Our Staff

Keith Harrison

Chief Executive – 01303 765646

Keith Harrison is the Chief Executive of Action with Communities in Rural Kent and responsible for leading both Governance and Rural Policy functions of the charity. Keith is acknowledged as a rural community-led regeneration expert nationally, sitting on programme monitoring committees run by both Defra and the Department for Communities Local Government, as well as occasional committees in Brussels and has also been an England representative to the European Rural Parliament. Closer to home, Keith is Vice Chair of the East Kent LEADER Local Action Group, and member of both the Kent Rural Board and Kent Downs AONB Joint Advisory Committee.  Following undergraduate studies in Scotland, Keith undertook voluntary work with The National Trust in London before commencing postgraduate study and then joining ACRK’s equivalent, the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council (GRCC) as a community development worker. From GRCC Keith moved to work for Somerset County Council, to manage the Somerset Levels & Moors LEADER+ programme, and then on to ACRK in the summer of 2006.

Rebecca Williams

Finance & Office Manager – 01303 765641

Becky is one of our longest serving members of staff with unparalleled experience having joined as our Office Junior in 1996 and now runs Rural Kent’s back office and support services as Finance and Office Manager. She is also Hallmark Administrator, Membership Manager, responsible for payroll and the day-to-day operation of accounting systems and ensures that administrative systems necessary for running the Charity are in place, managed and maintained.  She is CLAiT qualified, and has an NVQ2 in Business and Administration and awarded RSA Stage 1 and 2.  Prior to Rural Kent she worked for an Engineering Company working on legal specifications, reports and tender documents.

Angela Milligan

Village and Community Halls Adviser – 01303 765642 Email: community.halls@ruralkent.org.uk

Angela joined Rural Kent in April 2021. She leads our initiatives working with Village and Community Halls, providing a specialist comprehensive advice and information service to the volunteers who run and manage village and community halls.  

Tessa O’Sullivan

Rural & Community Housing Manager – 01303 765643 Email: contact@kentcommunityhousinghub.org

Tessa has been part of the Rural Kent Team for 10 years working closely with Parish Councils, Housing Associations and local authorities to bring forward local needs housing schemes in rural areas; affordable housing for rent or shared ownership for local people.  She undertakes housing needs surveys to identify whether a need for affordable housing exists within the community and then works with all stakeholders to develop a scheme including looking for suitable sites.  Tessa is also leading our work to introduce Community Land Trusts to Kent and working with communities to develop this type of community led housing.  Prior to Rural Kent, she had over 10 years as a housing advisor working for an independent housing advice centre providing advice and assistance to homeless people and those threatened with homelessness.  Tessa graduated with a BA (Hons) Fine Art and has a Post Graduate Certificate in Advanced Environment and Energy Studies, as well as regularly participating in professional training courses in housing related subjects. Tessa is an Accredited Community Led Housing Advisor.

Kathy Bugden

Project Manager – 01303 765647

Kathy is the Rural Kent’s Rural Community Development Officer and has been an employee for over 10 years.  She is a joint Project Manager for the Rural Kent Coffee and Information Project.  She has led the successful rollout and delivery of a number of our core projects in recent years including the Digital TV Switchover Volunteer programme and ESF Community Grants Programmes 2011-2015.  Kathy has been responsible for managing small grant schemes: CIRK Grant, Countryside Agency Parish Plan Grants, the Colyer-Fergusson Parish Plan Grants and the Village SoS scheme.  Her previous experience includes her appointment as Planner at the Medway Planning Department, Medway Council and as a Departmental Administrator at the University of Kent.  Kathy holds a BSc (Hons) in Social Science.

Carl Adams

Rural & Social Enterprise Officer – 07771 932605

Carl has prime responsibility at Rural Kent for our Social Enterprise and Rural Community Led Development.  Carl leads our relationship with Big Local. Big Local is all about community led regeneration and is an exciting opportunity for residents in 150 areas around England to use at least £1m each to make a massive and lasting positive difference to their communities. Big Local brings together all the local talent, ambitions, skills and energy from individuals, groups and organisations who want to make their area an even better place to live.  Before joining the Rural Kent team Carl worked in Hotel and Restaurant Management.  He holds a BA (Hons) in Politics and International Relations, an MA in Comparative Federalism and is a qualified Restorative Justice Practitioner and a qualified First Aider.

Kirsty McHattie

Kent Community Housing Hub Co-ordinator – 07771 661871

Kirsty assists Tessa on the Community Led Housing Hub project, organising the Hub’s presence at events, liaising with the CLH Groups currently supported by the Hub across Kent and setting up regular networking sessions as well as looking after the admin side of things and keeping an eye on the budget. Currently, Kirsty is just beginning a Hub project to support CLH Groups in developing their digital identity and growing an online audience. Since joining the Hub, she has achieved her Accredited Community Led Housing Advisor qualification. Prior to joining the Hub, Kirsty worked in a diverse range of industries and sectors from corporate commercial to charitable and not-for-profit organisations. She has run her own property management company and is also a copy writer and editor.

Rosemary Selling

Rural Housing Enabler – 01303 765645

Rosemary Selling  joined Rural Kent in January 2017 as the Programme Co-ordinator working with a new consortium of organisations , Stronger Kent Communities to support the voluntary sector across the county. This project came to an end in December 2019. Rosemary now works alongside Tessa O’Sullivan working closely with Parish Councils, Housing Associations and local authorities to bring forward local needs housing schemes in rural areas; affordable housing for rent or shared ownership for local people.  She undertakes housing needs surveys to identify whether a need for affordable housing exists within the community and then works with all stakeholders to develop a scheme including looking for suitable sites.  Rosemary previously worked at the Kentish Stour Countryside Partnership and Canterbury City Council managing local authority parks, open spaces and has worked over the years with many voluntary groups.  Rosemary has lead on the council’s Green Flag applications for flagship open spaces & the RHS Britain In Bloom and South and South East In Bloom entries and is experienced in working on projects involving many stakeholders, project management & contract monitoring. Rosemary has a degree in Environmental Science (Bsc Hons) – and will be working towards becoming a Green Flag judge in the next 12 months to share skills and knowledge with community groups and other local authorities across the South East and London.   

Sharon Davies

Rural Retail Adviser – 07551 725383

Sharon leads Rural Kent’s Retail Advisory Service providing advice and guidance to rural retailing SMEs across the County. She also leads our Kent Rural Retailers initiative through which we aim to raise the profile for independent retailers in rural Kent by providing a wide range of services to help develop and sustain the rural retailing scene.  Sharon has had many years’ experience in running her own small businesses in three different sectors (food production, service and retail) and previously worked with Business Link, first as a registered Investors in People adviser and later as a SFEDI (Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative ) registered business adviser. She also is a work stream lead on an Age friendly business in Thanet, a part time Head of HR, Recruitment and Payroll for a company in Essex and a Director of Margate Town team CIC.  She holds a Diploma in Management Studies from the University of Kent and has Diplomas in Performance Coaching, Psychology and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.

Karl Randall/Angie Startup/Steven Rosser-Owen/Melanie Jordan

Community Engagement Officers


  • Email: info@ruralkent.org.uk
  • Phone: 01303 813790
  • Address: The Old Granary, Penstock Hall Farm, Canterbury Road,
    East Brabourne, Kent TN25 5LL