Careers Week - Natalia Wealleans-Turner, Project Manager

Date posted: 1st March 2021

Natalia Wealleans-Turner is a Cumbria CVS Building Better Opportunities; Getting Cumbria to Work (BBO GCtW) Project Manager. She has been employed with Cumbria CVS as the BBO GCtW Project Manager since May 2019.

Here she tells us more about her role.

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Tell us how you got your role?

Natalia said: "I have worked in the voluntary sector for over two decades primarily in the addiction and youth work field working in various delivery, development, training and management roles across Barrow and the South Lakes. I have had the pleasure of working for several local charities including Young Cumbria, Cadas and Brathay Trust in a paid capacity and currently I enjoy working for Cumbria CVS in the Barrow and South Lakes area.

"I hold a degree in English Literature and Language and a PGCSE in Teaching and have undertaken extensive CPD courses over the years including FPM Management, Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the Emotional Freedom Technique."

What does your role involve?

Natalia said: "My daily role includes managing the BBO GCtW Project (which is funded by the European Social Fund and The National Lottery Community Fund) partnership and contract to ensure we meet our targets and deliver excellent support to help our participants overcome personal and complex difficulties and move towards the labour market. This means I attend lots of meetings and complete lots of paperwork!

"Due to coronavirus, we have seen increased work to ensure our participants are safe, well, engaged and supported; we have also worked hard to address the impact of digital poverty by providing our participants with equipment and access to WiFi via pre-paid dongles so they can connect with their keyworker online, attend online support groups and training.

"I am currently a Trustee for Furness Multi-Cultural Community Forum and a Director for Signal Film and Media- both superb charities doing excellent work in the Furness area. My connection with these charities is very useful to my current role as it means I can connect the BBO GCtW partnership to activities and events delivered by both organisations for the benefit of our participants and share any learning."

What have been the best bits and challenges of your role?

Natalia said: "The best bits are definitely seeing how our participants progress and the changes they make with our help and working with a wonderful group of people. The challenges are securing continuation funding for the project and ensuring the partnership works in accordance with ESF’s numerous compliance regulations."

Life outside of work:

Natalia said: "Life outside of work is fairly mundane, which is how I like it! Pre-COVID life involved spending lots of time outside with my husband Craig and my dog Lola Bear walking and eating out. Currently, I am enjoying Nia Flow dance online with Sarah Nugent as it helps me to stay fit, focused and reminds me not to take life or myself too seriously whilst having fun with lots of lovely women."

Top tips for people wanting to get into the profession:

Natalia said: "Volunteering is an excellent way to experience different professions and to build work experience, learn new skills and gain new insights. I started my career as a volunteer for Furness Drug and Alcohol Concern and I never looked back! Cumbria CVS has lots of volunteer vacancies across Cumbria - get in touch with Judith Smale our Volunteer Manager at to find out what’s available!"

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