About Us

Voluntary Support North Surrey (VSNS) is an independent charity that supports approximately 1,500 voluntary and community organisations within the three boroughs of Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath and their 300,000 residents.

Our Mission

The lives of residents in Runnymede, Spelthorne and Surrey Heath are improved through stronger voluntary, community and faith sectors.

Our Values

  • Community at the centre of everything we do: ”If it isn’t happening in the community then it isn’t happening”
  • Improving lives locally: Communities are welcoming and supportive, especially of the most vulnerable
  • Fairness and respect for difference: Regardless of gender, ability, religion or race
  • Learning organisation: Striving for continuous improvement and reflection
  • We are passionate about what we do


Contact us

Our Priorities

Health: emphasis on mental health

Increasing inequalities in health access and outcomes are driving partners to think differently about their approach. We will continue to identify community resources to ensure that they are leveraged and grown through joint thinking and coordinated action.

No one left behind

We are committed to reviewing and increasing our engagement with minority groups, different religious communities and others so that our clients see themselves reflected in the services we offer, our operations and governance.

Resourcing delivery

We will give a voice to the third sector to ensure that their views are heard; we will build capacity for others to grow including fund-raising; and we will work to attract and retain the strongest and most diverse cohort of volunteers possible.

Communication for impact

We will measure the impact of our work as it affects residents and organisations, and we will continue to improve our physical accessibility and visibility to ensure that we are embedded in the local communities we serve. We will track performance so that we remain relevant and continue to meet community and residents’ needs.

Meet the Team

Solette Sheppardson
Chief Executive Officer
Read more

Solette is the CEO of Voluntary Support North Surrey. She has worked in the third sector for 20 years and has focused her efforts on capacity building charities and voluntary organisations in North Surrey for many years.  Her skills and background in business planning and marketing have contributed to the growth of VSNS.

Read less
Alison Morey
Deputy CEO
Read more

Alison has been involved in the charity sector for over 20 years and uses this experience to give one to one funding advice and run a variety of training courses. She supports voluntary organisations to find and develop different funding streams specific to their needs and reviews funding applications.

Read less
Jo Buckell
Runnymede Engagement Manager
Read more

Jo supports voluntary groups and volunteers in Runnymede. She also works with businesses across North Surrey who are looking to build relationships with local charities through volunteering days, skill sharing, seasonal gifting schemes and everything in between. Having spent over 20 years working in the corporate space, Jo enjoys seeing the incredible benefits of businesses, charities and community groups collaborating in meaningful and long-term ways.

Read less
Elaine Hawes
Spelthorne Engagement Manager
Read more

Elaine supports both voluntary groups and volunteers in Spelthorne. She also oversees both the Surrey Heath and Runnymede Time to Talk befriending projects, having previously run Time to Talk Surrey Heath. As a former social worker, Elaine has experience of working with vulnerable groups and a passion for empowering people to support others.

Read less
Libby Holcombe
Surrey Heath Engagement Manager
Read more

Libby is Engagement Manager in Surrey Heath, supporting voluntary groups in the borough as well as signposting individuals into the best volunteering opportunities for them. Through her work in a number of roles Libby has developed a strong presence in the local community.

Read less
Jordan Farrell
Head of Volunteering
Read more

Jordan is our Head of Volunteering. He oversees the promotion and development of volunteering in North Surrey, and led on the Time to Change project, which supports voluntary organisations to build up their knowledge, skills, and confidence to become more effective in recruiting and managing young volunteers, aged 19-25. Jordan brings expertise and dedication to helping organisations develop suitable opportunities for the next generation of volunteers.

Read less
Jenny Jones
Volunteer Recruitment Manager
Read more

Jenny supports community groups and charities to promote their opportunities and find suitable volunteers. She has worked for VSNS for over 20 years working with volunteers and organisations and has seen many changes within the sector.

Read less
Irina Mushtina
Marketing Support
Read more

Irina Mushtina is our Marketing Support. She is responsible for developing and implementing our marketing strategy, managing the organisation’s image and identity, overseeing our website, and handling digital promotion. She also provides support to other volunteer organisations with similar marketing challenges. With over 20 years of experience in marketing, Irina offers valuable assistance and expertise.

Read less
Ramon Gamma
Web Designer
Read more

Ramon is our web designer, supporting charities and community groups with creating and developing their websites. He has experience with WordPress Content Management System. He is available at VSNS on  Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 12.30-15.00.

Read less
Oksana Belcher
Ukrainian Support
Read more

Oksana came to VSNS as a volunteer to help with translation for refugees arriving from Ukraine when the war started. She now runs our Ukrainian support project. Born and raised in Ukraine, Oksana has a deep understanding of the cultural nuances and specific needs of Ukrainian guests. With fluency in Ukrainian, Russian, and English, Oksana possesses excellent communication skills that enable her to effectively interact with people from diverse backgrounds.

Read less
Michelle Blackburn
Charity Development Manager - Spelthorne
Read more

Michelle is our Charity Development Manager working directly with charities and community groups in Spelthorne, supporting them to apply for funds. Michelle has worked in the charity sector as an Operations Manager for the last ten years and was previously an Account Director within the Marketing sector.

Read less
Sally M headshot
Sally Mills
Development Manager
Read more
Sally is Development Manager for our Lottery-funded project, supporting organisations impacted by Covid with their strategic development. Sally supports organisations with challenges such as fundraising, governance or volunteer management. Sally has worked in the charity sector for many years, in fundraising and operational management.
Read less
Donna Palmer-Smith
Befriending Time to Talk Manager - Runnymede
Read more

Donna is Befriending Manager for our Runnymede Time to Talk Project.  Donna previously worked in education for over 20 years and brings varied skills to the role.  She has always lived and worked in the area and has a good understanding of the local community.

Read less
Karen McCartney
Befriending Time to Talk Manager - Surrey Heath
Read more

Karen is Befriending Managing for our Surrey Heath Time to Talk Project.  Time to Talk matches volunteer befrienders to people with similar interests, helping people of all ages who have become lonely or socially isolated by offering them companionship and a way to reconnect with their community.

Read less
Louise Gregory
Office Manager
Read more

Louise runs the administration and finance aspects of VSNS as well as managing our three offices in Camberley, Chertsey and Staines.  She also covers HR and Health and Safety. She joined VSNS, at that time called RAVS (Runnymede Association of Voluntary Services) in 2005 after returning from living in France and Japan for fifteen years.

Read less

Trustee Board

Helen Frary
Helen Frary
Chair of Trustees

Helen brings a diverse background having worked for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office before joining the United Nations in 1999. She spent the majority of her time with the UN in various roles for the UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS, at headquarters and in the field. Returning to live in the UK in December 2020 she took her parents for their first Covid vaccination where she immediately saw the benefits of volunteering: being able to get out of the house and wear hi-vis. She became a Trustee of VSNS and then Chair in April 2021.

Other Trustees

Daniel Lavin
Karen Ancell
David Camp
Lewis Russell
Anne Elkington
Dr Brian Perry BEM
Arthur Birkby MBE

Subscribe to our e-news

Find out about local volunteering opportunities and keep up to date with local events & fundraising news by subscribing to one of our bulletins.

Subscribe now