CCS Leadership Team

Val Bishop

Chief Executive


Val started off her career as a teacher and spent time teaching English in Russia and elsewhere before teaching History in Bristol. She then moved to the charity sector and has worked in a variety of roles from Administrator in what was then Age Concern to Programme Manager and then Head of Communications in a small international development charity African Initiatives.

Most recently, she has been Programmes Director at Somerset Community Foundation, working with many of the hundreds of Community groups, charities and social enterprises in Somerset.

Jane Birch

Programmes Manager

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Jane has worked in the social enterprise and the wider voluntary sector for 20 or so years in Somerset and elsewhere.She enjoys enabling individuals and groups to turn their idea into a successful reality to make a difference to their community. Jane is the manager of the Smart Communities team, which is a real privilege as the team has such great skill and experience to offer.

Outside of work, Jane loves making the most of the beautiful countryside, walking, cycling, and kayaking and she loves cooking for family and friends.

Brigitte Kuipers

Agents Operations Manager

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Brigitte moved to the UK and the West Country 23 years ago from The Netherlands.

Initially working in business and hotel management, she then qualified in mentoring, coaching and psychotherapy.
This training and professional experience enabled her to have a successful career in education for over 15 years. There she developed innovative therapeutic educational models and creating school wellbeing programmes.

Brigitte joined CCS in 2018 as a Community Agent and due to her drive for strategic success and excellent communication skills, she became Locality Manager for the Sedgemoor and Taunton Deane areas, before becoming Operations Manager in 2021.

“I like getting people excited about the things I am excited and passionate about, and that is CCS and supporting those in need across Somerset.”

Matthew Byrne

Development Manager

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Matthew has worked and volunteered in the third sector, primarily in health and wellbeing, for nearly 30 years. Having worked initially in London he moved to the South West over 20 years ago. He has a passion for developing and improving services for people and communities; as Development Manager he is responsible for income generation to enable the CCS group to deliver sustainable and effective services.

Outside of work, Matthew has a busy family life with three children ranging in age from five to 20. In his not so copious spare time he enjoys comedy, football (these days Walking), reading and politics.

Greg Rochester

HR Manager


Predominantly my career has been in the retail sector where I have worked for various large organisations as a Senior Leader and HR Manager. Having spent a large proportion of my life here in the South West, I have been able understand the beauty and opportunities the region has and can offer. My family and I relocated to Yeovil in 2019 from Chippenham, and in April 2021 I was fortunate to undertake the role of HR manager for CCS.

I believe wholly in the work that is undertaken by our exceptional agents and core teams here at CCS, continuously making Somerset a better place for people in use/need of our services and in the fundamental principle of community growth and self-sufficiency

Michał Pużyński

Somerset Diverse Communities Manager

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Michal moved to the UK 12 years ago. For ten years he had been working with ethnically diverse communities through various non-profit organizations.

With his personal and professional experience related to the challenges faced by minorities, Michal has joined CCS in 2019 as a BAME Community Engagement Officer and is now the Somerset Diverse Communities Manager, where he and his team enjoysupporting minority ethnic groups in becoming independent and successful.

Kristy Hirons

Data Impact Manager

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Kristy’s Info Coming Soon!

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Agent Locality Managers

Each of our wonderful Locality Managers began with CCS as a Village Agent, and has been promoted from within the organisation. This gives them a well-rounded, practical, hands-on knowledge of being an Agent ‘on the ground’.

Mark Shields

West Somerset

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Chrissie Brewer

Taunton Area

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Carole Smith


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Kristel Van Der Schyff

Hospital Liasion Manager

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Debi Slaiter


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Claire Searle

South Somerset

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