Introducing Councillor Natalie Leach

How long have you been on the Parish Council?
​I was co-opted on to the Parish Council in November 2018

How long have you lived in Kelvedon?
​I have lived in Kelvedon since December 2014, but I grew up in Feering: my parents still live there and my younger brother runs The Angel pub. Like any teenager I found it frustrating that anything I did could be seen by a neighbour and reported back to my parents but now I take great comfort in the idea that there is a network of local people that look out for each other. I’m now bringing up my own children in the village and I’ve no doubt one day their shenanigans will find their way back to me on the village grapevine!

What’s your “day-job” / career history?
I work as an analyst for Wellcome. It’s a global charitable trust which spends £1 billion a year supporting researchers in human health. It’s a really exciting and inspiring place to work. I’ve always worked in data and analysis, for the NHS, in social housing and higher education, but my master’s degree in social Anthropology was focussed on the ways that medicine and culture intersect so Wellcome was always my dream place to work. I’ve been here since June 2018 and the feeling of privilege I get every morning when I arrive hasn’t worn off yet. I hope it never does. 

What other voluntary organisations have you worked with? 
In the past I have volunteered at Mersea Island Festival which is a holiday camp for children with disabilities. People with disabilities are frequently told that they can’t do things and one of the core aims of the camp was to make it possible for them to take part in any outdoor activity they chose. It was great fun.

Do you have any hobbies? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I love to read. Having a long commute into London combined with the Wellcome Collection Library and book shop in the same building means I get through quite a number of books. Despite my best efforts there is always a huge pile next to my bed which somehow only ever gets larger and never smaller. I can’t think why…

Why did you choose to join the Parish Council?
I didn’t want to become one of those people that complains all the time but never does anything. I love the village and I want to the best for it. I don’t necessarily believe that means it shouldn’t grow or change at all, but I think it should grow and change in a way that is to the benefit of residents first.

What do you hope to achieve in your role as Parish Councillor?
​To represent young people, families and working parents. The more diverse, inclusive and representative our council is the better it can make decisions that benefit all the parishioners. Sometimes, purely due to work and caring commitments those groups can be overlooked and underrepresented. There is a stereotype of parish councils that they are made up of older people who just want everything to stay the same. I’m really proud to say that is definitely not true of our council and I’m looking forward to taking part in decisions that will benefit the village and its community of residents.