Janica Birch

Prior to University Janica volunteered for NACRO, working to find job placements for young people, and mentor them once in their roles. After studying Economics at Nottingham University, Janica worked as a Business Analysist for a number years in the East Midlands while undertaking a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Health.  

Janica has always had a love of health, exercise and sport, and decided to embark upon a journey to work in the industry.  She gained professional qualifications in Health, Fitness and Sports Therapy and lectured in the field, before being appointed Head of Department at New College Nottingham, one of the largest further education and higher education colleges in the UK.

In addition to her lecturing, she was also a physio for several professional football and ice hockey teams.  After moving on from education, Janica became the County Coaching and Volunteer Development Officer for Nottinghamshire County Council.  This role included managing significant funding budgets from the DCMS, helping to develop the coaching and volunteer infrastructure for sport in Nottinghamshire and across the East Midlands, and acting as an ambassador for coaches and volunteers on national steering groups.

Following many happy years in the East Midlands Janica was delighted to be appointed as the Regional Development Manager for Women’s Sport in Yorkshire.  During this time, she led on equality projects across the region, managing a range of partnerships and projects.   It was during this role that she embarked upon her MSc in Sustainability (Ecological Economics) at Leeds University, before accepting the role of Research Associate at the university.

Janica then followed her lifelong dream of relocating to Devon, becoming a Consultation, Engagement & Involvement Officer for a Devon local authority, whilst starting her PhD in the physical and psychological benefits of activity in the natural environment.  Following this she returned to a project management role as the Project and Events Manager for an international software company.  As a dual role, she was also appointed Sports and Community Development Officer for the South Hams, where she was responsible for delivering projects in the rural villages and local towns.

I love Devon because…

It has a beautiful landscape and coast line, which allows me to embrace my love of walking with my dogs, running, sea swimming and occasionally trying to stand up on a surf board!