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The Team
Cheshire Community Foundation was established in 2011 to address need in what has traditionally been perceived as one of the wealthier areas of the Northwest. The reality for many, however, is very different.

For me, being able to give to charity is a privilege and being in the position to shape the future of the Foundation is both exciting and rewarding.

Zoe Sheppard
Chief Executive

Zoe was originally introduced to the Foundation in 2012 when her family were looking for a strategic way of supporting the local community.

Cheshire Community Foundation’s unique service of connecting the family with those people who were most in need, whilst managing the due diligence around the charities that support them, offered the perfect solution.

Zoe joined the Foundation in November 2015, having run a marketing consultancy for 8 years previously.

Margaret Cheshire
Chief Operations Officer

Margaret joined the Foundation in 2019 following a career in HR working for a number of organisations based in Cheshire.

Her previous experience focused on people and organisational development helps her lead the Foundation’s team and ensure that the organisation delivers an efficient and friendly service to donors, grantees and all its partners. She is delighted to work locally for an organisation that makes a difference and suits her name!

Helen Whittle
Development Director

Helen is passionate about making charitable giving to local causes stress free, easy and enjoyable and uses her 20 years experience of the third sector, fundraising and philanthropy to help those who would like to approach their charitable giving (in their life-time and in their will) in a more informed and focussed way.

As a consultant to the Foundation, Helen works closely with the CCF team, Trustees and our Professional Advisor network to support the setting up of new Funds and helps to ensure CCF is the go-to place for philanthropy advice in Cheshire.

Angela Richardson
Freelance Grants Consultant

Angela is now working on a freelance basis for CCF, alongside other coaching and consultancy work. She has nearly 25 years in grant making (she started young!). Ange has worked for four major funders – Big Lottery Fund, The Housing Corporation, North West Development Agency and BBC Children in Need (as well as two years as a Fundraising Manager for Deafness Support Network).

Claire Rick
Head of Grants Programmes and Impact

Claire joined the Foundation after experiencing its work from a corporate donor perspective, leading the creation of the Assura Community Fund and its first grant programmes in her previous role as Assura’s Head of Public Affairs. Having also led media and campaigning activity for a national charity, she brings experience of major corporate partnerships with the voluntary and community sector and is excited to be combining her interests in philanthropy, communications and learning from impact data. Claire lived in Chester for many years, is a trustee of a North West arts charity and a school governor.

Debbie Smith
Donor Account Manager

Debbie joined the Foundation in August 2018 following a period of time spent raising her family. During this time, Debbie volunteered with a variety of charities including a children’s reading scheme, the NCT and a community gardening scheme. Prior to that, she worked for a national accountancy recruitment consultancy and a big-four firm of accountants in an account management role.

Now her role includes providing information to donors, ensuring they feel proud of the difference their generosity has made to those less fortunate in Cheshire.

Susie Roberts
Fund Development Manager

Having spent the last 25 years in a variety of marketing communications and business development roles, spanning a range of sectors including property, higher education and hospitality, Susie joined the charity in May 2019.

She now helps to raise awareness of the Foundation’s goals and achievements throughout Cheshire’s business community, whilst supporting organisations wishing to streamline their CSR and philanthropic policies to achieve maximum impact by connecting with the most effective grass-roots charities and not-for-profit organisations in the region.

Karen Ziesler
Grants Manager

Karen has been working in funding and development roles in the voluntary sector and in grantmaking for nearly 20 years, including 10 years with a lottery funder, and 5 years as a freelance grant assessor with BBC Children in Need. Her early career was spent in quality and health and safety management in industry.

She has wide ranging voluntary experience, having spent time as a befriender supporting Syrian refugees, doing translation work for the National Holocaust Museum, and as a trustee on Chester Women’s Aid Council of Management.

Karen has been doing assessment work for the Foundation since 2017, and has now moved into a grants management role.

Emily Stone
Grants Officer

Emily joined the foundation in October 2022 as a business graduate. She has 20 years experience of serving her community as either a Dispensing Optician, the trustee of her local primary school’s PTA or an associate in her local charity shop.


Emily’s role as the Grants Officer is to underpin the strategic work of Grant Making and maintain accurate data to ensure an excellent service is provided.   She is passionate about the third sector and enjoys bringing her enthusiasm and organisational skills to the role.


Emily has lived in Cheshire her whole life, loves to see the impact CCF has on the local communities, and is proud to be part of it.

Amy Platt
Donor Engagement Manager

After a year working as CCF’s Communications Officer in 2021, Amy has moved into the role of Donor Engagement Manager. She has a background in Museums/Arts and Heritage, and more recently education. Amy grew up in North Wales and has deep roots in Cheshire.

Amy uses her creative skills to spread the word about CCF and keep our donors informed, whether that’s through newsletters, online or at events. She loves meeting new people and finding out about their priorities and motivations, and is currently focused on the charities and projects in Knutsford.

Helen Taylor
Finance Co-ordinator

Helen joined the Foundation in 2022.  She was previously a solicitor and then worked in school finance.  She brings this experience to support the finance side of the Foundation.  She has lived in Cheshire for 25 years and enjoys seeing the positive impact CCF has across Cheshire.

Iona Moxon
Team Administrator

Iona joined CCF in December 2020 having spent 7 years working in the hospitality and events sector, managing a busy conference centre in Manchester whose profits funded various charitable activities.

After having children and relocating to Cheshire, Iona wanted a new challenge. Being able to combine her organisational skills with helping others she sees this as her perfect job role. Iona provides support across all aspects of the charity’s work, helping to further CCF’s efforts throughout the community.


Sarah Bloor
Digital Communications Officer

Sarah joined CCF in summer 2022, she’s grown up in Cheshire and lived in the area for over 30 years. She has a background in marketing & social media and uses her skills to help promote all the amazing work our charities and organisations do, as well as praising our wonderful donors. 

Tim Askham
Finance Officer

Tim is responsible for overseeing accounting, treasury and related compliance matters. A chartered accountant and previously a partner in an international accounting firm, since retiring from that he is fulfilling an ambition to become involved in the charity sector, joining the Foundation on a part time basis in 2019. He is involved with a couple of other charities as well, including as a volunteer trustee with a local educational foundation.
His other qualification for this role is 30 years’ and counting residency in Cheshire/Warrington. Tim is delighted now to be working on behalf of the disadvantaged people in this special county.

Tracey Pearson
Warrington Fund Development Manager

Tracey joined CCF in early 2023 after working in both the corporate and charity sector in business development and fundraising roles. Following her own personal battle with health, she has a real empathy and understanding of the many challenges individuals face on a day-to-day basis. She is a passionate fundraiser herself, most recently completing a Challenge Trek across the Lake District and raising over £15,000 for The Christie Charity, Manchester.

Her role focuses on securing funds from local businesses and generous individuals to build a Warrington Fund, to address the needs of the grass roots charities and communities across the Borough, working alongside partner organisations and public services.

Tracey has lived in Cheshire most of her life, loves meeting new people and has great pride in being part of the CCF family, helping those most in need across Cheshire and Warrington.