KATE ROGATA - Director
Originally from Wakefield, so a proud Yorkshire lass! I have lived in Harrogate since 2001. I studied psychology and social studies at university and have worked in the public and voluntary sectors ever since. Until 2013 I worked with adults with learning disabilities and was director of Ripon Community Link for 8 years before deciding to have a complete change. I was delighted to be appointed as Director at Supporting Older People and given the opportunity to develop the already amazing work of the organisation whilst working with such a passionate, dedicate team of volunteers, staff and trustees. I have never worked anywhere where it so simple to make a real difference to someone’s life!
I am married to Ernesto, who is Italian and our unofficial photographer! We have a small, black, very friendly cat called Charlton. I love travelling, reading, swimming, going to the theatre, cinema and galleries, especially modern art exhibitions and the V&A. I also love music and going to concerts and Festivals, and am a member of Harrogate Choral Society. I do yoga and am part of the Harrogate Nordic Walking Group. I am a great shopper, with a passion for shoes (much to my husband’s chagrin!)
Julia Lightfoot – Befriending and Activities Manager
I live very happily in Harrogate, close to the town centre.
I started as the Home Visiting Scheme Manager in March 2016. The position of Activities Manager became available and I jumped at the opportunity of amalgamating the two roles as they go hand in hand. I truly love my job, meeting interesting older people, wonderful volunteers and working with the best team possible make this a dream job.
Previously I have worked for Avalon Freedom, Barnardos and North Yorkshire Centre for Independent Living plus a short stint selling jewellery for Azendi.
Away from work I enjoy reading, eating out and, to counteract the eating out, going to the gym. I love socialising with friends and indulging in my favourite hobby – shopping.
I am a mum to Joshua, 24 and Alicia, 19.
Lorna Daniel - Administrator
I have lived in the Harrogate area for most of my life and am now settled in Dacre Banks.
I have worked for Supporting Older People since January 2017 and thoroughly enjoy working with the team and making a real difference to so many older people’s lives. Previously I have worked for Wolseley, Sainsbury’s and most recently for Bettys and Taylors, where I worked in Human Resources, as the Recruitment Coordinator.
I am married to Tom, and have two young girls called Elsie and Connie (and a cat called Daisy)
Away from work my time is mostly spent with the family, but I also love going out for meals and socialising with my friends.
Jackie Ashton - Chair
Although born in South Wales my father was a Yorkshireman. After living in quite a bit of the UK, and travelling to a good few far off places, I decided to make my home in Yorkshire. I have lived in Harrogate for nearly 15 years, but having worked in Leeds for much of this time as a lecturer in legal practice I wanted to become more involved in my local community. I originally qualified and practised as a solicitor and wanted to find a way of using my skills in the voluntary sector. I came along to HARCVS to see how I could become involved. Kate welcomed me into the office of SOP and I was invited to become a trustee. I then became Chair on the retirement of Tim Hurren. I returned to practice as a private client lawyer and I now work in Harrogate and enjoy being part of the local business community.
I love being outside, whether walking, cycling or gardening. I enjoy reading and I am member of a book club which is great for getting me to read books I would not normally read.
I never fail to be inspired by the enthusiasm, dedication and hard work of the SOP team.
Originally from the south of England, we moved up to Yorkshire over 40 years ago when I went to study at York University in my mid-twenties. We have been wandering around this great county ever since and finally landing up in Harrogate where we have lived for the past 30 years. Now a member of the clergy team at St. Peter’s Church in the town centre, I never really had a straightforward career but more a series of work experiences including financial services, management training, local government and running a residential conference centre. For many years I was involved in local political life including serving on Harrogate Borough Council and standing (unsuccessfully!) for parliament. Over the years I have been involved in many local charities and voluntary organisations and have now been associated with Supporting Older People for over a decade, mostly as Chairman of the trustees. My leisure interests include reading and a wide variety of music but particularly special for me and my wife Caroline, are the trips in our motorhome exploring the wilder parts of Britain and Ireland. We have two sons and five grandchildren, including the first girl born in the Hurren clan for over 100 years.
