HCCA Management Committee

We are a small group of volunteers with a big desire to see our community flourish in a sustainable way. We are always up for more people joining us, so we decided you might like to know a bit more about who we are and what we do. We meet as a committee once every two months and discuss local concerns and projects we are involved in. There are also a few tasks to spread around the group including communicating with the community and the council, organising public meetings and events and managing live projects. Dennis takes care of all chairs duties and Brenda has been in charge of finance and charity governance.

Dennis Gornall- Chair
After 35 years away from the West Country, most of that time in HR in the NHS, in London, Liverpool and North Wales, Dennis came to Bristol in 2000 to live in Ambrose Road. It was not long before he became involved with HCCA and has been a Trustee for 12 years or so and Chairman for over 9. In his spare (!) time Dennis enjoys growing fruit and vegetables on the allotment, learning to play a clarinet, volunteering in Oxfam surrounded by amazing books in their shop in Clifton and house-husbanding to help Sarah, his wife, continue to work and write books. He both enjoys travelling, walking and the amazing music that St George’s brings to Bristol.

‘I enjoy being part of HCCA because this community is a great place to live and it’s a chance to do something for the place I love to live in. Being chair has allowed me to steer things a bit and has allowed the HCCA and me, as Chair, to gain a certain status in the wider community through the BCC Neighbourhood Partnerships, which in turn has been useful for raising funds to support our local projects. The biggest achievement by HCCA in my time here was producing the Traffic Strategy and getting it recognised by the council as an important piece of work.’

Brenda McLennan- Treasurer
Brenda McLennan has served as treasurer and trustee of HCCA for over 14 years. She oversaw the transition from a council funded organization to the present independent charity status. She is responsible for maintaining the legal and financial administration of HCCA other groups that we support, ensuring its continuing viability. Brenda is a qualified accountant with extensive experience in the arts and charity sectors. 

James Smith- Trustee
James Smith has served as a trustee of HCCA for over 14 years. He chaired the CHASE group which addressed traffic problems in the area culminating in the production of the traffic strategy that was accepted as a consultation document by Bristol City Council. 

Carol Lilwall- Trustee
A retired Bristol-based social worker, Carol has been living in Ambra Vale East for many years and has been the driving force behind the Town Green, Cliftonwood and the Ambra Vale East window boxes and local hanging basket. Carol organises many community events at the Town Green, including a mothers and babies group and seasonal occasions including easter egg hunts, summer BBQs and Xmas celebrations. 

‘I’m really interested in local issues, I love the area and its history and enjoy meeting people. I’m devoted to the community garden at the Town Green and I see it as the centre of the Cliftonwood community. I’ve met so many lovely people through working and playing in the garden. The vibrant response we’ve had and the number of people attending our seasonal event, like the Easter Egg Hunt, brings a sense of wellbeing that’s peaceful and lively at the same time because we have such a broad age range, from toddlers upwards- it’s exciting. Encouraging planting with the window boxes and hanging baskets creates a beautiful space and sociability.’

Chris Smart- Trustee
Christine Smart has lived in Hotwells since 2004 and represents the Harbourheads Group on the HCCA Committee. She is a retired academic librarian with interests in local history, industrial archaeology, photography and travel. Christine is particularly interested in helping local communities to have a voice and raising awareness of local issues through community engagement.

‘I love urban living, but if there was one thing I could change about our area it would be the traffic- stop developing our roads without taking into account pedestrians and cyclists. I’m quite a task driven person so having things to do for HCCA is motivating and an opportunity for me to use my skills now I’m retired. Being part of the Community Association means I can contribute to change which might not happen if HCCA did not exist.’

Norma Innes
I came to Hotwells 18 months ago and have been a member of the committee since last November. I’m a semi-retired EFL teacher/examiner and have spent much of my life travelling, working and living in other countries. I’m not a newcomer to Bristol as I lived here for eight years when I was in my twenties and my first teaching job interview was in City Hall. I’ve never lost touch with Bristol thanks to old friends and family and have every intention of staying here and hopefully, making a positive contribution to my local community. I am responsible for collecting materials for/producing the monthly e-Bulletin.

Heather Anne Watts- Jacobs Wells Hub
Heather lives in a Shared Ownership property on Bristol’s Harbourside and works at the University of the West of England. She has lived in Bristol since 1989. and worked with various community organisations incuding Bristol Crisis Service for Women, The Living Room.  a charity offering grants for much needed respite for people living with AIDS, and supported Somali women with their English. She currently supports NCBI Bristol (National Coalition Building Institute) a dynamic group with a structured approach for strengthening communities.  

Carol Walton- Avonquay House group
‘I got involved with HCCA because I’d been talking to people for years about the lack of a community centre locally
and I wanted to help develop a group who could work together towards that aim. I enjoy meeting people who live in the area and a feeling of having a stake and influencing change.. It’s a very interesting area historically, but it does have issues that we can all help with.’

Caroline Grazebrook
'I came to Bristol over 30 years ago and have lived in Hotwells since 2008.  I have just retired from running my own architectural practice and now have more time to pursue other interests, which include giving something back to the wider community and I firmly believe the more you put in the more you get out of life!. I am new to voluntary work and also working with a community association. I was attracted to supporting HCCA because I care about the environment of the area I live in and currently exploring ways in which I might be able to help the group. I provide Admin support to the Hon Treasurer/ Company Sec. and oversee the Noticeboards’.