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Leadership Team

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Ruth Kettle

Chief Executive (Inspire North)

Ruth Kettle has overall responsibility at Community Links which is part of Inspire North.


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Image of Ruth Kettle

Ruth Kettle

Chief Executive (Inspire North)

Ruth Kettle has overall responsibility at Community Links which is part of Inspire North.


About Ruth

Ruth was appointed to the role in December 2014 and has risen to the many challenges and demands of being the driving force of the organisation.  Find out about what she enjoys most about her role and why she started entering triathlons!

How long have you been at Community Links?
I love working for Community Links and I’ve been here since 2004.  I joined as a Director of Residential Services and as we developed as an organisation my job title changed to Operational Director.

What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
There are way too many to mention, needless to say I love a challenge!

What is the favourite aspect of your role?
The best thing about my role is the satisfaction I get from knowing that our wonderful employees are really making a difference to the lives of some of our most deprived and disadvantaged people. To think that someone who is supported by Community Links is able to quickly re-establish links with their family and friends, make changes which improve quality of life and can re-establish their independence from services is a great motivator for me. Our impact can be truly life changing.

What do you think is the main challenge facing the mental health sector at the moment?
The incidence of mental distress is increasing but resources are diminishing, it’s a difficult circle to square!

What inspires/motivates you?
Knowing that change is possible and that we can and do make a difference. Responding positively and helpfully to those seeking for help, even if we don’t have all the answers, can be the difference between a few weeks/months needing support to years of feeling side-lined, unsupported and stuck.

What’s your favourite hobby?
Not sure it’s my favourite but the one I am most committed to is running and exercise of some kind as it really helps me to switch off.  I completed my first triathlon in 2016 which involved swimming in Roundhay Lake and am looking to enter more triathlons in the future.

If you could have a superhero power for a day what would it be and why?
I’d love to read people’s minds – so watch out!

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Faye Oldroyd

Director of Operations

As Director of Operations, Faye has strategic responsibility for the effective functioning of all operational functions across the organisation.


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Faye Oldroyd

Director of Operations

As Director of Operations, Faye has strategic responsibility for the effective functioning of all operational functions across the organisation.


About Faye

Faye leads on enhancing service user empowerment aiming to achieve co-production and has line management responsibility for three Operational Managers. She is responsible for the safe, high quality and efficient delivery of the day to day operations of Community Links, continuous service improvement and regulatory compliance.

How long have you been at Community Links?
I joined Community Links in 2017.  Previous to this role I was the National Lead for Implementation and Transformation for Turning Point.  I started work within the third sector as a naïve practitioner fresh out of university, learning my trade from the service users that I worked with. Over the years I have embraced opportunities to further develop my role within various sectors including substance misuse, criminal justice and mental health., 

What is the favourite aspect of your role?
Working with the wealth of expertise that we have within the organisation and being continuously inspired by the service users that we work with.

What do you think is the main challenge facing the mental health sector at the moment?
Being responsive to the changing needs of the service users that we work with.

What inspires/motivates you?
I feel I am in a privileged position, playing a part to empower service users to bring about positive change in their life.

What’s your favourite hobby?
If I had to choose a favourite hobby I would have to say horse riding. After talking about learning to horse ride for many years my partner bought me some lessons and I haven’t looked back.

Do you have a catchphrase or mantra and what is it?
Without a transition a change is just a rearrangement of furniture.

Donna Gooby, Director of Diversity and HR

Donna Gooby

Director of People and Culture

Donna is responsible for the design and implementation of our HR strategy. Her role has a key responsibility for driving…


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Donna Gooby, Director of Diversity and HR

Donna Gooby

Director of People and Culture

Donna is responsible for the design and implementation of our HR strategy. Her role has a key responsibility for driving employee culture and engagement and being a role model. She is constantly looking for opportunities to improve culture and to ensure we recruit and retain great people who share our values.


About Donna

She has responsibility for the HR team, the Training Team, and is the organisational lead for Equality & Diversity strategy and policies.

How long have you been at Community Links?
I have worked at Community Links since 2003.  I went into HR with rose-tinted spectacles, thinking it was all people-focused however it is so much more!  HR is in unique position to support the business and help direct strategy.  It is important to understand your industry inside out to prove your worth.

What I love about my job is that it challenges me, both allowing me to be creative whilst forcing me to be accountable.  What’s even better is that I’m working for an organisation I am passionate about.

One of the reasons I have stayed so long is due to Community Links being a little bit special. Everything we do is about trying to give the best to our service users.  Working here is about honesty, friendliness, making a difference, having fun and encouraging people to be themselves.

What’s the favourite aspect of your role?
I have great job satisfaction. For me personally it’s important to be able to input at the highest level, not just on HR matters but also more holistically when it comes to how we manage and develop the overall organisation. To fulfil my mission to help Inspire North group claim their spot as the employer of choice as an engaged and skilled workforce can make such a difference to the results which we achieve. I also enjoy Employment law – so much is centred on it these days

What do you think are the main challenges facing the health and social care sector at the moment?
From a workforce perspective research shows that a skills shortage could risk a shortfall in workers with the right talents and abilities.  The problem goes beyond just a need to recruit.

What inspires/motivates you?
When I was at school I had a secret ambition (despite a serious lack of talent) to be a dancer! I now realise it wasn’t the glamorous lifestyle I was attracted to. What I wanted was to connect with others and use my imagination to make a difference to people’s lives.

These ideals still exist in what I do today as HR has a big role to play in employee engagement.  If employees are happy and healthy, feel supported and enjoy what they do then they will also perform better in their role and deliver a higher standard of service.

I’m inspired and motivated by watching our employees, volunteers and service users succeed and progress.

What’s your favourite hobby?
I love to cook and experiment sometimes it works and sometimes it’s burnt!  I like everything about cooking from planning what I’m going to cook, buying the ingredients, licking the bowl and enjoying the finished product.  Cooking makes me feel calm and happy. If I’m stressed I start to cook and I completely relax. There’s just about nothing that makes me happier than sharing food with my family and friends.

If you could have a superhero power for a day what would it be and why?
Reading minds would be so useful in my job but flying would be so much more fun!