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Meet the Team

Run by a team of nine volunteer directors & three paid posts as well as over 60 volunteers

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Jo Grail  
Chair & Operations Director

I became a Director to have a hands-on role helping our community.  I play a key role in managing back-office, but also love being hands-on including helping in the Community Fridge.  My background as a former head teacher means I am used to wearing several hats, I am excited to be involved at this busy time in our organisation’s development.


In my spare time I love spending time with my family, including spoiling my grand-children.

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Cathy Jane
Community Shop & Hub Director

Bringing 26 years of experience as a civil servant, where I was leading projects and managing teams, an unexpected change of direction gave me the opportunity to choose to share the skills I have for the benefit of our community alongside gaining a sense of achievement for myself.

I love the ethos and spirit of CEPL12 and feel like I am part of something very unique and positive. I enjoy helping likeminded people to recognise their own goals whilst achieving tangible, useful outcomes for PL12 and beyond. As the Community Shop and Hub Director, you will find me (usually on a Thursday) ordering stock, liaising with our traders, and working with the team of volunteers to keep the information we hold as current as possible.

I am also a keen gardener and crafter.


Richard Bickford
IT Director

I thoroughly enjoy my role as a volunteer director of CEPL12. We work with so many wonderful and varied people.


I am also a local town councillor, and hope that I have helped to establish a great partnership between the two vitally important organisations within the town and continue to foster good communications wherever possible.

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Melanie Cowie
Marketing Director

Having over 25 years’ experience working in the media, Melanie Cowie is a writer, PR and marketing consultant. Having started her career in radio, Melanie has worked on both sides of the media and has lived in Cornwall for 20 years. Through her role managing the sales and marketing of the National Marine Aquarium, Melanie ran a busy press office and an international marketing campaign – culminating in the ‘Sinking of HMS Scylla’ an artificial reef off the Cornish coast in Whitsand Bay.

For the past 10 years, Melanie has used her experience to manage a cross-sector range of clients’ campaigns as well as regularly contribute as a feature writer for a range of magazines and newspapers. Over this time, Melanie has become well known for her knowledge, skills and thirst for knowledge. Alongside her full-time employment, Melanie now volunteers for the Community Enterprise PL12 to help raise their profile and awareness. "I first came across CEPL12 at an event in The Kitchen and became hooked!  It's such an amazing organisation doing so many great things for the community of Saltash.  I'm privileged to be a small part of the CEPL12 family."


Alan Marks
Operations Manager

Meet Alan Marks, the Operations Manager at CEPL12, whose journey with the company began as a trader selling at regular markets for over 5 years. With his wealth of experience and dedication, he was later employed by CEPL12 to manage the community market.

Now, as our Enterprise Operations Manager, Alan plays a crucial role in overseeing the day-to-day operations of the enterprise. Based at the company's Head Office in the Community Shop, he ensures the smooth functioning of various departments, contributing significantly to the success of CEPL12.

Alan's organisational skills are unparalleled, as he coordinates the activities of different teams within the company. His talent for using tools like Excel and budgeting software has been instrumental in streamlining operations and optimizing resource allocation. Under his watchful eye, CEPL12 has experienced increased efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Alan really enjoys the varied nature of his demanding role, handling diverse challenges and contributing to the local community's well-being. As a resident of Saltash, he actively supports numerous events, reflecting his commitment to the local area and its people.

In his capacity as Operations Manager, Alan leads by example, fostering a culture of open communication and collaboration within the team. His dedication to community development and social responsibility has influenced the company's approach to making a positive impact in the area they serve.

His journey from trader to a vital member of the enterprise showcases his dedication and passion for the company's mission. Through his efforts, CEPL12 continues to thrive as a force for positive change in the local community.


John Penney
Transport Director

I live in Saltash with my wife Heather we have three children, 12 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren.


I retired from working within the NHS for 36 years in three roles, Ambulance Service, Diabetes management and Pharmacy.


Heather and I are both season ticket holders at Argyle and I am Chairman and Heather Treasurer of the Vice Presidents Club.

Rose Edwards Community Enterprises CEPL12 Director

Rose Edwards
Dementia Voice Manager

When I moved to Saltash in 2012, I wanted to volunteer and joined CEPL12 in 2013 to help set up and run the Volunteer Service.

