Meet the Herefordshire Rural Hub team
The Herefordshire Rural Hub team is made up of people who own or manage farm or rural businesses in the county. It means they understand the realities of rural life and business.
Cathy Meredith, Herefordshire Rural Hub Co-ordinator & Director
Cathy co-ordinates the project work that Herefordshire Rural Hub is involved with and organises the delivery of training and information events to farmers and farming groups.
Cathy is on the national committee of the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators (IAgSA). She is also Chairman of the Herefordshire Leader Action Group and a member of the Herefordshire Sustainable Food & Tourism Partnership and Herefordshire Business Board. At a national level she attends the Farming Advice Service stakeholder group meeting.
Cathy is involved with supporting farming charities and local food initiatives. She particularly enjoys a day out a local food festival experiencing all of the wonderful Herefordshire produce.
Frances Keogh, Herefordshire Rural Hub Administrator
Frances keeps the Hub’s administration in order and is the editor of the monthly newsletter. She combines this with farm administration work which gives her working knowledge of the issues the farmers encounter on a day to day basis.
She is a member of the National and local Herefordshire branch of the Institute of Agricultural Secretaries and Administrators; is a trustee of Close House Projects, a youth centre which helps young people in Herefordshire; and is an active member of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs RC Church in Hereford.
In her spare time she enjoys dog walking, cooking, cryptic crosswords, and spending time with her family.
Sarah Starkey, project facilitator for “2020 Vision for Herefordshire’s Family Farms”
Sarah runs this Prince’s Countryside Fund project on behalf of the Herefordshire Rural Hub. This unique three year project aims to establish long term viability for Herefordshire’s family farms, working with each farm on an individual basis to create a brighter future.
From a farming background, Sarah also farms in partnership with her husband on the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border, producing commercial cider fruit, and running a pedigree Lleyn sheep flock. Sarah is an active member of the Tenbury Agricultural Society, and is currently Chairman of FOLS (Friends of Lindridge School), organising fundraising activities throughout the year.
Christine Hope, Herefordshire Rural Hub Director
Christine is founder of one of Herefordshire’s leading local food retailers, Hopes of Longtown. She also runs Hope to Achieve, an enterprise that is a business mentor to start up and small businesses.
She represents Golden Valley and Black Mountains Experience group to improve the tourism offer and is a Governor at Peterchurch Primary School.
Christine aims to be a rural community champion and was delighted to be the catalyst that sparked the interest of film maker Ann Cottinger to follow six young rural people for over 12 months creating the documentary film “Tune for the Blood”.
Russ Carrington, Herefordshire Rural Hub Director
Russ is executive secretary of the Pasture-Fed Livestock Association and outside of work is chairman of Rural Youth Europe which works with young farmers across 18 countries. He was also formerly chair of the National Young Farmers Agricultural and Rural Issues (AGRI) steering group for England and Wales.
From a mixed farm in west Herefordshire his interest in all things rural runs deep and he has founded a Transition Farming initiative which uses innovative methods to discover opportunities that can lead to more sustainable practices and resilient communities. He was also one of the young farmers featured in the documentary film ‘Tune for the blood’ which followed the lives of 8 young farmers in the county for one year.
Chris England, Herefordshire Rural Hub Director
Chris’s background is in Army service followed by a career in project management and business support particularly in the voluntary and community sector. He helped the original Directors of Herefordshire Rural Hub when the idea for the Hub was first mooted and was invited to join the Board in 2015.
Now semi-retired Chris continues to support local voluntary, community and charitable organisations with advice and guidance on funding, business planning and staff development. He is a volunteer instructor with Herefordshire Heartstart and a Community First Responder.
The Hot Group
The members of Herefordshire Rural Hub’s Hot Group are representatives from local businesses. They meet every quarter and help keep us in touch with the needs of rural businesses and the rural community.
- Jenny Beard – Herefordshire Sustainable Food & Tourism Partnership & Herefordshire Churches Tourism Group
- Jon Clifford – Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors
- Ben Corbett – Berrys
- Paul Crumpton – Rural, Business & Cyber Crime Reduction Co-ordinator (Herefordshire, West Mercia Police)
- Catherine Every – Pippin Consultancy Ltd
- Charlotte Gibb – Farmer
- Clare Greener – NFU
- Rachel Jones – Herefordshire Council
- Andy Offer – Whyle House Lamb & farmer
- Julian Partridge – NFU & farmer
- Nick Read – Brightspace Foundation & Borderlands