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Who is Otley 2030?

Otley 2030 is nothing without it's wonderful staff, trustees and volunteers, all of whom give up a tremendous amount of time to make this organisation what it is.


We currently have two paid members of staff, a Community Development Lead and Communications and Engagement Lead, both of whom are employed for two days a week, but also volunteer a lot of time outside of their paid hours. 


As of our Annual General Meeting in December 2022, we have 11 trustees. They range from 17 to 83 and all bring a diverse range of knowledge, experience and compassion to our board. See below for their bios.


We have dozens of wonderful volunteers, who help run our working groups, organise events, attend meetings, deliver veg boxes, campaign at rallies, write columns and countless other things. 

We are incredibly grateful for all of the time the above people put into Otley 2030. If you'd like to join our team, visit our VOLUNTEER PAGE to learn more!


Communication and Engagement Lead
Claire Blindell

This role has been established so that Otley 2030 has a consistent communications and engagement strategy across all platforms. The main responsibilities include managing the O2030 website and social media, as well as writing press releases and blogs. On top of this, the Communications and Engagement Lead must liaise with key stakeholders and members of the community to ensure our communications are hitting home. Claire Blindell, who has worked for a number of years as a freelance copywriter and as a journalist for the BBC, was selected for this role by the Interim Committee in January 2021.


Community Development Lead
Andrew Howarth

The main responsibilities of this position are to have a broad understanding of the organisational structure of Otley 2030 in order to ensure all parts are working towards the same strategic goals and everything is aligned with the vision, and to engage with the wider Otley community and key stakeholders across the town to ensure that Otley 2030 is as representative as possible.

The Interim Committee employed Andrew Howarth in this role in January 2021. Andrew’s background in education and work with various Otley community groups made him ideal for the position. 



Ruth Woodhead

Having lived in Otley for over 40 years and being brought up in Ilkley by parents who were keen walkers I very much identify with and love the area and its environment.

I trained and worked as a Social Worker in Leeds retiring as Chief Officer Children’s Services. Whilst working in Leeds I was given leave of absence for 3 months to volunteer at an NGO in Ethiopia for families with twins and triplets. From then on, I returned to Ethiopia during leave from work.

On retirement I went to work in Ethiopia at the NGO. I also became involved with the training of Social Workers throughout Ethiopia and worked with the Children and Families Supreme Court team.

Later I went with VSO and worked in Namibia supporting NGOs who collaborated with people with disabilities throughout the country. In both countries I saw the impact of climate change on the local population as well as the exploitation of the countries by the richer Western world.

Since returning to the UK, I have been a Trustee on NGOs working with Asylum Seekers and with Quaker projects. I hope my experiences will be of help to Otley 2030

Sarah Mumford

I have lived in Otley for 25 years, am a governor at Westgate Primary School and mum to local singer Emeli Mumford who went to Westgate and Prince Henry's before heading to drama school in London recently. I lead on sustainability policy, strategy and action planning in my professional work capacity as well equity, diversity & inclusion.


The climate crisis is cause for great concern and I feel compelled to act and as such would like to continue to support and enable the people of Otley to work together to reduce carbon emissions in an equitable way.


My background includes teaching, museum education and now helping children and young people find creative, new solutions to climate change issues for a local charity. I have been a Trustee of Otley 2030 since May 2020 and have helped write policy documents, and support the Interim Committee in decision making and strategic direction.

Astrid Copeland

I have spent the majority of my working life in the Charitable Sector and have a particular specialism in employment, mental health and advocacy. For the last 9 years I have been employed as a Mental Health Job Retention Specialist for Leeds Mind. Prior to that I was an Advocate for looked after and accommodated children at The Children’s Society in Rochdale. I am one of two staff representatives for all staff and volunteers of Leeds Mind – ensuring that their voices are heard at board level.


I have been a trustee and treasurer of two organisations – Warley St John’s Preschool in Halifax where I was Vice Chair and Treasurer, and Otley Welcomes where I was the most recent Treasurer.

I would be delighted to become a Trustee for Otley 2030 and I’m particularly interested in supporting employees to maintain their mental health and resilience in the workplace.

Mick Bradley

In my 10 years living in Otley I have wanted to make a positive difference which led to my involvement in developing the Otley Neighbourhood Plan & then nearly 8 years ago becoming a Green town councillor.