Theresa Stearn (Vice Chair)
I became involved with Supporting Older People in 2016, having for some time felt I would like to contribute some of my time and skills to a local charity. As a forces child, my early life was fairly nomadic until we settled in my mother’s home town of Swansea. After graduating, I taught in Thailand for two years, later settling in London. Having moved north in 1991, I have now lived in Yorkshire longer than anywhere else. My partner and I moved from Leeds to Harrogate in 2008, and we love it here.
My career has spanned banking, librarianship, teaching, education roles with Oxfam, staff and organisational development in local government, and public sector regulation and inspection with the Audit Commission. I now work for myself, providing coaching, consultancy and training to a variety of organisations across private, public and voluntary sectors. A constant theme of my working life has been the issues of equality, diversity and inclusion – I am passionate about fairness, and passionately opposed to discrimination.
In my spare time I love to run, and am nominally responsible for a local women’s running group in Harrogate (Running Astray). We like to put the fun into running, and regularly travel to far-off races to celebrate significant birthdays and other notable events – so far, we have run together in Amsterdam, Benidorm, Berlin, Budapest, and Paris, as well as all over the UK. I am a big fan of Thai food, and any kind of cake.
I moved to Harrogate with my wife Janet from Northamptonshire in 1970 to take up an appointment with the then Northern Eastern Electricity Board. While working at both East Midlands and Eastern Electricity Boards I attended Corby Technical College and obtained a Higher National Certificate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering.
My two children were born in Harrogate and now have families of their own.
Since 2004 I have been a councillor on Harrogate Borough Council representing New Park Ward. I was Deputy Mayor of the Borough in 2007.
I am interested in most sports but particularly in cricket and football. I am a life member of Bilton Cricket Club and a member of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. I also belong to the Association of Cricket Officials. I am a long standing supporter of Leeds United Football Club.
I have a track record of helping local people and am looking forward to working with the charity Supporting Older People.
Julie Barlow (Vice Chair)
I have been a Trustee for about 2 years now. I have had a lengthy career in the NHS starting out as a Radiographer, training in Harrogate, and for the last 20 or so years as a Senior Manager working at various hospitals in West Yorkshire and Manchester. I am now embarking on a "third" career working with people.
It has been a great privilege to be Trustee for Supporting Older People!
John Beck – Finance Trustee
I grew up in Bradford, spending many holidays with my aunts in Harrogate.
Following university and then research, I taught for two years in Ghana.
We moved to Harrogate where I qualified as an accountant.
I worked in professional accountancy firms, for two years in Leeds and for many more in Harrogate, until my retirement. Since then I have had more time for our children and grandchildren, for indulging in reading and hill-walking and for voluntary work, including serving as treasurer and trustee of this most worthwhile charity, Supporting Older People
Glyn Edward ROBINS
Education at Cathays High School for Boys, Cardiff, Glamorgan College of Technology and Bristol College of Commerce.
Qualifications: GCE '0' levels; ONC in Commerce; Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries.
After short time in professional football, career was in staff relations, Personnel Management and Industrial Relations.
National Coal Board, Cardiff:
Central Electricity Generating Board, Bristol & London:
The Electricity Council, London and Leeds:
Nuclear Electric, Bristol.
Supporter Liaison Officer, NCH Action for Children (NE & Yorks)
Member & past President, Rotary Club of Harrogate.
Member & Hon. Treasurer (past Chairman) Harrogate & District Sports Council.
Member and past Chairman, Harrogate CVS; and Supporting Older People.
Past committee member & Chairman, Harrogate Flower Fund Homes.
Interests: sports, outdoor and indoor (no longer playing but a keen watcher).
I was born in Leeds, and trained as an occupational therapist in Oxford, returning to work at St Jame's, Leeds and Harrogate specialising in geriatric medicine. As well as work and a growing family I have always been a volunteer with organisations that meet the needs of people with particular difficulties: NAWCH (Welfare of Children in Hospital), CRUSE Bereavement Care, Riding for the Disabled and Supporting Older People.
Moving to a village with an active community I enjoy being involved with all aspects of village and family life; gardening, drama & history group, church & W.I.
I've been privileged to meet and work with many interesting, dedicated volunteers who really make a difference in peoples lives.