Gloucestershire Rural Community Council


Professional advice and support for Gloucestershire’s communities

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Helen Richards

Stroud and South Cotswold Adviser
WILD Project Officer
Data Analyst
Website and Social Media                                                                    
01452 528491

In her role as Community Advisor Helen provides advice and support to enable communities in Stroud and the South Cotswolds to determine local priorities and drive forward projects and community-led plans (e.g. Neighbourhood Development Plans, Community Design Statements and Parish Plans). Support takes many forms including funding advice, facilitation, capacity building, project development, and providing guidance to steering groups for community-led plans such as Neighbourhood Development Plans.

Helen leads on the WILD Project at GRCC driving community engagement to encourage communities to identify local issues, priorities and solutions and encourage them to get directly involved in understanding local water courses and their management. Giving communities the conduit to influence decision making related to the water environment. She also represents GRCC on the Upper Thames Catchment Partnership strengthening the representation of local parish and town councils on the partnership. The WILD Project, started in 2013, is a partnership project in the Cotswold Water Park working to improve water quality, alongside the Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group (FWAG), Cotswold Water Park Trust (CWPT) and Countryside and Community Research Institute (CCRI).

Helen’s expertise in social media makes her the ideal person to help parish and town councils and community buildings encourage two-way communication with their communities and reach younger people, through social media activity. She has led on data analysis for the organisation since 2013 designing and analysing questionnaires for communities within Gloucestershire and beyond utilising her analytical and report-writing skills. Helen’s communications skills are put to use to research and develops case studies and ‘how to’ guides; creating real life examples of community activities to inspire groups about to embark on similar projects.

Helen joined GRCC in 2011 to work on its Accelerator project and was also a member of the Growing Great Futures team, helping Children’s Centres in Gloucestershire increase parental involvement in decision making and service delivery at the centres. She became part of the GRCC Advice Team in 2013. Helen has a degree in Environmental Biology from the University of Nottingham and a Postgraduate Certificate in Secondary Education in Science.