Meet the team
Meet the wonderfully enthusiastic individuals who make up CLLD, what makes them tick and why they are passionate about Cornwall.
Rissa Reyes Parsons
Projects Facilitator / West Cornwall LAG
Rissa hails from sunny California and has worked within community development projects supporting families, local organisations, and businesses with development, training, funding, and event planning. She ran a successful family food business, which prided itself with its focus on local suppliers, and implemented a marketing strategy that helped to increase business growth.
Rissa has worked on EU funded projects since 2016, including business support and providing digital training for SMEs. She loves ‘hands-on’ working with applicants and is passionate about helping their projects come to fruition, supporting them navigate the technical aspects of funding.
In her free time she plays roller derby for the County team, is learning Muay Thai kickboxing and enjoys yoga and cooking.
She loves Cornwall and recommends "Trencrom Hill, on a sunny day because you get the wonderful sight of both coasts. Just park up and take the easy walk up the hill there are massive granite rocks to climb on if you’re feeling adventurous and little sheltered nooks to have a picnic. It’s a great place to watch sunrises and sunsets. I’ve made the journey up there the past few years on the summer solstice in the wee hours of the morning to see the sunrise and then back again late into the evening to watch the sunset from the same spot.”
Projects Facilitator / Coast to Coast LAG
Naomi is Cornish born and bred and is passionate about the County. She started her career within the Economic Development Office at Cornwall Council where she gained experience of working with European funding. This led her to working as Project Lead for European funded initiatives and as a Community Regeneration Officer in the mining villages’ areas of St Day, Lanner and Carharrack.
She also has extensive experience of working in the voluntary sector and spent many years as the Development Manager at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall.
In her spare time, Naomi is the secretary of Porthleven Town Band and even plays a bit. She also enjoys walking her three dogs and propagating green fingers with her love of gardening.
She loves Cornwall and recommends, “Parking in Lizard village, grab an Ann’s Pasty for lunch, visit Lizard Lighthouse and then walk along the coast path to Kynance Cove and, depending on the tide, walk across the beach to the café for a cream tea!”
Projects Facilitator / Atlantic and Moor LAG
James has a background in business, working as an Operations Manager before moving to Cornwall in 2005. He has helped develop his family’s children’s swimwear business and enabled it to become a brand leader in its sector, operating in 25 countries worldwide. James also finds time to run two of his own businesses.
His free time is often spent as ‘logistics coordinator’ for his two sons; running them to numerous Bude Rugby, Football and Surf Life Saving events. When he gets time off time for good behaviour you will often find him on his bike looking for the illusive single piece of flat road in Cornwall!
James feels very fortunate to be able to live and work in Cornwall’s stunning environments. He loves the rugged beauty of the North Coast, in particular the low tide walk which takes the coast path from Crooklets Beach in Bude up to Northcott Mouth, then returning along the beach. “On a sunny, clear day, the route offers some of the most beautiful views anywhere in Cornwall especially when rounded off with a huge ice-cream at Rosie’s “
Projects Facilitator / South and East Cornwall LAG
Ffion is originally from Wales and has worked for the Voluntary and Community sector for the last 8 years, since graduating from The University of Plymouth. She’s been involved in a wide range of developmental projects across Cornwall and built up a strong skillset in navigating the paths to successful outcomes.
Her knowledge and experience of helping and supporting grass roots community groups with their networking, project development, and funding is a real asset to the team.
In her spare time she loves walking her two dogs, listening to music and playing hockey and in recent years has sat on her Hockey club committee and feels that this first-hand experience has really helped her to understand the challenges that Volunteer led projects have.
She loves Cornwall and recommends "My favourite spot in Cornwall is Perranporth beach! I love watching the dogs run across miles of beach and walking along the cliff tops, you can really lose yourself looking at the waves. At the end of a nice walk you can get nice and warm with a hot chocolate or a cold beverage if it’s a hot day! It is a lovely part of Cornwall".
Programme Support Officer
Born and raised in Cornwall, Natasha is the anchor for the CLLD team. She will often be your first point of contact when you email or call us, ensuring your enquiry is dealt with efficiently. She’s also on hand to help with any questions you may have about evidence requirements once your project is up and running.
Natasha has over ten years’ experience of providing administrative and support on European Funded projects, mainly those funded by ESF delivering support to young people, those in search of work, and businesses looking to upskill their staff. Her experience of compiling and checking evidence, used to claim project outputs and report to Funders, is a real asset to CLLD; attention to detail and spreadsheets are her thing.
Away from work Natasha loves to go and watch live comedy and local productions.
