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.’

Anna Wilson- Arts and Young People

Anna moved to Hotwells in 2004 and was the Community Development administrator for HCCA from 2006-2008 during which time she set up the West Bristol Arts Trail and did the community consultation and administration for for the HCCA Traffic strategy. She joined the management committee in 2012 whilst working with Ray Smith on plans for regenerating the Cumberland Piazza. Anna studied fine art and filmmaking in London, and ran a non-commercial video company, Little Fish Films, from 1998-2013 producing work with Young People, Education Institutes, Health Charities, artists and theatre groups. Anna has worked with communities on arts and urban regeneration projects throughout London, but particularly in her home town of Lewisham. 

‘Being part of HCCA has given me a massive excuse to nosey into what local people want to change about this area and allowed me to try and help make some things happen. I’m very proud that the West Bristol Art Trail is now in it’s tenth year and grateful to the people who so successfully adopted it and have worked hard to make it a success. I love experimenting with what will grow on the Piazza with only rain water but my greatest pleasure is helping kids of all ages to play creatively in their own local spaces, be it parks, Piazza or Portway!’

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.’

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.’