Our team – Staff

Ruth Crooks – Assistant Manager

I work for WATCH as Assistant Manager and my role focuses on the funded training packages we provide on Self-Management and Peer Support across Somerset. I work 8 hrs each week, mainly from my home, which is in Taunton, and I often have meetings with Julie and with the funders of the training packages.

I regularly play golf with a lovely group of ladies at Vivary golf course, I also play golf with Ray my husband, and we also together support in various ways at St James Church in Taunton.

Leonie Girling – Volunteer Co-ordinator/HR Officer

I joined Watch in 2018 but have been involved with the organisation for many years through my other work. I have worked in the voluntary sector for over 10 years, helping individuals find volunteer placements and also supporting volunteer involving organisations with advice and networking opportunities. I thoroughly enjoy the time I spend working with everyone at Watch!  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family, reading and  getting out and about on my bike – often including a well earned coffee stop!

Paula Moon – Course Co-ordinator

I thoroughly enjoy my connection with the Watch Project, and am aiming for this to be my last job before I retire. My working life previously has been in the Women’s Royal Naval Service, Hampshire Constabulary and then providing admin for a local Isle of Wight housing group. We lived in the Isle of Wight for 35 years before coming back to the mainland, and I started working for Devon County Council in their Vulnerable Adults Unit. Having settled in Chard, the role at the Watch project fitted perfectly & I fell in love with the project from my first day. My role is continually changing in line with Chard WATCH CIC and am now responsible for the administration in relation to the various courses that our organisation puts on throughout Somerset.

Gabrielle (Abby) Wallbridge – Member Co-ordinator & Project Administrator

I started working at the Watch project back in 2018, I knew Julie and another member of staff and then luckily a position became available. I thoroughly love being here, the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly, and the members are great. The Thursday project is an amazing place to be, it just has soul! Members are brilliant, checking in with everyone each week and helping people move forwards in life is so rewarding. I can also highly recommend the food on a Thursday – all home cooked and delicious, the puddings especially 😊

Denise Hodgson – Volunteer & Facilitator

My background was in mental health, being a manager in the NHS for 20 years. I then went on to teaching in further education, this was in Health & Social care, so I have always had an active interest in this area. I have known Julie Matthews for about 15 years & had always participated in AGM’s at the project. Retirement wasn’t as I expected, and I found it very isolating – hence why I started volunteering & then started facilitating at the courses we run.

I also provide members with the opportunity to experience Laughter Yoga at the weekly project, last week I did some work on developing people’s self-esteem. I love it here, the members are wonderful & I find the experience extremely beneficial – it is nice to be needed 😊