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.
Mark is a well known figure in the voluntary and community sector, having previously headed up a street children’s charity Action for Brazil's Children (ABC) Trust; managed Lloyds Foundation's regional grants programme and worked as a manager for community development specialists, Community Action Suffolk.
Mark has worked with voluntary and community sector leaders over more than three decades, helping them to build more effective organisations - and achieving their social mission, income and charity ambitions. He has considerable local government experience as well, having served as a councillor for 22 years and as a member of the LGA’s Community Wellbeing Board. Mark has also worked as a senior Home Office Civil Servant focused on community safety and regeneration in south-east London. He also continues to undertake a wide range of voluntary roles in his community and in support of the most fragile voluntary groups in deprived and diverse community settings.
Working closely with Rachel Sharpe, Mark’s focus at CUF is on supporting the Together Network joint ventures, Near Neighbours hubs and Just Finance Community hubs to become sustainable and increase their reach through priority programmes such as Catalyst Young Leaders.