Debbie John

Community Connector (Botton Village)

I started my career working for a global innovation company called ?WhatIf! Innovation, where I spent five years working with a huge variety of well-known brands, conducting international market research and co-ordinating projects across a range of different industries. At ?WhatIf! I developed skills in project management, as well as how to generate amazing ideas and really deliver innovation, from idea all the way through to implementation.  Following this I worked for Serco, a leading provider of public services, as a Communications Officer. I was based in the newly-founded Welfare-to-Work team, delivering the Flexible New Deal across Greater Manchester.

I have always been passionate about inclusion and in 2013 I began working in Learning Disability services.  I spent four years at Mencap where I managed the Inspire Me project in the North West, as well as delivering a range of Community Impact Projects and accredited training. Alongside this I managed a Friday night social club for Trafford Mencap and volunteered as a Citizen Advocate. I then spent two years at Pure Innovations where I worked as an Employment Officer and managed two transitions projects.  Both projects had ambitious targets and required me to think creatively about how to support people to meet their goals, such as pooling budgets and support and setting up their own community groups.

I am currently a Community Connector, based in Camphill Village Trust’s Botton Village, delivering a project called Embracing Community, a partnership project between Community Catalysts and Camphill Village Trust. The aim of the project is for the people who live at Botton to use their amazing skills and talents more widely in the communities that surround it. I really believe in the power of community to improve people’s wellbeing and outcomes.

In my own time I enjoy writing songs, playing my guitar, performing at open mic nights and DJing with my slightly out-of-control record collection.