years’ experience of leading and managing Local Authority and voluntary sector youth work. Elaine completed her JNC Youth Work postgraduate diploma at Manchester Polytechnic in 1989 and took up her first full time position as Youth and Community Worker in the North end of Liverpool. Since then Elaine has held various positions including Senior Youth Worker with North Somerset Youth Service. During the following years Elaine was promoted, eventually to Assistant Locality Leader until the budget cuts in 2012 when Elaine project managed the Weston Super Mare based Big lottery funded Youth Project, ”Grow Your Own Youth Project”. In her spare time Elaine enjoys mountain walking and singing/song writing Lou Chant Youth Development Officer – Martock and Hamdons Lou has been working with young people and communities for more years than she would possibly like to remember! Before joining the CYP, Lou trained and worked as a youth worker for Somerset County Council and gained a huge amount of experience working across a wide range of communities in South Somerset. Lou is excited to be involved with the new CYP project and to be working with young people and their communities. Heather Burton Youth Development Officer – Tintinhull and Ilminster Heather Burton comes to us with a wealth of experience from working with children and young people and special educational needs and disabilities. Her passion for the development of young people and their engagement in their communities has been evidenced through the work that she has undertaken with the Princes Trust, Mencap Raising Your Game and the Duke Of Edinburgh role. Heather lives locally and has good links with youth service provision, education, health and social care following a role as coordinator for Somerset County Council. Claire Cruwys Youth Development Officer – Martock Claire is the Youth Development Officer for Martock Parish Council and works closely with the Community Youth Project. She has worked with young people and their families in a range of settings and has been working in Martock for over 5 years. Kayleigh Smith Youth Development Officer – Charltons and Hinton St George Youth and Community Support Worker – Martock  Originally from the area, Kayleigh moved to Manchester where she gained her Youth and Community Degree and took up post as a Youth Worker in East Manchester for 6 years. Now Kayleigh has moved back to the area she is looking forward to working with the local communities where she grew up. Lauren Finn Youth and Community Development Officer –  Somerton Lauren has experience in working with Young people in the local area as a Youth Worker for the Somerset County Council. She has lived in the area for the last 27 years and is keen to guide and support young people in Martock and Somerton Shelley Merchant Youth and Community Support Worker – Martock Shelley has live in Martock for 23 years and started with the CYP as a volunteer for our Tuesday and Wednesday sessions in Martock. Through her volunteer she built up a great skill set to help delivery youth work and is now an important part of the team. She is very much a community spirited person and loves Batman! Jean Harper Youth and Community Support Worker – Charltons Youth and Community Support Worker – Ilminster Originally from London, Jean has been settled in Yeovil for the past three years. She has enjoyed a varied career in care work. As a qualified youth and community worker she has worked within the local authorities of Barnet, Brent and Harrow, developing work with special needs and mixed ability groups. As well as being committed to national and international voluntary sector development and aid work. Jean has also been a foster carer. Jean really hopes to bring fresh energy to the team and to get to know youth workers, volunteers and young people alike. Jean enjoy reading, arts & crafts, cooking and playing most sports. Greatest achievements – a (heavily edited) chapter in a published youth work book and representing England in an international conference of youth workers. Favourite food – Chocolate Favourite place – the Caribbean Alice Edmonds Project Administrator Alice has a wealth of experience in office administration and organisation. She has a degree in Event Management and has used her skills in organisation on many large events and in a variety of different spheres. She is delighted to support the team behind the scenes at the CYP. In her spare time Alice enjoys horse riding, playing rugby and going to the gym.