Getting involved as an early member of Otley 2030 was an obvious thing to do as I fully support its aims. To engage with & involve a cross section of our community to act locally in many ways supporting the goal of a fairer & sustainable, low carbon town.

I am standing to continue as a Trustee to be involved in the overview of the many initiatives which innovative and passionate members have initiated: veg box delivery, alternative East of Otley model plan, Otley doughnut, community fridge, etc.


I would like to see Otley 2030 continue to grow its influence and size of active members to achieve real positive change in our town.

Jamie Walker

I am a 17-year-old sixth form student at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, studying Geography, Biology and Physics and would like to pursue a career with an environmental focus.


In my role as a volunteer for Otley 2030, I update the 'Small Change' webpage and have contributed blogs about the sustainability of large sporting events and traffic management in Otley. I also supported at the recent East End of Otley consultation event.


I volunteer at Horsforth Community Café, a Junk Food project which rescues food from landfill and provides ‘pay-as-you-feel’ meals to local residents.


I am a member of the senior school council and compete at cross-country at county level. I am a nature lover and enjoy walking and running alongside waterways and through woodland.


I hope to encourage more young people to get involved in Otley 2030, as the climate crisis will have the greatest impact on our future.

Michelle Howard

I wish to continue as a trustee of Otley 2030. I love that such a worthwhile organisation exists where I live and want to be part of a group that can affect change locally.


I am already trying to do my bit by running a toy library, crisp packet collection at my daughters school along with helping with second hand uniform sales. I want my daughters to grow up living sustainably without even knowing what that means because it is normal for us to value second hand, compost, reuse, recycle, grow our own produce, turn off lights and walk to school/ town for example.


I have also taken a position at a group of schools as their Sustainability and Energy Officer. I hope that my previous procurement experience will prove useful to Otley2030.

Becca Coombes

I have lived in Otley for nearly 18 years and I am currently working as a Business Analyst (from my bedroom) for a small change consultancy company based in Leeds that set up just as the pandemic happened.


I have always wanted to do some volunteer work but it has been hard to find something that I can do that fits around working full time.


Although my natural habitat is not spreadsheets and figures, particularly after spending all day looking at two computer screens, I have been pleased to be able to support Otley 2030 by taking on the role of treasurer. I am not an accountant by trade, but I am careful, thorough and conscientious and am happy to be able to support Otley 2030 in this capacity.

Nathan Stewart

When involved with Otley 2030 through my Sustainable Cities MSc last year, I developed a good relationship with the group, and feel that we share a lot of values. Having contributed already to the local-social lens of Otley’s doughnut economics portrait, I am interested in helping out with the other lenses, and making sure I have some continued involvement with the group following the completion of my masters.


I also have some experience working in the legal and administrative side of charities, and I would be happy to do this as part of a trustee role. As I’m not able to be present as regularly as people who live more locally,


I feel that a trustee role would also allow me to contribute to the development of Otley 2030 in a manner that suits the level of time commitment I’d be able to give

Robin Costello

I moved to Otley early 70’s. I worked as a special needs teacher and earlier as an electrical engineer.

I have been a Yorkshire Dales National Park volunteer for 18 yrs.

After early retirement due to ill health, I became involved in local environmental issues with Friends of Gallows Hill and Wharfedale Naturalists. I am currently a trustee for Otley Wetlands.

Involved intermittently with Otley 2030 since before lockdown, particularly the East of Otley project, Doughnut Economics and the Community Larder.

Shannon Coles

I am a volunteer, a current Otley 2030 trustee and a devout believer in ‘thinking globally and acting locally’. I organise the free school holiday veg box scheme, I was the main organiser of the Kindness Festival in 2021, and I am currently involved in setting up the Otley Community Larder.

I work closely with the Leeds Doughnut Coalition, I spoke at the launch of the Leeds Doughnut, and I am inspired by the ideas behind Doughnut Economics. I am leading on the Otley Doughnut Group, and as we are the first Climate Action Leeds hub to start working on the doughnut we are about to receive a substantial amount of money to conduct research into and for our community, research which will help Otley 2030 to meet its aim of working towards a fair and carbon zero town.

I have applied for, and won, three funding grants so far and I have now submitted a fourth to set up our community larder. I’m hoping to continue to be a trustee going forward.

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