New faces at Talbot Village Trust to help Dorset charities


THE Talbot Village Trust, which provides £1 million in grants each year to charities working to improve the quality of life for residents across south-east Dorset, has five new members.

Martha Searle, Ali Shah, Beverley Cross, Louise Jones and Jon Beal have been appointed across grants, community engagement, finance, communications and administration of the trust.

The new appointments will support chief executive officer Caroline Cooban and trustees to further strengthen work done by the trust, which is the legacy of two sisters who founded Talbot Village in the mid-19th century as a reaction to rural poverty, with local charities and not-for-profit organisations.

Caroline said: “I’m incredibly pleased to welcome a new group of staff to the Talbot Village trust, a significant step designed to increase the trust’s presence across all charitable activities.

“The new professional roles provide us with an invaluable wealth of knowledge, skills and experience, as we continue to strengthen our connections with and support of communities across south-east Dorset.

“The dedicated team is based at Slades Park Pavilion, with a remit including several important functions, enhancing our responsiveness to the needs of the communities we serve, and further elevating the value of support we offer to vital services and causes.”

Louise Jones has been appointed as grants manager. Louise has experience in charity front line services, fundraising, impact measurement and due diligence, and will support prospective grant holders to make a difference with their funds, as well as monitor the impact of the trust’s grant-giving.

Martha Searle joins as community and engagement lead to build long-term relationships, with a particular focus on minorities, and those most marginalised in society, as well as stakeholders working on voluntary and community projects. Martha is an experienced community facilitator, having a background as a BCP community development worker and working closely with third sector organisations.

Ali Shah has been appointed as part-time finance manager and is a qualified accountant with significant financial experience in the social housing sector, developed during his auditing career with a big four accountancy firm. Ali will be responsible for supporting the financial management of the trust and to assist the charity’s trustees with decision making.

Jon Beal joinsv as communications manager with more than seven years’ experience working in communications. In his new role Jon, who was previously at Arts University Bournemouth, will be responsible for devising and delivering communications plans to help promote the trust’s charitable purpose and the impact of its work to support worthy causes.

Beverley Cross has been appointed as executive assistant and prior to joining was an executive PA to the chief executive at a local charity supporting adults with learning disabilities. Beverley will be responsible for essential administrative support and workflow across the office.

Nicholas Ashley-Cooper, chairman of Talbot Village trust, said: “A hugely warm welcome to Jon, Martha, Ali, Louise and Beverley.

“These roles will ensure that the charity continues the exceptional work of its founders, the Talbot sisters, to address and tackle issues faced by communities in south-east Dorset, making a substantial difference to their lives and helping people live well.”

Applicants wishing to apply for funding can visit

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