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Natalie Corlett

Natalie supports IVAR with the strategy and delivery of our communications – ensuring people working in the sector benefit from the useful research, content and initiatives shared across our platforms. 


Previous work


Previous to joining the team, Natalie lived and worked in Cornwall as a Digital Coordinator for Age UK Cornwall & The Isles of Scilly. She was the project manager and lead promoter for their locally influential community platform, developed by a multi-agency partnership. The site and complementary services supported individuals, VCFSEs (voluntary, community, faith and social enterprises) and public agencies to gain access to information, advice and stories to improve community health, wellbeing and inclusion. She brings over five years of digital marketing expertise, originally working with commercial B2C (business to customer) and B2B (business to business) across diverse fields. She has a degree in Creative Advertising and a Masters in Professional Writing from Falmouth University.



Other interests


Natalie enjoys supporting positive changes in communities, working and connecting with a range of professionals across the VCSE and public sector. Natalie continues to volunteer in her spare time. Natalie has a rescue dog, and when they’re not in their home office, they’re outside exploring. Natalie enjoys watching films, reading and working on anything creative –  from notebook making to creative writing and digital illustration.

Keeva Rooney

Keeva is a researcher with experience of conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis of the UK voluntary sector. She is currently working across several projects that support IVAR’s research programme, including researching organisations’ responses to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the use of technology in small organisations.

Previous work

Before joining IVAR, Keeva worked at NCVO producing outputs for the UK Civil Society Almanac and contributing to the knowledge and evidence on the voluntary sector. She has also worked at research agencies on large-scale surveys that provided a range of statistics on the UK population, including crime and health and nutrition statistics. Most recently, she was involved in work exploring diversity and volunteering in the voluntary sector.

Other interests

Keeva is interested in how action research can be used to break down power dynamics between researchers and participants, and is passionate about research that brings about practical advice and real change. Keeva is also interested in researching and improving diversity and inclusion in the voluntary sector.

When not at work, Keeva enjoys yoga, colourful jumpers, creative writing, hiking and watching musicals. She is also working towards her Level 1 certificate in British Sign Language.

David Warner

Previous Work


David is an experienced civil society leader, committed to collaborative action and finding creative solutions for social change. Over 30 years’ operating as a creative strategic leader with a wide range of management and influencing skills, including 18 years’ experience as chief executive and eight years as a senior consultant in civil society, working with funders, investors, front-line organisations and communities.


Other Interests


David is co-director of S2LR Ltd, a consultancy specialising in strategic social action and philanthropy. When not working he enjoys walking the dog on the beach and the moors, reading, cricket, art, theatre, jazz (and other music), eating, cooking & helping make a difference in his local community. He is Chair of Local Trust, a trustee of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in his adopted home town of Scarborough, a trustee of CaVCA the community development agency for the east of North Yorkshire, and of Toynbee Hall in East London.

Palmela Witter

Palmela is Project Manager for ‘Positive Futures Fund’, Southwark Council’s Knife Crime Community Safety programme. Palmela has over 20 years’ experience of working in local government and across the voluntary and community sector, both in a paid and a volunteer capacity, as well as an MSc in Voluntary and Community Sector Studies from Birkbeck, University of London.

Kamna Muralidharan

Kamna is Projects & Policy Officer at Paul Hamlyn Foundation, Co-Chair of Funders for Race Equality Alliance (@AllianceFRE), a member of The Edge Fund, and a Trustee at The Otakar Kraus Music Trust. Kamna’s background is in grassroots community development at Newham Asian Women’s Project; and she has an MA in Social Anthropology of Development from SOAS.

Anneessa Mahmood

Anneessa is Director of Member Services at the Community Transport Association UK and a Trustee of Wrexham Glyndwr Students’ Union. Between 2015 and 2017, Anneessa was a Youth Leadership Group Member of the Commission on Islam and Public Life; she is currently completing a Masters in People and Organisational Development at the Roffey Park Institute. 

Richard Jenkins

Biography coming soon

Gilly Green

Gilly has over 30 years’ experience in grant making and the voluntary sector. Gilly is an experienced senior manager and as UK Director of Comic Relief  for over 15 years until 2018, she oversaw the strategic direction of funding, managing an annual budget of about £40m. Gilly has developed responsive, devolved, participatory and proactive grant making programmes.  Her experience in a  high profile charity with significant public engagement has fine-tuned her skills in reach, communications and risk management. Gilly has many years’ experience of collaborative working, especially with Trusts and Foundations.  

Having now established her own consultancy business, Gilly undertakes strategic reviews, programme development, facilitation and organisational reviews. She also undertakes regular grants assessments for the City Bridge Trust to ensure a direct continued connection with the VCS. Gilly also works regularly  as an Independent consultant for the Kings Fund, managing the Cascading Leadership programme, a distinctive peer-to-peer leadership programme for the VCS.  Gilly has been an associate at IVAR since 2018.

Other interests

Gilly is a Trustee of Rosa, the UK’s only Women’s Fund and is  a founding trustee of Tonic Living – a fresh approach to older LGBT  housing and care. Gilly was awarded an OBE for services to tackling Domestic Violence in 2007.  She has a particular interest in refugees and migration and is a long time foster parent to an unaccompanied minor from east Africa.

Sonakshi Anand

Sonakshi is a Senior Researcher at IVAR, leading the Building Health Partnerships (BHP) programme. Her broad interests are in livelihoods, health, women empowerment, political economy, rural and urban poverty and community -led development.

Previous Experience

She is an action researcher with experience of enabling better livelihoods for different rural communities in India. In her previous work, she has contributed to writing research proposals, designing and implementing projects, leading training programmes and facilitating dialogues among stakeholders for influencing government policy. She has experience of working with different national and international donor agencies in India including  International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Ford Foundation, World Bank.

Other interests

With a background in sociology and psychology, coupled with a M.A in Development from India, she is passionate about contributing towards making people’s lives better through action research. Out of work, she can be found in the kitchen experimenting with new cuisines. She loves to visit vintage markets, museums and never misses an opportunity to travel.

Heather Petch

Heather Petch has over 30 years’ experience in the public and voluntary sectors including roles in housing, homelessness, community and advice projects. She has held two chief executive roles: Girls Alone Project, which accommodated and supported 50 young women; and, latterly, HACT, the Housing Associations’ Charitable Trust which developed and tested community-based and supported housing solutions.


Since 2011 Heather has been working as a freelance consultant and facilitator with housing associations, supported housing, and community-based organisations, as well as charitable trusts and foundations. She undertakes evaluations, provides interim management and advises on and facilitates organisational change and strategic development.  Recent assignments have included: interim chief executive at the Building and Social Housing Foundation (now World Habitat); supporting the merger of LIFT and Crisis to form Crisis Brent; and interim management of economic justice and migration programmes at Barrow Cadbury Trust. Heather sits on the board of the Cardinal Hume Centre which provides housing and employment, welfare and immigration advice to young people and homeless families in central London, and is an adviser to the Joseph Rowntree Foundations’ Housing and Poverty programmes, including chairing its housing advisory board. She is an advisory board member of the social investment agency, Commonweal Housing, and is currently providing long-term evaluation support to the iterative evaluations of two of its projects.