Diana Ionita was employed in early February 2016, working on a full-time basis. She is our Office Manager, however administration only constitutes a fraction of her role. Diana is the person to speak to if you want to put an advert in the paper, and is also our Finance Officer. She recruits and manages our distribution network, thus ensuring that everyone is receiving their copy of the Messenger. She also manages our IT infrastructure.
Deborah Blencowe is our Office Assistant, she started her new role in early January 2018, although she has been collaborating with the Burngreave Messenger as a volunteer since early 2017, contributing to the issues with both articles and artwork. Deborah is in charge of the day-to-day office duties, but is also involved with the distribution and telephone monitoring, thus ensuring that local residents, businesses and community centers are all receiving their copies of the Messenger. Moreover, she keeps Abbeyfield Park House tidy and is particularly focused on the cleanliness of the kitchen. Other elements of the position include providing hospitality for visitors and volunteers and making sure that they are comfortable during their visit. So if you decide to pop into the office for a visit, Deborah will ensure you receive a warm welcome – and a hot cup of tea!
Richard Belbin is our Project Manager/Editor. He first became involved with the Messenger whilst working for Burngreave New Deal for Communities, in 2001. Richard leads the editorial team that is responsible for the content of the paper, acting as first point of contact for stories and ensuring all articles meet editorial standards and reflect the voices of our community. He is also responsible for the recruitment and development of our volunteers, making sure they are involved in the production of the newspaper (and website and other associated media). Through this we will also improve the skills of those in our area to make a real difference in the community. As Project Manager he is responsible for reporting to, and building relationships with, our funders and partner organisations to strengthen our skills and sustainability.
Jamie Marriott is the Digital Media Officer. He is responsible for coordinating and managing the Messenger online and will be working with volunteers to improve our social media and web presence. Jamie is another long-standing supporter of the Messenger, having first got involved as a volunteer in 2002. Since then he has worked as an employee with various duties, including developing and designing both the Messenger and BNDfC websites, and supporting and training volunteers to keep the website up-to-date. He also took over the design and layout of the printed edition in 2007, a role he continues to this day now on a freelance basis.
Naomi Cohen is our Outreach Coordinator. She joined the team in April 2018. Her role is to increase the participation of individuals and local community groups and organisations in the overall Messenger project through outreach, training and networking. She works to build links with as many of the diverse communities in Burngreave as possible. Naomi organises and supports our training programme and will be delivering our forthcoming Community Journalism courses. She is particularly keen to make contact with groups and communities who do not already have links with the Messenger or are interested in building closer links.
Kim started as our part-time Volunteer Support Worker in April 2018. Her role is to create opportunities and develop participation in our newspaper production through individualised support. By providing bespoke one-to-one support to our invaluable volunteers, attending events with them, assisting with write-ups and offering person-centred feedback, Kim is effectively making the project accessible to those with different needs. She also helps build portfolios for our volunteers, providing guidance and tailored support towards improved confidence, skill building and access to training. Kim runs a weekly Volunteer Drop-in, every Tuesday between 10:30 am and 5:30 pm, which is a great opportunity for our volunteers to touch base, meet and socialise, share their ideas and provide us with feedback.