About the Building Communities Together Team
We are a team of officers from West Berkshire Council who work to support the Building Communities Together Partnership, which is the Community Safety Partnership for West Berkshire.
We help the agencies that make up the Building Communities Together Partnership to fulfil their statutory duties. We support multi agency working across to District, to ensure that West Berkshire continues to be a safe place to live, learn, work and visit.
We support a number of partnership forums and, importantly, work with communities and individuals across West Berkshire, helping them to do more for themselves and to help each other. We help communities to become stronger and to be more self-reliant, and will always help those that need it and protect those who are most vulnerable.
Meet the Team
Susan Powell - Building Communities Together Team Manager
I am responsible for coordinating the work of the team who collaborate with a wide range of officers from across the council, within partner organisations and, importantly, with communities to ensure that West Berkshire continues to be a safe place to live, learn, work and visit.
The Team supports the Building Communities Together Partnership and brings together senior officers from the council, police, health, probation, Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, HealthWatch, West Berkshire Volunteer Centre and Sovereign.
I am the Prevent lead for the council and also represent the council and BCT Partnership on regional and national forums in respect of Community Safety.
Sam Shepherd - Programme Manager (local Communities)
I hold responsibility for a number of projects that make up an evolving programme of work that aims to transform the relationship between residents and public services in West Berkshire.
The programme is called 'Engaging and Enabling our Local Communities' and I work with many people across the Council and in local organisations, helping to empower local residents and communities.
Alongside overseeing the work of fantastic colleagues, I am specifically responsible for supporting the local Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS), for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, community signposting and developing different ways of working with communities (eg, through 'co-production').
Jo Naylor - Principal Policy Officer (Communities)
My role is supporting various aspects of community development, from Parish Planning to Devolution. Parish planning includes working with community groups to help them develop a plan or vision document covering how they wish to see their local area develop for the medium term (5 to 10 years).
I am the key point of contact with town and parish council colleagues for the BCT Team. I work closely with these partners to ensure that relationships are maintained and that we continue to make improvements where we know there is a need for changed working practices.
I also work with town and parish councils to look for opportunities to devolve assets currently owned by the council to be managed at a more local level. This gives communities an ongoing and greater say in how things are delivered locally.
Alex O'Connor - Senior Community Co-ordinator (Resolution)
I work with colleagues across West Berkshire Council, the police, registered social landlords and other organisations to develop a common understanding of the issues of anti-social behaviour and community disputes.
Working together, we provide a sustained, strategic and coordinated partnership approach to addressing and reducing anti-social behaviour, community disputes and criminal activities in West Berkshire, whilst ensuring that all anti-social related enforcement powers are fully utilised.
Jade Wilder - Community Co-ordinator (Prevention)
I am the lead officer for Domestic Abuse related activities and issues for the council, delivering a strategic and coordinated partnership approach to raising awareness and reducing Domestic Abuse in West Berkshire, including upholding the Council's duties under the Domestic Abuse Act 2021.
I am responsible for developing community based solutions and a common understanding of vulnerability to address issues of Modern Slavery, Female Genital Mutilation, Honour Based Violence, Forced Marriage, Radicalisation and Child Exploitation. Furthermore, I support the Council with upholding its duties under the Counter Terrorism and Security Act 2015 by coordinating all Prevent related activities and overseeing all Channel referrals.
Rhys Lewis - Community Co-ordinator (Engagement)
My role is to work closely with grass root and established community groups to help bridge the gap between them and the Council, sharing information and supporting them. I chair a monthly Community Conversation that allows them to share information and create a strong network.
I sit on the West Berkshire Action Hate Crime board. I am also involved in supporting the Afghan Refugees and Ukraine Guests.
Sue Butterworth - Programme Officer (Healthy Communities)
I work across the BCT and Public Health Teams to support the development of healthy and resilient communities across West Berkshire.
Working in partnership with colleagues across a wide range of teams within West Berkshire Council and with Voluntary and Community Sector partners, my role supports communities to adopt community development approaches to tackle social isolation, loneliness and health inequalities. I am a member of our Ageing Well Task Group, working to support our older residents to stay as active, healthy and socially connected as possible.
I also lead on dementia in our Public Health team, contract managing our commissioned Dementia Friendly West Berkshire service which works in partnership throughout the district to make West Berkshire a better place to live well with dementia.
Amy Bosley - Project Support Officer (Nature for Health)
My role involves working across both the BCT and Public Health teams. I work in partnership with local businesses and community partners to develop and deliver green space and nature activities to promote and improve physical and mental health and wellbeing. The project aims to engage and enable everyone to be a part of their local community and reduce social isolation and loneliness.
Pamela Voss - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Officer
My role incorporates supporting West Berkshire Council's approach to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion through a range of activities at different levels. For example, at a corporate level through the EDI Board, at staff level I facilitate the Equality Forum, the strategic aspect involves developing a new EDI Framework and I also provide equalities guidance daily.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to contract manage Educafe, the Diverse Ethnic Communities Support Agency. This organisation was commissioned by WBC and is in its second year of supporting the local community within West Berkshire.
Violence Reduction Officer (Vacant)
The Serious Violence Duty, which is included within the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act 2022, puts in to statute the requirement for Local Authorities to work with their statutory, community and voluntary sector partners to reduce serious violence within their respective Local Authority.
The Violence Reduction Coordinator, is responsible for ensuring the Local Authority and our partners are ready for, and adhering to, the Duty requirements. They are the Single Point of Contact for the Thames Valley Violence Reduction Unit (VRU), acting as a conduit between the VRU, Local Authority and partners. They lead on embedding a Place-Based, Whole Systems Public Health approach to tackle and prevent serious violence.
They are also responsible for the coordination and implementation of West Berks' Serious Violence Reduction Action Plan in collaboration with partner agencies.
Business Support Assistant Administrator (Vacant)
The Business Support Assistant Administrator is a new post within Building Communities Together. The Administrator works to support the implementation of the Council's new domestic abuse duties in line with Part 4 of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. They also support the work of the wider BCT Team and other vulnerabilities.