About Tamara

approvedconsultants2012cmyklargeTamara Essex NCVO Approved Consultant since 2003 and is a freelance consultant working for Local Authorities, for Health Authorities, and for the voluntary sector.  She has developed and managed community-based care services, and has extensive experience of community care policy development and inter-agency working.

In a voluntary capacity she is a Trustee of Swans Trust in Shaftesbury, north Dorset, and the organiser of the Shaftesbury Local Food Festival. She completed a 4-year term as a Non-Executive Director of the Dorset & Somerset Strategic Health Authority in 2006, having previously been a Non-Exec with Merton Sutton & Wandsworth Health Authority.

Tamara’s training course “Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid” is available for booking – see Training page.

She has an MA in Social and Public Policy, and appeared on the television series “Voluntary Matters” as the consultant advisor on contracting and partnerships.

For over seven years she was the Director of Southwark Community Care Forum. As a consultant Tamara has worked for Local Authorities and Health Authorities on inter-agency partnerships, user and carer involvement, and service development. She has specialist skills in supporting voluntary sector organisations to engage constructively with the mixed economy of care, and is the founder of the Federation of Voluntary Sector Care Providers (winner of the 1996 “Third Sector” innovation award).

Tamara carried out a series of ‘provider development’ training courses commissioned by Newham Social Services in 1998 which led her to set up her consultancy company. Since becoming wholly freelance early in 1999 she has run extensive training courses, worked on ten Healthy Living Centre bids, assisted Croydon Social Services to develop early intervention services within the voluntary sector, and worked in Birmingham and Cheltenham on developing home care purchasing models.

During 2000, Tamara developed Healthy Living Centre proposals on behalf of Enfield Council, Kentish Town Health Centre, and Haringey Council, and completed successful stage two bids for Brent and Tooting. She began a piece of work with Southwark Social Services on externalising their home care unit.

During 2001, her contracts included completing the Southwark home care externalisation, completing a successful stage two HLC bid for Kentish Town, and work on stage two HLC bids for Bedfordshire Health Promotion Agency and Merton Horizons. She began some work with Care Equation to assist St John Ambulance to develop new services in some of their county branches.

During 2002 Tamara completed work with Merton Horizons, continued work with St John Ambulance, and carried out an options analysis for Carr Gomm Housing Association on developing new care and support services.

In addition to some time out for travelling in 2003, Tamara finalised the work with St John Ambulance. In the autumn she worked with Save the Children on an evaluation and business plan for the Oxfordshire Children’s Rights Development Team, and with Richmond CVS on some user and carer involvement training and some joint commissioning board development work.

In 2004, Tamara worked locally in Dorset where she is now based – with Dorset Community Action on developing a model for community resource centres across the county, with The Springhead Trust on putting on two arts residencies, and with Toby’s (the youth centre for Shaftesbury) on a major capital fundraising appeal.

With the advent of Change-Up in 2005, she worked as the lead Change-Up consultant for both the Dorset Consortium and the Bournemouth & Poole Consortium of voluntary sector organisations. During 2006 Tamara worked with DART (Dorset Accessible & Responsive Transport) on a conference on health and accessibility, and in partnership with Care Equation to support the Suffolk One Voice Consortium.

During 2007, she worked as a project consultant for Christchurch Community Partnership, with Dorset Agenda 21 on developing a county-wide network of sustainability organisations, and researched funding options for the arts and environment charity Common Ground. She has completed a 5-year funding strategy for South West Forum, the infrastructure body for the voluntary & community sector in the south west of England.

In 2008 she completed her work with Christchurch Community Partnership, Dorset Agenda 21 and Common Ground. She also carried out an analysis of voluntary sector infrastructure consortium business plans across south west England on behalf of South West Forum. Towards the end of 2008 Tamara began working with Involve Somerset on structural and organisational development, and with The Chesil Trust on some fundraising.

In 2009 the work with Involve Somerset was completed with a successful merger with Help and Care which took effect on April 1st. Tamara returned for a second contract with Christchurch Community Partnership to work with them on their New Druitt Community Centre development. Tamara was back in Somerset working with an innovative infrastructure commissioning model for Somerset Voluntary Sector Network, and worked with ReRun (the service for runaway young people in Dorset) and the Community Council for Somerset on modernisation projects through Capacitybuilders.

2010 saw Tamara continuing her work with Christchurch Community Partnership and with Somerset Voluntary Sector Network, returning to work with ReRun on phase two of Capacitybuilders, and offering her training course on “Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid” which sold out within days of each new date being announced.

More recently Tamara has worked with a number of projects which support ex-offenders, being commissioned by Clinks (the national umbrella body for VCOs working in that field), giving Trustee development and support and strategic direction workshops.  She ran workshops at the Clinks 2012 Sustainability Roadshow at Exeter University Innovation Centre in February 2012.

Following requests from VCOs attending “Ten Steps to the Perfect Funding Bid”, in 2011 she began to offer a new course “Advanced Bid-Writing – The Power of Words” which has been successfully run in Dorset, Somerset and Devon.

General Background

  • NCVO Approved Consultant 2003/04, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012;
  • Non-Executive Director of the Dorset & Somerset Strategic Health Authority (April 2002 – June 2006);
  • Current voluntary work: Trustee of The Swans Trust, the community development trust for Shaftesbury, North Dorset, and founder of the Shaftesbury Local Food Festival;
  • Director of Southwark Community Care Forum from 1992 to 1999;
  • Extensive voluntary sector policy development and management experience;
  • MA in Social & Public Policy (Brighton Univ 1995);
  • In 2012 became the proud owner of a tiny little corner of Andalucia.  Occasional blog about living in Spain is at http://tamaraessexspanishblog.wordpress.com/