Meet The Staff

We're a dedicated, experienced, friendly bunch of folk. Between us we have experience and knowledge in all areas of group support, community engagement, service delivery training, building management, marketing, social media amongst other things! We liaise with St Albans District Council, Hertsmere Borough Council, Hertfordshire County Council and local Town and Parish councils as well as having strong working links with the NHS and housing associations. Importantly, we also have staff who have fantastic working relationships with community workers on all levels in Hertsmere, as well as residents and neighbourhood teams. We know our area and are committed to making the communities of Hertsmere safe, strong and successful. Read our bios to find out a little bit more about our areas of work.

Members of Staff

Stephen Craker, Chief Executive

Stephen co-ordinates the work of Communities 1st and associated projects in order to help local voluntary and not-for-profit organisations and the local community to develop.  He is responsible for the overall strategic direction and leadership of the organisation while playing an active role in supporting Hertsmere’s voluntary sector. Stephen is excited to be to be part of a vibrant voluntary and community sector and is committed to working closely with other organisations to strengthen the sector and improve its resilience while building on our strategic relationships with the public sector.

Voluntary Sector Partnerships

Chrstine Halpin, Voluntary Sector Partnerships Manager

Contact Christine to enquire about advice on all issues related to developing your group.  As our Partnerships Manager her team can help new community groups set up and help more established groups to meet challenges as they grow. This can include reviewing governing documents, developing the management committee , funding advice and many other issues.

Isobel Hatfield, Partnership & Development Co-ordinator

Stronger Together Partnerships and Funding


Volunteer, CSR and Timebank

Tom Watkins, Volunteer, CSR & Timebank Manager

Contact us for help finding volunteers or if you want to volunteer. Also the person for groups to contact about The 6 Point Promise (valuing volunteers) and Hertsmere Timebank.  He/she aims to develop ideas and programmes that could increase social action through formal and informal volunteering in Hertsmere. This is also to strengthen the bridge between local business and the Community to raise local business awareness of the opportunities available for them to become involved in the local community


Rob Varney, Partnerships and Development Co-ordinator

Better Business and Dragons Apprentice

Rex Dunwoody, Volunteer Centre and Outreach Assistant

Rex is responsible for ensuring that key data records and computer systems are effectively managed and maintained as well as undertaking a range of reception duties at the Community Shop and providing basic IT training/support to individuals who would like that extra bit of support in using computers, tablets or their smartphone.

Helen Ives-Rose, Office Services Manager

Member Services and Community Centres

Wendy Hintze, Member Services Officer

Wendy oversees the marketing, coordination and bookings for the variety of events, day trips,  training and short courses (accredited and non-accredited) delivered for individuals and the voluntary and community sector in Hertsmere.  Wendy also supports good communication with the organisations and individuals through our e-newsletters and social media activity. 

Monita Marwaha, Member Services Administrator

Training, BBO administration, OPT administration, DBS

Community Centres Cleaner/Caretakers Curtis, Mick and Ann

Health and Safety and high standards of centres

Yvonne Saxton, Finance & Bookings Officer

Yvonne provides financial administration for Communities 1st as well as providing book-keeping services to member organisations as part of our membership services. Yvonne also arranges numerous DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checks for Hertsmere and St Albans organisations as well as being the main contact for regular hirers of the community centres we manage.

Gail Remfry, Community Transport Officer

Co-ordination of Community Transport

Robert, Mattew, Steve, Christine,  Sue and Helen, our Community Transport Drivers

Provides safe / caring community transport

Nicola O’Neill, Wellbeing Services Manager

Nicola helps people to access local activities, services and support within Hertsmere in order to improve their health and wellbeing, working primarily from the Community Shop in Leeming Road, Borehamwood. One aim of Nicola's role is to build a more supportive, inclusive and resilient community with strong, collaborative relationships and connections between a range of statutory and voluntary services in the borough.


Vacancy  Handypeople 

Handyperson and Wellbeing Services

Volunteer, CSR and Timebank

Office Services

Wellbeing Services