Debbie believes in "doing not just talking" and so can be seen around Stroud and Chalford working in and for the community.
Debbie runs two lunch clubs, one at the Frith Youth Centre every Tuesday and another at Cashes Green Community Centre every Monday. This service is really appreciated by her customers, one of whom said they really looked forward to Tuesdays and lunch in Chalford.
Debbie also volunteers at the Community Cafe and delivers food surplus to them, for which donations and received which goes into Youth Club funds.
Debbie is always willing to help,collecting at Brimsombe and Thrupp Grand Village Fete for the Hope for Tomorrow charity which looks to provide mobile chemotherapy services and is supported by fellow Conservative Councillor Liz Peters , and collecting for the Meningitis Trust at Stroud Station, a cause which has affected so many people particularly locally
Debbie said "so many people today have told me about how meningitis has directly affected them or their friends, it I fantastic to be able to help out"
Chalford offers lots of events during the summer and Debbie tries to get round them all, from Summer fetes in the scorching sun at Bussage Primary School Fete, to slightly blustier conditions at Chalford Hill fete and then back to glorious sun for the Garden Trail
As part of Debbie's work cooking 5 days a week at a local school, her and her friends also run holiday food and fun clubs every Tuesday. These clubs offer a days play and a free hot meals for local families.
"Working with local charities, the District Council and with food donations from Waitrose and Muller Dairies, we are able to provide a days activities for both children and parents. All of us volunteer to come in and cook the meals, give away any food surplus and clear up." Debbie explained
It is important to build the community at the Top of Town, as two new building and regeneration project have brought new families to the area
Debbie runs a Community Interest Company making three course meals for a school in Stroud. For this she uses food surplus from Waitrose
Debbie said "it is important to make the distinction between food waste and food surplus, the former is what you would throw away or compost so veggie peeling etc. The latter is good food which cant be sold, perhaps because the label has come off, there is too much of it , the package has been split or the best before date exceeded"
This enables the children to a much wider variety that would normally be experienced at school lunch, fresh mango and pineapple, quails eggs, asparagus and poached salmon are just some of the foods children get to experience on starter platters.
For other food Debbie buys eggs and potatoes from Stancombe Farm Shop, Lamb from Hailey Farm and meat from Taylors, the butchers in Minchinhampton.
This project has been filmed 3 times for the BBC, and been visited by several local, national and European politicians including Natalie Bennett of the Green Party and Emma MacClarkin an MEP and Stroud resident. Neil Carmichael our local MP has visited in his capacity as the Chair of the Education Select Committee.
Debbie continued " despite these high profile visitors, the most important thing is that children are getting a really good lunch, experiencing new food sensations and learning how to cook"
Debbie was invited by Middle of the Hill resident Sue and Janet to re-open their Community Rooms. The rooms has been closed for some time for extensive refurbishment to make disabled access easier. The work was funded by the Community Development Team at Stroud District Council, and as the previous Cabinet Member for Housing and fellow volunteers on the Friends of Severn View, Debbie was delighted to cut the ribbon. She was joined by John Jeffries another previous Cabinet Member for Housing who had originally opened the rooms over 10 years ago
Debbie said " Sue and Janet have worked so hard to get this work done, and do a fabulous job as the Middle of the Hill Residents Association"
After cutting the ribbon Debbie and John then cut a celebratory cake made by master cake maker Janet
Debbie works at the Top of Town providing school meals cooked from scratch, but sometime she does get a day off. Here she is at the Top of Town's annual Summer Fair
Debbie has three schools in her ward, Bussage Primary, Chalford Hill Primary and Christchurch. "One of the best thinks about the summer is visiting the schools at their summer fetes and I do try to get along to them if I can. its a great way of finding more about what is happening in the community as well as contributing to the school with purchases from the stalls" said Debbie
This year Debbie brought Dorcas Binns along, a fellow District Councillor and a County Councillor to introduce her to the delights of the Bussage fete and football competition
Debbie sits on Housing Committee and is the Conservative spokesman on housing, so she is always happy to try and help tenants and residents resolve their problems. Her involvement with the Beards Lane railway bridge in Stroud began when the bridge was first being built and residents were having to suffer inordinate noise and nuisance. Despite that work now being over, there is still nuisance, with rats in bins and the whole area being overgrown with brambles, nettles and bindweed, that is not only a danger to pedestrians, but are infiltrating peoples gardens. Pam Blanche has asked Debbie to see what she can do about it
Debbie has contacted both Network Rail and Great Western Railway to get them to take action, on an area belonging to the railway and is an absolute mess for residents and pedestrians alike