Our Staff

The Trust employs nine staff:

Doreen Woodward

Chief Executive

Doreen has worked for over 30 years in senior strategic leadership roles in Charities, working with many different vulnerable client groups, and developing innovative services tailored to their needs.  Doreen has extensive experience of successfully developing innovative housing schemes with support services, reshaping organisations to ensure future sustainability and foster growth and development opportunities.

Doreen is passionate about making a real difference and impact to people’s lives and ensuring they have the support and quality homes to live fulfilling lives in their own community.  Doreen was delighted to join such a historic charity as Tiverton Almshouse Trust in September 2019 as their CEO as it is a valuable and much needed charity for local people, providing quality homes for older people with warden support. Its additional portfolio of other residential and commercial units in Tiverton, that it leases makes it a complex charity whose focus remains on improving the quality of life for its older residents.

“It is a privilege to lead the Tiverton Almshouse Trust and to continue to build on its successful history with such a dedicated and committed staff team and a board of volunteer Directors”.

Debbie Cruse

Property Manager

Debbie joined the Trust after working for six years in a local Estate Agency, where she dealt with property maintenance and residential lettings for over 400 properties.  She also benefits from nine years of Local Authority experience in property maintenance and has worked in the local community for the past 20+ years.

Debbie has lived Tiverton for 40 years and is excited to be part of the Trust team.  I consider it a privilege to be maintaining such historic local buildings to the best standard possible and am looking forward to offering support to my new colleagues and getting to know the residents of the Trust.

Nicola Askew

Housing Manager

Nicola joins the Trust with a wealth of experience having been a Police Officer for many years and also working as a manager supporting vulnerable clients in several residential settings. She also has a degree in Health and Social Care which has proved invaluable for the role. 

Nicola is passionate about her position here at the Trust and enjoys meeting and supporting all the residents, ensuring that they have access to good quality homes where they feel safe and secure.  She receives daily feedback from residents stating how happy they feel to live in such a wonderful community. This is a testament to everyone involved with the Trust. 



Lydia Knight

Finance Administrator

Having worked as a finance administrator in a charitable organisation previously, working for a local well-established charity such as Tiverton Almshouse Trust was a great opportunity for me. I’m really excited to be a part of the team here at the Trust. Not only is it a brilliant organisation to be a part of but the sense of community, passion and care for everyone involved, especially the residents, is evident on all levels. To be able to continue and progress in my career in such a setting is a dream come true. I’m incredibly excited to be a part of the future of Tiverton Almshouse Trust. ‘


Helen Evans

Receptionist and Secretary

Before joining the Trust, Helen worked at Mid Devon District Council for 15 years as the Chief Executive’s secretary so she has a vast experience of administration and being the first point of contact.  Helen provides reception and administrative support for the whole team and for Directors.  Helen runs the reception and is normally the first point of contact for callers to the office and telephone enquiries.  She thoroughly enjoys working at the Trust and particularly loves the interaction with residents, promoting the trust and being involved at events run by the trust.

Lorna Murphy

Receptionist/Admin Assistant

Lorna has recently joined the Trust as a part time receptionist/administration assistant.  Lorna has lived in Tiverton for 28 years and has extensive experience working within the Community.  She spent 11 years working for Social Care Reablement and has recently spent two years working in a lovely Care Home in Crediton.  Lorna has a particular passion for the older people within the Community and is looking forward to joining the team at the Almshouse Trust.  “It is a delight to be joining such well respected, established charity within the town” 


Resident Warden

Margaret has recently joined the Trust as the resident warden at John Greenway Close.  Margaret brings with her numerous years of experience working within the Health and Social Care sector.  Margaret’s role as a warden is to look out for the welfare of the residents and to promote their independence by doing everything she can to help them stay in their homes for as long as they are able to. She has daily contact with the residents and is there to listen and help when on duty. She is also responsible for the security and safety of the site and liaising with external health care professionals and family members. 

Margaret is very pleased to join the Trust and calls it her “dream job” as she is able to work in a supportive environment where can build professional relationships with the residents. 


Resident Warden

Erin joined the Trust after working in a similar role with a large retirement property management company for 19 years. Erin’s role as the Warden is to look out for the welfare of the residents and to promote their independence by doing all she can to enable them to stay in their homes for as long as they are able to. The role of the warden guarantees regular contact with residents on a daily basis, checking on their welfare and well being whilst being mindful of supporting their independence. In addition to this, Erin is responsible for the security and safety of the site, reporting repairs in communal areas and liaising with external health professionals.  It also gives Erin the opportunity to plan weekly events and a wide range of social activities that promote good community spirit on the site.  Erin says “I’m so impressed with the support, respect and care the Trust provides for their residents. It is clear to see on a daily basis how happy the residents are as there is always a lovely atmosphere here. It is a pleasure to come to work.”


Repairs & Maintenance

Gavin is a local Tivertonian and prior to joining the Tiverton Almshouse Trust he has always worked extensively in the plumbing industry and has great knowledge and all-round experience in general maintenance.  Gavin is responsible for day-to-day repairs, liaising with external contractors to ensure our homes are kept to their highest standards as well as general maintenance management.  Gavin enjoys being part of the Almshouse staff team and the variety of work it brings.  He particularly enjoys the interaction he has with residents, helping to resolve repair requests and ensuring our communal gardens are maintained to their high standard which are enjoyed by all residents.



Monica was born in Tiverton and has lived in the area all her life.  She has been a dedicated member of the Trust since 2003.  Monica is responsible for keeping all our sites clean, well presented and ensuring good infection control across all sites, chapels and the Market House office.  She also works hard preparing the guest rooms, maintaining good hygiene in the laundry rooms and retaining effective management of stock levels of cleaning supplies.  Monica has a good relationship with all the staff and is highly regarded by residents, she makes them feel safe by consistently ensuring high standards of cleanliness and hygiene are maintained at all times.