Sharon Summerfield – CEO
Sharon started her career in the Civil Service and holds a degree in Public Service Leadership. Her diverse Central Government career, spanning 22 years, saw her working in leadership, communications, project management and management consultancy roles. Always proud of her home town of Harlow, Sharon moved on to work locally for Business in the Community, a Prince of Wales charity. As Business Connector Sharon connected organisations from the private, public and voluntary sector in mutually beneficial relationships and worked in partnership with Rainbow’s own Business Engagement programme.
More recently Sharon has been working with Harlow District Council, and has launched Discover Harlow, a successful new place brand initiative which engages business communities to help build a strong and prosperous Harlow. Within this role Sharon has been able to build on the good work started as a Business Connector and form further links between the voluntary and community sector, and local businesses, building connections which translate into impact for communities, including helping establish the pilot for a new Community Fund locally.
Sharon appreciates the value of volunteers, understanding the huge difference they make. She has been a volunteer herself for many years, as a career advisor in schools, family mentor, and of course, with Rainbow Services.
Wendy Letch – Operations Manager
I joined Rainbow Services as Operations Manager in July 2009, having worked for a local authority for over 20 years. I am responsible for the day to day running of Rainbow Services with far too many individual tasks within the role to list, but suffice to say that there is never a dull moment!!
Working in the voluntary sector generally and within Rainbow Services specifically has been extremely rewarding as we definitely do make a difference to people’s lives and I feel proud to be associated with Rainbow Services.
Kelly Tarling – Project Lead
Kelly has lived and worked in Harlow for most of her life. Her early career was with Pitney Bowes moving on to other large businesses working in Customer Service.
Kelly moved into the Voluntary Sector in 2008 when she worked for Voluntary Action Epping Forest and Rainbow Services as a Funding Officer for five years. She was then employed by us as a Community Builder using Asset Based Community Development and most recently working to reduce loneliness and isolation for older people in Harlow.
Kate Greer – Project Lead
Kate has worked for Rainbow Services since 2017 in various job roles. She currently leads on the Community Hub Project, this is a varied and challenging job, which she loves! Over the past year se has also worked closely with the Quality of Life Foundation and Epping Forest District Council on a piece of community engagement work.
When she is not at work, you will find her walking her dog or volunteering her time as Trustee of The Chocolate Run.
Julia Spong – Executive Assistant to CEO
Julia joined Rainbow Services in November 2019. She has an extensive secretarial/administrative background, with experience working in the charitable sector as well as for corporate organisations.
Lisa Brayshaw – Finance Officer
I joined Rainbow in 2015 after spending 5 years at home raising my family. I have a financial background having worked for a large blue chip company in my early career. Rainbow’s flexibility and understanding has helped me with the transition back to work by enabling me to manage my time between my work and family life.
Jenny Pankhurst – Community Builder Assistant
I moved to Harlow in 1977 and have had a varied career in Hospitality, Retail and Education within the town while raising my family. I joined Rainbow Services as a Volunteer as part of the Community Connectors team helping combat Loneliness and Social Isolation for Harlow Seniors in 2017. In January 2018 I became part of the Community Builder Team and work part time helping to run the Social Clubs and organise our monthly events.
I meet some wonderful people in this role and enjoy knowing we are making a difference to their lives.
Carol Coombe – Community Builder Assistant
I love Harlow, I have always lived in Harlow and I’m proud to now be part of the Community Builder Team in my local area. I have worked at Rainbow Services since February 2018 and am enjoying meeting our club members and getting involved in the events that I hope enrich people’s lives.
Lesley Peacock – Community Builder Assistant
I retired from my job as a Police Officer in March 2020 and in 2021 started volunteering with Rainbow Services at the Covid-19 vaccination centre. When I saw a job opportunity in the Community Hub team I decided to apply. I enjoy working in the Community Hub team as the role is varied and I get to meet lots of people in the community, I have also learnt a lot about the voluntary sector. I am a volunteer for Essex Therapy Doogs with my dog Bob, look out for him at Community Hub outreach sessions. When I’m not working and volunteering, I love to travel!
