Fundraising Ben Alonso - Director of Fundraising Ben joined CUF in December 2017 bringing 9 years of charity sector experience with him. Having previously worked at a range of regional and national charities such as Hospice in the Weald, The Diocese of London, Hft and Richard House Children’s hospice, Ben has garnered a wide breadth of fundraising experience including managing organisational change and development. With a passion for building relationships and developing staff, Ben incorporates a relationship fundraising approach to everything he does. Ben will provide leadership across CUF’s fundraising directorate and will be responsible for driving the charity’s income generation and supporter growth. In his spare time, he enjoys travelling and recently he passed his PgDip in Charity Marketing and Fundraising as well as getting engaged on the top of a mountain! Rachel Sharpe - Director of Partnerships Rachel joined CUF in December 2016. Over the past few years she’s worked for a Christian meditation charity as Director of Development and as Head of Strategy for a global energy consultancy which most recently took her to Iran. A couple of years ago she also spent time in Kolkata working for Mother Teresa’s home for the dying and taught primary school children in a slum outside the city. Rachel is passionate about the restoration of contemplative practice to Christianity and the relationship between interior transformation and social change. In her spare time, she is working on the development of a meditation project in the Cotswolds and loves to practice yoga. Rachel has an MBA from Kingston Business School and is part-way through a Master’s in Sustainable Development. Gita Bakare - Grants Manager Gita joined CUF in October 2017. She holds a Degree in Business/ Law, is a qualified trainer and has had over 18 years’ experience with the voluntary sector in various roles. These include 10 years fundraising, project management, delivering training, working as a Consultant, giving legal advice, managing grants, formulating policy, facilitating partnerships, staff management and much more. Based on this wealth of experience she will be supporting the Partnership Team with making applications to Trusts and Foundations. When she has spare time outside bringing up her two daughters, she enjoys visiting independent theatres, being part of a Salvation Army community choir, volunteering, socialising with friends, Indian food, travelling, dancing and live music. Samuel Low – Operations Manager Samuel joined CUF in late 2015 from Macmillan Cancer Support where he worked in their Corporate Partnerships Department. He is responsible for managing and formulating the strategic organisational processes for CUF and the Joint Ventures across England, as well as managing the database and high-value project support. He enjoys the outdoors, fishing and kayaking, and holds a BA (Hons) from The University of Southampton. Trudy Adjrah – Head of Supporter Development Trudy has worked at Church Urban Fund since 2013, and has worked in fundraising for over 10 years, across a range of disciplines. She has a Certificate in Fundraising Management and is a member of the Institute of Fundraising. Rhea Varma - Senior Relationships Officer Rhea joined the CUF team in December 2017 with over 13 years of management experience in the NGO/INGO sector. Her more recent experience has been in Project Management in overseas, food & nutrition-related programming. Rhea has worked for 5 years on partnerships and building relationships for the establishment of feeding centres in rural Lesotho. This has taught her that investing in long-lasting relationships can yield powerful social action change and enrich the lives of those in need. She joins the fundraising team, endeavouring to do just that! Elieshia Hinds – Database and Supporter Services Officer Elieshia has worked for Church Urban Fund since 2014 and is fairly new to fundraising. She has worked in various retail companies and a mega UK church. Elieshia is a wife, mother of 3 and has over 10 years’ experience in data management and customer services.