Meet the Team

Paula Anscomb – Manager

We welcome Paula Anscomb in September 2023 who joins us as a highly experienced manager working in the charity sector from Tavistock Area Support Services (TASS).

When we first moved to Devon, with 4 young kids back in 1996 we lived up at Parklands, Okehampton, and at the time the station was very much closed! So, to see it open, winning awards and being popular with users is fantastic progress for Okehampton, and the future of its transport links.

We now live in Northlew and it is very much a family-do. With Dan — my son running the Green Dragon, and in the same year that he became landlord (2014), Mum & Dad moved from Surbiton to Northlew, and bought a place just across the square from us. Sadly Mum and Dad are no longer with us. At the time Mum died, I was working at Tavistock Area Support Services (TASS) and despite the fantastic support the team & trustees gave me, sorting out a care routine with Dad, and dealing with grief, it became clear to me, that just for the time being, I really needed to concentrate on family & home.

Fast forward to just over a year later, and as soon as I saw the post at ODCTG, it felt the right time to get back out to work again. My experience working in the third sector, started in 2008 when I was involved with managing the local Credit Union, in Okehampton, then I managed our local community shop, in Northlew and then of course I was at TASS. All of these organisations rely on the time, effort and commitment of volunteers, and it has been an absolute pleasure and humbling experience working alongside them.

Mark Read – Bus Driver

Mark has been our minibus driver since 1998.  He does a school contract picking up children and taking them to North Tawton Primary School each weekday, before doing our Ring and Ride shopping journeys from various villages and towns into Okehampton and back, then returning the children to their homes after school.  Mark also looks after our vehicles by regularly cleaning and checking them and carries out any wheelchair handling training we require for our volunteer drivers.

Mark is married to Chrissie and they have 4 children.  He enjoys cycling and going to the gym when he gets the time!

Sarah Packer – Co-ordinator

We welcome Sarah Packer to our team!

Sarah lives on the outskirts of Okehampton. She has a close knit family with two married children and two grandchildren who live locally and keep her on her toes! Sarah really enjoys baking for anyone and everyone prepared to eat it including like for like dog treats! When not baking she’s often seen trekking about Dartmoor in the mud with her much loved family Labrador Teddy!

Some of Our Volunteers

Andrew Reid – Driver

After working for fifty years internationally in the Hospitality industry, I retired and luckily found an opportunity  to work as a volunteer community driver in Okehampton. I’m in my tenth year now and am still enjoying it. It is very rewarding and stimulating meeting new people and of course it keeps you occupied. I hope to continue to provide  this necessary service and would recommend it wholeheartedly to others…

Julie Bailey – Driver

Originally from Birmingham, I moved to mid-Devon 28 years ago with my husband, David, and worked for the next 24 years at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital as a medical secretary.  Following my retirement and finding myself with a few extra hours free each week, I wanted to do something which would help the local community.  I love driving and meeting new people so volunteering for the ODCTG seemed ideal.  I have discovered places I never knew existed and met some wonderful people.  In addition to my volunteer driving, I am also a street pastor so if you are in Okehampton on a Saturday night, do say hello if you see me out and about with the team!

Debbie Scott – Driver

Debbie was born in Torquay and met farmer Charles [Tich] in 1976 whilst helping her cousin in his local pub. They have been married for 42 years and live on the family farm in Whiddon Down. They have a daughter and son, three grandsons and a granddaughter who all now live on the farm as well.

Following a career in nursing, farming and helping to care for two of her grandsons (who are now 11 & 9] and elderly relatives, now semi retired she decided to seek a new volunteering role and after a chat with Sue she realised the valuable service ODCTG provides on a daily basis.

Debbie joined ODCTG in November 2022 and is already enjoying meeting new people in the community transporting them to and from appointments and chatting along the way!

Other interests include gardening, walking on glorious Dartmoor and coastal paths, spending time with family, getting involved with local groups and annual events. Indoor activities enjoyed are cooking, reading, sewing and knitting. We have also been very fortunate to have travelled far and wide, though always appreciate returning to the beauty of our own back yard!

Bill Pringle – Driver

Like other volunteer drivers, Bill derives great satisfaction from the knowledge that he is doing something really useful and from the expressions of appreciation from users of the car service.

Bill is often accompanied by his assistant, Tess.  She is responsible for time-keeping, entertainment and for keeping the car clean and tidy.  She, too, loves meeting new people.

Graham Payne – Driver

Graham served 31 years in the Devon Ambulance Service. During that period, he received the Queen’s Medal and the Regional Chairman’s Award for service to the NHS.

As a long-standing member of the St John Ambulance Brigade (42yrs) he was the Superintendent of Okehampton finishing as Area Staff Officer for North Devon and becoming a Serving Brother of St John.

In 1985 he became involved with search and rescue going to the Armenian earthquake. Later together with a few members RAPID-UK was formed going to and teaching SAR all around the world. One operation was working for five weeks in Rwanda at the request of the UN. The number of missions he has been on stretch from Russia to the Philippines across to America. As Director and founder of RAPID he received an OBE for ‘services to international rescue’.