Helen Harms - Chief Officer
I grew up in Devon, later moving to Cardiff to study Law at Cardiff University. I then spent ten years working in London as a Technical Legal Editor & Author. I moved back to Devon (Sidmouth) in 2009 to start a family and currently live with my husband and two children in Sidford.
I have experience of community project management, having instigated and overseen the creation of a Wildlife Garden for Sidford. I also managed a local charity for a period of two years and was instrumental in its rebrand, restructure,fundraising and day-to-day running.
Following my community project and charity work, I joined Ottery Help Scheme in March 2015 and am very much enjoying working within such a tight knit and socially responsible/caring organisation. The work which Ottery Help Scheme carries out is so important and I very much hope that I can continue to build upon its solid foundations, working towards its future development and sustainability.
With regard to hobbies, I enjoy reading, running and all racket sports, particularly tennis having previously played at a county and national level. To relax at the end of the week I like to get stuck into a good book while languishing on the sofa eating chocolate and listening to music. (There may even be a glass of wine involved)
Jane Ross - Co-odinator
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 good natter
Sharla Lehrmann – Assistant Co-ordinatorHailing from the great State of Texas, I have been every so lucky to get to live in the beautiful country of England. I moved to Devon in 2006 and never looked back. (well, maybe just a little…) I have two beautiful daughters living in Texas and Colorado, and four wonderful grandchildren who reside in Colorado. Luckily, I still have my Father who just turned 102 years young! He is the reason that The Ottery Help Scheme drew my attention. I absolutely love our aging population and getting to help in making their lives full of joy and purpose fills my heart.
The Ottery Help Scheme has grown by leaps and bounds and coming on board at this time will hopefully allow me to be helpful in coordinating transport for people who need it and using my ingenuity in helping with new and exciting changes taking place.
In my lifetime I have worn many hats. My main interest in life was always to be a paramedic and once the powers that be recognized that women ‘might’ be good at the job, I jumped right in and started working as a paramedic in Houston, Texas. I followed my dream for 10 years. After graduating from the University of North Texas, I started using my degree working for the City of Dallas in Risk Management
Here in Devon I have been managing Willow Photographic Studio in Sidmouth. For five years I was lucky enough to spend time with Lydia Baker and watch her capture so many beautiful babies and families with her photography.
I look forward to not only working in the office of the Ottery Help Scheme, but I also anticipate getting to do some volunteering in the Memory Café and doing some befriending.