Team

At the heart of all we do is the desire to help empower victims, local communities, vulnerable people and their families.
Gary Pettengell
Gary Pettengell
Founder & CEO

Gary has worked on several local, national and international crime reduction and community engagement projects and won several awards. In April 2007 he was voted “Person of the Year” in Lithuania for work helping migrant communities and he is the only foreign national ever to be awarded the Angel Guard Medal of Honour in Lithuania. Through Empowering Communities he funds a number of projects around the UK.

Sarah Pettengell
Sarah Pettengell
Project Manager & Service Delivery Lead

Sarah joined Empowering Communities in 2014 following a successful career that included leading Safeguarding Teams. This included managing high-risk domestic abuse teams, sexual violence and safeguarding children and adults teams. She has also had experience of chairing domestic abuse MARACs.

Despina Sergiou
Despina Sergiou
Customer Support

Despina heads up the Support Team and is the first port of call for customers seeking support on any of our products or solutions. She has been part of the Empowering-Communities team since the very beginning and has a wealth of experience gained from a background in customer service and relationship management.

Heather Ette
Heather Ette
Customer Liaison and Marketing

Heather has over 25 years experience of working in marketing gained in local government and the private sector. She’s built up a portfolio of work using traditional, digital and online marketing methods such as brand development, event planning, database management and segmentation, web design and online/offline promotional campaigns.

Paul Dunn
Paul Dunn
Programme Manager

Paul has been responsible for delivering national approaches that reduce crime and manage safeguarding through partnership problem-solving approaches. He has won a number of awards including Public Servant of the year for Innovation and has been instrumental in tackling anti-social behaviour (ASB) across the country. Paul assisted in designing the Australian ASB legislation and is the partnership Ambassador for the Charlton Athletic Community Trust.

Laura Smith
Laura Smith
Programme Manager (N. Ireland/Ireland)

Laura has 25 years experience in Local Government and, as Crime Prevention/Community Safety Consultant.  She successfully developed and managed Multi-Agency Action Plans to reduce ASB/crime in Parks, Tension Monitoring Process for Belfast, introduced Body Cameras for Police and, sporting events as an avenue for combatting ASB and crime.

Lynsey Pyke
Lynsey Pyke
Programme Manager (Australia and New Zealand)

Lynsey has considerable office management experience built over many years in deadline-oriented environments.  She has contributed to a range of community projects on a voluntary basis, particularly within the mining industry and was nominated for, and won the Community Volunteer Award in Tom Price from Rio Tinto Mining for her community work.

Elle Asbridge
Elle Asbridge
Programme Manager (Australia and New Zealand)

Elle has extensive experience in IT and office management, gained predominantly within a retail property management environment. She has experience of team and customer management involving a significant amount of international client liaison.