Odilia Mabrouk has been involved in public and corporate consultation projects on Healthcare, Energy and Pension Reform, Sustainable Development and Child and Family Policy. In addition she has developed and run programmes on gun-crime, gang-violence, diversity and preventing violent extremism. She has undergone training in embedding sustainability in SMEs, risk management, coaching and small project management.
She uses skills gained in this area to engage in with the community around their needs and thoughts for the Hub; and to build a membership base and local network for the Hub Stourbridge. Her experience being part of projects across the corporate, non-profit and freelance sectors as well as her knowledge of other co-working spaces helps steer the Hub Stourbridge strategy and vision.
Odilia returned to Stourbridge after 15 years absence and was impressed with the number of projects and creative ideas that were to be found in the area. On the other hand, the closure of local community spaces and shops, along with the deterioration of the town gave her concern that there was a lack of space for growing new projects or supporting local businesses and creative initiatives. Having been inspired by the new concept of the ‘co-working space’, she began initiating conversations about bringing one to Stourbridge.
Tony Laycock has had a varied career covering engineering and industry, education, horticulture and engaging with adults with special needs. He is a strong advocate of sustainable architecture and technology and has a Masters degree from the Centre for Alternative Technology. As a practical thinker, his skills in understanding sustainability and building design are an asset to the Board. His expertise informs much of the discussion around which building would suit the Hub and how it might be renovated to include sustainable features.
Tony has also spent time working on various community projects, was chair of a Community Development Trust and helped to set up Transition Stourbridge.
These skills in community development and project start-ups help the Hub Stourbridge Board to have a broad overview of the potential practical and social impacts of decisions.
Tony joined the hub team because he felt passionate about facilitating inspirational ways of working through creating a space which it itself is inspiring. In addition to this, he is excited about sustainability being key to the hub concept and is keen to be a part of setting up a project that will build strong connections in the community and be an example of the ‘ideal workplace’.
Jilly Edge has 25 years experience in conference and events management. She has worked with a number of high profile clients across the UK and has also set up a number of successful networking events in the local area. She brings to the table her experience of how to run a successful company, along with insight and a no-nonsense approach which is of great value to the Hub Stourbridge project. Her network and contacts extend across the region and her knowledge of the area is invaluable in terms of partnership development and steering the Hub in the right direction.
Jilly previously worked for COI News and PR (West Midlands), running conferences and VIP visits for high profile clients such as the Royal Household, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, DEFRA, DCLG, the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the BBC. She has ministerial experience accompanying Government ministers from the PM and royalty to Secretaries of State. This aspect of her background comes to play in planning around engaging with local government and third sector organisation as well as understanding relevant regulations and policy.
Jilly was born and bred in Stourbridge and has witnessed many changes over the years – not all for the better. The idea of the Hub and putting something back in the community was what made her want to get involved. She sees the Hub as not only helping small businesses but an opportunity to encourage young people and families to become a part of the wider project and give people a pride in their neighbourhood.
Ben Lowings Hi, I’m Ben Lowings and I’m excited to be part of the HUB Stourbridge as a fundraising volunteer. My role is to help seek and secure funding for the project, in order that we can get the workspace in action and the events started.
I came across the HUB having just graduated from university and my interest was sparked by the social ethic that the organisation emphasises. I believe that a sense of community and social cohesion is an incredibly important principle for any organisation or business, so when introduced to the notion of a shared workspace for Stourbridge, I was eager to be involved. I fully believe in our success with this project and look forward to seeing the vision of the workspace come into being in the not too distant future.
Elena Thomas I am an artist and a teacher. My art practice involves mainly working with old household textiles and old clothes. I also use sound and music, although I’m not a musician…I get lots of help! I am an avid blogger, and find that it helps me figure out where my art practice is going, and puts things into perspective. My children have accused me of loving my MacBook more than them. This is clearly untrue…(ahem hem).
I teach mostly in primary school at the moment (just art), but have experience of teaching all sorts of creative things to groups of all ages and abilities. I truly believe that creativity is the key to everyone’s happiness.
My involvement in The Hub Stourbridge stems from a need to be nosey, and have a finger in every pie. I would love to gather around the Hub a group of contemporary artists for a bit of critical thinking and conversation, support, and morale boosting in these difficult times. The presence of tea and cake and/or biscuits always helps. Failing that, beer.
Gail Hickman I’m Gail. I’m a mother and a teacher. I have lived in Stourbridge all my life and think that it is a lovely place to live, work and bring up a family. I have formed a long lasting relationship with many aspects of the Stourbridge community including the local schools my children attend and I support as many community events as I can. I work at a local special needs college as an Enrichment Manager. This job has allowed me to forge some very interesting partnerships with organisations in the community that have inspired some diverse projects to happen for the benefit of the students and all involved with projects. I love working with like minded motivated people to make interesting and diverse projects a success. I am fully committed to the Hub project and hope to bring my knowledge of the community to make the Hub a thriving base for the area.
Sara Shaw Hi I’m Sara, I’m from Stourbridge and originally worked in manufacturing and engineering and I’ve always wanted to be involved with IT and so recently started to do some courses in Information Technology. I also wanted to do some volunteer work and found the Volunteer Centre at Dudley CVS and came across opportunities for volunteering with the Hub. I’m now helping the project with updating the website and other IT issues. I’m eager to learn and put my hand to any task given and I see there’s opportunity to learn as well as give something back to a good cause, I feel the Hub can be very rewarding and it’s good to have a sense of new achievement with skills to use as building blocks for the future. I enjoy working with new people and exchanging ideas, thoughts and support.
Dave DeBoeck I am married with 2 teenagers and 2 little ones, living in Bromsgrove. I served in the Military in the late 80′s having seen Gulf 1 & 2, then Bosnia in 1994. I went back there in 1999 just before finishing my Service. I then worked for Swansea Council as a Housing Officer for a little over 10 years, before moving to Worcestershire and changing trades. I am currently working as a bookkeeper in Solihull and working my way through my 2nd year of college training as an accountant. Then just for fun, I joined the RAF Reserves several years ago and did a 4 month tour in Afghanistan in 2010.
Jon Hazlewood I have had a varied career, having worked as a General Nurse after leaving college, then as a laboratory technician for 7 years. More recently I have worked in different areas of IT, including website development. My involvement in The Hub Stourbridge was to design and set up the website. I am also continuing to offer support if anything goes a bit wonky! I was introduced to the concept of shared workspace by Odilia, and feel it could work well in Stourbridge. There has certainly been lots of support for the project, and I look forward to it taking off.