Meet the team

Fran Embleton-Smith

Chief Executive Officer

Fran manages the team at The Churn Project. She directs the work of the Project and sets strategy, seeking to make the most of partnerships with local and regional organisations and defining Our Mission. Fran also works with Ailsa, our fundraiser, identifying funding sources. A big focus is to develop opportunities which help us to deliver the most needed services to the local community. Fran's background is in teaching and youth work. Call:01285 380038

Ro Lyon

Good Neighbours Manager

Ro joined the Churn Project in January 2008 to set up Churn Good Neighbours. She worked for Age Concern England for many years and was a volunteer befriender herself when she lived in London. Now managing a team of more than 60 volunteers, she is responsible for all aspects of the service which supports isolated older people living alone. Call:01285 380030

Ailsa O'Connor


Ailsa joined the team as fundraiser in October 2009. Her job is to make sure we have enough funds coming in to keep all our projects and services secure and successful. She has followed The Churn's progress since she moved to Cirencester 10 years ago and thoroughly enjoys the challenge of raising our funds. For more information, see our Funding page. Call:01285 380032

Louise Rogers

Office Administrator

Louise joined The Churn in 2016. She heads reception and looks after the administration for the Churn. Louise has lived with her husband in Cirencester for many years. She has 3 grown up children and 2 grandchildren, so has plenty of experience in bringing up a family together with a background in teaching. Call:01285 380038

Amanda Griffiths

Skills & Employment Officer

Amanda joined The Churn in December 2014 having previously worked in a womans prison, Cirencester College, Stroud District Council, Info Buzz and Festival Arts. Her role is to support people with their training and educational needs. She also runs our Friday job club. Call:01285 380038

Sarah Bourne

Family Support Worker

Sarah’s main role is a Family Support Worker with the Families Matter group. She also runs Ready Steady Baby, relaxed ante-natal sessions for parents to be. Sarah also organises Dads and Kids events and co-ordinates the New Baby New Life group for first time parents and their babies. Call:01285 380038

Rachel Stainton

Family Support Worker

Rachel lives in Cirencester with her husband and 3 children. She understands how busy family life can be and how important it is to have support around you. She has previously been involved in supporting vulnerable families and mentoring young women. Call:01285 380038

Barbara Russell

Young Neighbours Co-ordinator

Barbara is responsible for all aspects of running Churn Young Neighbours, which grew out of the main Good Neighbours scheme. It involves recruiting student volunteers to visit older people in local care homes, liaising with Cirencester College and other local sixth forms. Call:01285 380038

Lorna Stevens

Older People's Group Co-ordinator

Lorna moved to Cirencester in 2000 and has worked in Gloucestershire with a housing provider, assessing the short and long term needs of older people. She knows how important it is that older people continue to be socially involved in their local community and will run our Tuesday Club and Sunday Tea Club. Call:01285 380038

Sue Bell

Administration and Drop- In Coordinator

Sue has worked for The Churn as a volunteer for many years, but now has joined our staff team. Sue runs 'Stitch, Knit and Natter'. Sue's role involves minuting meetings, coordinating the drop-in groups and computer courses. She also has a general office support role. Call:01285 380038

Katie Bannister


Katie started in 2008 as the Churn book-keeper - adding this to her position of book-keeper for the Parish of Cirencester. Katie looks after all the financial workings of the Project and produces reports to keep managers informed. She enjoys working for the Churn Project because of its important work in the community.