She loves Cornwall and recommends “A stroll along Penzance prom, with a bag of chips, and then trying your luck in the Penny arcade and see if you can double your money on the shove tuppence machines.”
Judith has made Cornwall her home for nearly 20 years, living and working across the county in fields as diverse as economic development, careers and volunteer support, business skills, adult education, and community services. She has a passion for supporting people and businesses to maximise their opportunities and firmly believes that Cornwall is brimming with talent and innovation, not forgetting it’s undoubtedly the best place in England to live and loves the diverse environment the County offers and the wonderful people who live here.
When she is not running the CLLD programme you might find her baking cakes, running her Brownie pack, or studying for her Master’s Degree; she’s an adventurous cook, a newbie yoga enthusiast and occasionally even a runner.
She loves Cornwall and recommends, “If like me you love going out for the evening why not pop along to The Wheelhouse, Falmouth, and have one of the best seafood dinners anywhere, with a glass of Prosecco. Then pop to The Poly to watch the latest theatre or indie film and expand your mind!"
Jon has over 14 years’ experience of working in the voluntary sector, supporting community organisations and charities with governance and funding issues. More recently his main focus has been administering EU funding for economic development projects, and ensuring that the potential of these funds are maximised.
In his spare time Jon enjoys surfing and playing guitar. Although in reality most of his time is actually spent completing DIY tasks at home, a list that keeps growing! Jon also keeps guinea pigs and claims to have taught one of them to sing; the evidence is yet to be seen…
He loves Cornwall and recommends that, “Check out some fantastic quieter beaches like Boobys, Diggerys on the north coast or Carhaze on the south. Head inland to Bodmin Moor for breath-taking scenery and gravity defying stacks of stones my personal favourites are the Chesewring and Helman Tor (which also has a prehistoric hillfort). For those that like the quintessential fishing town/village, Mevagissey is highly recommended for a warm welcome and, in a very pleasant way, is a bit like Padstow was 20 years ago. Lots of indie shops for buying special gifts!"
Nolwenn moved to Cornwall over a decade ago, instantly falling in love with the county and enjoys calling it her home. She has worked across Cornwall on a broad variety of projects, funded by various EU and UK sources
Roles within Cornwall Council, Falmouth University, and for a charity have enabled her to gain a strong understanding of the regional funding landscape and local challenges.
Nolwenn's love for her adopted county means she is passionate about supporting Cornish communities and helping them to achieve their aspirations.
After ten years she, "still stumbles across new magical places" for her young family to explore (when she can prise the away from watching Peppa Pig on a loop). One of her favourites is, "walking the beautiful coastal path around Godrevy, soaking up the wild nature of this part of the North Coast, especially on a sunny day!".
Alan grew up just over the border in Devon but feels his credentials for working in Cornwall stack up as his maternal grandmother was a proud Pengelley and knew how to make a proper pasty! Alan has worked in the field of communications and marketing for over 15 years and has been responsible for raising the profile of a wide range of projects and initiatives on both a regional and national level. His career has also involved championing equality and diversity, and facilitating a wide range of training and developmental support for staff and organisations.
In his spare time he loves walking and has recently embarked on tracing the genealogy of his family, already finding some surprising skeletons in cupboards!
He loves Cornwall and recommends that, “As a self-proclaimed movie geek, I’d suggest hunting out some filming locations across the County, whether its Holywell beach which doubled as the North Korean coastline for 007’s 'Die Another Day', Anthony House the setting for Tim Burton’s 'Alice in Wonderland', or Tintagel used in ‘Knights of the Round Table’ back in 1953 with Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner no less.”
Billy is originally from Southend in Essex but has grown up in Cornwall and now feels like a native – but that’s a privilege he asks you to grant him. He previously worked in the tourism sector.
In his free time, although he loves all sport, his main passion is football. He has played football for Mevagissey FC since 2016 and became captain of the side in 2018. When not running around a pitch he likes to take his dog to the beach or on long walks. He also tries to spend as much time as possible with family and friends
He loves living in Cornwall and recommends you pop along to Mevagissey because of the great independent shops and the guaranteed warm welcome. He recently discovered Polly (Porth) Joke Beach on the North Coast near Crantock. This dual name is thought to stem from the fact it was originally known as ‘Pol Lejouack’, the Cornish term meaning ‘Jackdaw Cove’, which sounds a bit like ‘Polly joke’. He was lucky enough to time his visit when the fields, that lead to the beach, were full poppies -but says that Sheep graze in the dunes behind the beach so please keep your dogs under control.