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Team: Staff

Our team includes people with various skills, knowledge, and experience. They are passionate about the community sector in Cornwall.

Photo of Emma Rowse

Emma Rowse

Chief Executive


Emma leads a team of people who are passionate about supporting the VCSE sector in Cornwall and the IoS.  With over 20 years of experience in the VCSE, NHS and local government, Emma advocates for the sector to be treated as an equal partner in the design, delivery and funding of services.

Emma is committed to ensuring that statutory partners listen to and value our experience in working with the most vulnerable people and communities.

Emma loves yoga, sea dips, walking her three dogs and spending time in nature and volunteers in her local patient participation group.

Photo of Kate Perkin

Kate Perkin

Operations Director

St Ives

Kate Perkin is the Operations Director for Cornwall VSF and leads on innovation and process. With over fifteen years' experience, Kate's attention to detail ensures we are compliant and sustainable. She manages half of the team - the support functions of project coordination, admin, finance and communications.

Passionate about inspiring people to unlock their skills, Kate is an advocate of training and a lifelong learner. She's currently studying a Senior Leader Degree Apprenticeship. How does she fit it all in?

Photo of Lorna Phillips

Lorna Phillips

Administration and Partnership Officer


Lorna was born in Cornwall and spent her childhood enjoying the wonderful beaches in St. Ives. Lorna moved away to Buckinghamshire to study and remained there for a couple of decades where she built a career in customer service and administrative support, developing a passion for systems, process improvements and delivering a high quality service.

The call of home had been beckoning for many years when Lorna returned to Cornwall in 2020. Since then, she has been working in the not-for-profit and VCSE sector. In her role, Lorna hopes to make a helpful contribution towards delivering support to our members. Part of her role as Admin and Partnership Officer is coordinating funded training for people working in the VCSE sector.

In her spare time, she enjoys Hawaiian hula and belly dancing, listening to music, and expanding her vinyl record collection.

Photo of Georgie Higgs

Georgie Higgs

Administration and Finance Officer


Georgie was born and bred in Cornwall and has spent all her working life with and for local firms.

After graduating in 1997 from Nottingham Trent University with a law degree, she then went on to study for a postgraduate certificate in Social Security Law at the University of Leicester and in 2007 achieved a Master in Laws.

After a decade spent as a tribunals advocate for disabled and disenfranchised people she was elected as district councillor for Kerrier District Council. Georgie spent nine years as a non-executive director for Coastline Housing Ltd and sixteen years ago, she was appointed as Justice of the Peace sitting on the Cornwall Bench.

When not working, she can be found studying local history, researching her family and walking on the beach near her home.

Photo of Kirstie Edwards

Kirstie Edwards

Engagement Officer


Kirstie has about twenty years of voluntary sector experience, including setting up a Community Interest Company, leading Plastic Free Falmouth and working as a Research Fellow for Exeter University. She is a town councillor for Falmouth and the Mayor of Falmouth.

A mother of six, Kirstie is an advocate for equity of access for all and challenges discrimination with empathy.

A keen paddle boarder, sea swimmer and beachcomber, if there are ever any moments when Kirstie is not working, she is by the sea.

Photo of Sarah Phillips

Sarah Phillips

Engagement Officer

North Cornwall/Devon borders

Sarah supports our thematic alliances in mental health, community safety and wider Integrated Care Area in health and wellbeing. She helps to promote the VCSE sector and strengthen connections with local authority and NHS colleagues to identify opportunities for co-design of services and create conditions for improved health and wellbeing.

Sarah's ambition for the future is for the public sector and VCSE sectors to work together to further enable prevention of ill health and for us to stop seeing less crisis need.

Sarah loves walking on Dartmoor, enjoying the north Cornwall coast and growing her own vegetables. A fact Sarah loves is that Launceston has the oldest (1350) surviving Cornish medieval bridge which she gets to drive over often.

Photo of Justin Ricks

Justin Ricks

Engagement Officer

St Dennis

Justin has had the privilege of having worked for a range of amazing organisations within the VCSE sector for the past 20 years. This has provided him with experience of working in a range of roles from business development to being a Trustee for a registered charity for eight years.

Justin was inspired by the voluntary sector’s contribution during Cornwall’s COVID-19 response and recovery. He had the privilege of observing this first hand by being part of the sector’s collaborative approach to finding solutions for local communities. This reinforced his view that collaboration and co-design of services will benefit not only sector organisations but most importantly the communities that we all serve.

Justin lives in the east of the county and has a passion for being outdoors - walking, mountain biking and photography. However, Justin's main love developed when living in Cornwall in kayaking and being either on or in the sea.

Photo of Ellen Rudge

Ellen Rudge

Communications, Marketing and PR Officer


Ellen forms half of the communications team at Cornwall VSF. With more than 10 years of communications and marketing experience she is a stickler for consistency and can spot a typo from a mile away.

Ellen loves being creative and enjoys showcasing the work of the community sector through video case studies - particularly highlighting smaller grassroots charities.

In her spare time, Ellen loves being by the ocean where you can find her surfing, wild dipping, collecting shells or gently encouraging her dog Ruby to paddleboard with her. She also volunteers with the Wave Project and is a Trustee for West Cornwall Women's Aid.

Photo of Laura Barnes

Laura Barnes

Communications, Marketing and PR Officer


Laura is a passionate advocate for people with lived experience. Having grown up in Cornwall undiagnosed autistic and ADHD, she ensures no-one feels excluded for their differences in learning and communication styles.

Having worked for over ten years in marketing, Laura is data-driven and has a keen eye on analytics and impact. She volunteers for Georgia's Voice - a suicide prevention charity for young women, and enjoys seeing people recognise the positive contribution they make.

Out of work time, Laura spends a lot of time beachcombing, open-water swimming and giving time to people in community groups.

Photo of Sarah Turnbull

Sarah Turnbull

Programme Coordinator


Sarah is the Programme Coordinator for the People in Mind service offering mental health support to people living in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Having lived experience of supporting family members who’ve struggled with their mental health over many years, Sarah is passionate about ensuring that access to mental health support is available as quickly and impactfully as possible.

Originally from Coventry, Sarah has lived here for 13 years.  She loves the sea and the calming affect it has on her, and therefore, walks her dog on Gylly beach as much as possible.