Emily Lezzeri - Chief Officer
I moved to Devon when I was six and have loved it ever since; I grew up close to Dartmoor but now live in East Devon, after having travelled widely and studied at Universities in Sussex, Paris, London and Exeter. I have two lovely children and two fluffy rabbits.
I have sixteen years’ experience of working in Mid and East Devon in the education, mental health and charity sectors. I started out as a Modern Foreign Languages teacher and then became a Vocational Skills Coordinator for 14 to 16-year olds. I retrained as a Reader in Residence and ran projects for The Reader Organisation, Devon Libraries (now Libraries Unlimited) and Devon Partnership Trust. During this time, I was responsible for a range of clinical and community-based projects and specialised in working with people living with dementia and their carers. I then became Chief Officer of Upstream, a charity focusing on providing creative and social activity groups for older people across Mid Devon. I am delighted to have now been appointed as Chief Officer of Ottery Help Scheme, a charity with a huge amount of local support.
In my spare time, I am mostly to be found swimming in the sea with my partner and friends, but I also like to dip into rivers and lakes - even in Winter!
Jane Ross - Co-ordinator
I grew up in Alfington, a village just outside of Ottery. Before joining the Help Scheme (and ‘pre-children’) I worked at Ottermill Swithgear in the typing office, finishing up as Secretary to the Computer/Operations Manager.
Later, after having five lovely children who kept me very busy, I held a variety of part time jobs and worked in Manleys Newsagency and also in Coles in the soft furnishing department. My last job before joining OHS was for Rainbow Plants where I helped in the nursery with weeding, potting and delivering plants to garden centres.
I joined the Help Scheme in 2001, taking up the post of Co-ordinator and have seen the role and the Help Scheme itself change and develop hugely over the years. Over the course of the 14 years that I have been with the Help Scheme, I have found myself becoming more immersed within community life and feel very lucky that my role as Co-ordinator allows me to meet and, hopefully, help so many people within our locality.
With regard to hobbies, I enjoy walking my dog, reading, and meeting up with friends and family for a good natter.