Ron Kingsmill – Community Builder Assistant (Dementia)
Ron has lived in Harlow all of his life and has a deep love for the town. He joined Rainbow in August 2021 as a Community Builder Assistant with a particular focus on Dementia. Ron has worked with Rainbow for many years in his role as Pastor of Freshwaters Church and chair of the Heart 4 Harlow Health and Wellbeing Group. Ron has worked in a range of sectors including manufacturing, insurance, local authority and charity. A family man, he is married with 3 daughters and 4 grandsons, all living in Harlow.
As well as working for Rainbow Ron continues to work for Freshwaters Church and is a trustee for Heart 4 Harlow and Great Open Door.
Jason Shaves – Facilities and Workshop Manager
I have lived in Harlow all my life and currently live near the Town Centre and Wych Elm, so not a long commute to work for me! I have worked at Rainbow Services as the Workshop Supervisor since February 2014, but actually started as a sessional supervisor in October 2013. My previous jobs have been as a European coach driver for 6 years and before that I was in the building trade for as long as I can remember!
I really enjoy my work at Rainbow, apart from keeping my very busy, I feel I really make a difference to the lives of the community service workers by giving them the opportunity to develop their skills or learn new ones.
Rachel Tennison – Our Health Matters Coordinator/Workshop Assistant
I joined Rainbow Services in August 2022 as the Coordinator for the Our Health Matters (Core20Plus5) project. My role is to look at health inequalities and how we can overcome them. In February 2023 I began working in the workshop supporting the young people with the help they need, being a mentor and working with Jason around the qualifications the young people are working towards.
I’ve lived in Harlow all of my life, bringing up my children here and love giving back to the community.
Annette Courtney – Family Contact Centre Coordinator
I was the Administrator of Freshwaters Contact centre in Harlow for twelve years until it closed during lock-down in 2020. After being involved in finding a new charity to take on this valuable service, I am now the centre administrator for the Rainbow Family Contact Centre. We are assisted by some amazing volunteers who give their time freely to help rebuild relationships between Non-Resident Parents and their children. It is wonderful to be involved in this project.
Jemma Wright – Community Hub Assistant
I have lived in Harlow since 2001. I worked in offices in London for many years until I had my daughter. From 2011-2018 I worked in a primary school in Bishops Stortford. I had been wanting to do volunteer work for some time and so I joined Rainbow as a Volunteer in March 2019. In June 2019, I joined the Community Builder team as an Assistant Community Builder, helping out at social events, day trips and the weekly social groups. I also ran the Tech Library Project during the pandemic. Since September 2022 I have moved over to join the Community Hub Team and am looking forward to seeing how we can help out community further in the future.
Donna McIntyre – Community Hub Assistant
Alongside raising my family, I have had many different jobs, from cleaning, to retail, to beauty therapy! I originally started in the charitable sector as a volunteer receptionist for a local animal charity in 2018, I became a paid employee after a year and eventually moved to Rainbow Services as an Administration Officer in May 2022. I now also work for the Community Hub once a week, which I love as I feel helping people is what I was made for!
I have enjoyed being involved in the many varied things Rainbow Services do such as the Community Fund and the Young Peoples Art Competition and am immensely proud to work for a charity that champions Harlow and brings our community together
Emily DeShon – Administration Officer
I’ve lived in Harlow since 2016. Joining Rainbow in late 2022, I have expanded my skillset in Administration work, and have enjoyed being with Rainbow as they’re a welcoming and friendly team!
Adrian Wilson – Maintenance/cleaner
Hi all I joined Rainbow services in November 2019 as a part-time cleaner. I also work a The Leah Manning Centre as a part-time caretaker. I have gained a wealth of experience in many different fields. I have worked for the most part as welder, working in a workshop to working on many construction projects from roads, tunnels, bridges, sea defences, piling, garden labourer to a shift manager in a workshop and along the way I have turned my hand to many jobs over the years.