In 2014 I became a Director and soon afterwards I helped set up Dementia Voice PL12 to provide support and activities for those affected by dementia. Although I am no longer director, I am one of the lead volunteers helping to run the Dementia Voice groups.


It has been an extremely rewarding few years working with some lovely people for the benefit of the local community.


Sue Ellingham
Volunteering Director

I was mainly educated in Tavistock, then trained as a teacher of home economics and subsequently taught for 43 years in a variety of secondary schools in Lincolnshire, Germany, Surrey and finally Devon.


I have lived in Saltash for over 20 years, where both my children went to school.


I am now enjoying retirement with my dog, campervan and voluntary work.


Sam Gardner
Community Fridge & Kitchen Director

My background in Technical Management in the food industry fitted perfectly with the ideas already in place for a community fridge, when I became a director of CEPL12 in October 2020.

I have lived in Saltash for 9 years, with my partner, 3 teenagers and our ever growing menagerie of dogs, cats and guinea pigs, and have been involved in supporting the young people of Saltash for several years; as Chair of governors at Saltash Community School and on the civilian committee of the local ATC squadron, but I really wanted to be involved in a more hands on volunteering role.

Working with a fantastic team of enthusiastic volunteers, I am very excited to be leading the Community Fridge and Larder enterprise, and happy that it has gone from strength to strength in its success in reducing food waste and supporting the local community.

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Peter Ryland
Premises Director & Vice Chair

Born in 1951 it was not until 1976 that my wife and I moved to Saltash and realised the strong community spirit in the town.


Having studied Estate Management at Reading University I started my own property business in 2000 having worked previously for Plymouth City Council and as Property Controller for Plymouth and South Devon Co-op.


I have been Chairman of Saltash Chamber and a member of other organisations in the town and am presently a Trustee of Saltash Scrapstore. Although I don't now live in Saltash my heart will always be in PL12.

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Peter Wilson Health & Safety Director 

Born in 1953, our Health & Safety Director has led a life devoted to public service, with a wealth of experience and expertise across various sectors. With a passion for helping others and a dedication to community welfare, Peter joined our CEPL12 board in April 2023.


Peter worked with the Ministry of Transport, London Ambulance Service, multiple local authorities, Telecom Security, and in the private sector with Currie & Brown. Holding qualifications in Health & Safety (Diploma) and Ambulance Aid (Miller Certificate), he retired from Teignbridge District Council in 2018.


His journey of volunteering began early as Peter joined St. John Ambulance in 1969 to learn how to care for elderly relatives. He served with dedication until 1992, successfully running a division in Richmond.


Throughout his career, Peter demonstrated a commitment to community welfare and public safety. His expertise and experience spanned various sectors, contributing to emergency medical response, community development, and public administration.


In his personal life, Peter is married with two grown-up children, successfully balancing family responsibilities with his passion for volunteering.


Recognized for his exceptional track record and leadership abilities, Peter was appointed TBC Director at CEPL12. He saw this position as an opportunity to improve the organisation for staff and volunteers and to enhance the overall welfare of the Saltash community.


"My hobbies include theatre and exploring different cuisines," said Peter. "I've a fondness for Saltash, particularly the Union Inn and simply spending time with family in my garden."


With Peter's valuable experience and aspiration to make a positive impact, we are delighted he's joined our CEPL12 Community Interest Company.  

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Peter Thistlethwaite
Finance Director

A retired local government officer, with a special interest in health and care, I have lived in Saltash for 30 years and joined CEPL12 as a Director in 2008. 

I have held a number of positions within the organisation including the responsibility for finance, and chair.

During my time with the organisation, I have helped develop and create Dementia Voice and the plan for the take over of 18 Belle Vue Road. 

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Chris Cook 
Kitchen Manager

When I left school I commenced a career in the catering industry remaining for some 12 years where my final position of Head Chef was attained. A new challenge was needed so for a complete change I joined law enforcement which lasted for nearly 30 years.


On discovering CEPL12 where I volunteered for 18 months and seeing the benefit we all gave I applied for the Community Kitchen Managers role and was successful, what a rewarding role it is!   

My wife and I live in Saltash with Georgie the cat and our two children have fled the nest but often visit. 

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