Meet our Board of Trustees
Jan Wilson (Chair)
"After leaving university I joined the County Clerk and Chief Executive's Dept at Staffs CC before changing direction for the teaching profession. On retirement a chance meeting between my husband and the Chief Officer of Chase CVS led to me being 'volunteered' as a Trustee, representative on Scio, TLI Champion, TLI Steering Group, Support Staffordshire Development Group and finally the Support Staffordshire Board. Throughout my working life I have developed research skills, administrative good practice and the ability to prioritise, whilst dealing with truculent teenagers certainly honed skills of conflict resolution!
Working with young people also raised awareness of the social, economic, health and aspirational issues which affect families and communities, bringing me into contact with numerous agencies and charities trying to address these problems. I was particularly interested in the support available for child carers who sacrifice their childhood and often their education and future for the sake of their parents.
For me being a part of Support Staffordshire means being able to support these front line organisations in their work of facilitating better community engagement, access to services, health and well being and economic prosperity. What could be more challenging or rewarding than that?"
John Downie (Treasurer)
"I have recently retired after ten years as an Executive Director of Community Regeneration Partnership, a housing and regeneration consultancy. Prior to my work in the private sector I spent thirty five successful years in local government. In that time I was responsible for the management and delivery of many innovative urban regeneration programmes. Working “with” and “for” Communities and the voluntary sector has been central to my work in both the public and private sector. I have led and delivered significant urban regeneration projects in the most challenging environments, I have a track record of delivering complex housing and regeneration solutions in partnership with communities in crisis.
I have presented papers on private sector housing renewal and urban regeneration to international conferences in Chile, Finland, France and South Korea.
I am a member of the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health Officers and an honorary lecturer to the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management at the University of Birmingham, lecturing to students on a MSc programme on housing and regeneration law and practice.
I have served as a non executive board member for two Housing Associations, chairing both boards.
I firmly believe in the value of empowering individuals and communities to achieve the most appropriate solution to their circumstances to enable them to be the best they can be."
"I have nearly 30 years of experience working in the public sector, initially with the NHS, then local government in Walsall and Lichfield. I have undertaken a range of senior management roles within social and community services, housing and environmental health and have identified and promoted opportunities for the community and voluntary sector to work alongside and support statutory services. As the demands on the public sector are increasing, there is a clear need for a stronger and more diverse voluntary sector to emerge; I believe that Support Staffordshire will continue to help the sector 'step up to the plate' and ensure that the local community can adapt and thrive.
I have been a Staffordshire resident for 30+ years and have a good knowledge of the local area. I have worked for a Staffordshire voluntary organisation, Transforming Communities Together, for three years where I was responsible for developing and promoting the Places of Welcome movement across the county. Through the work of Support Staffordshire, I would like to encourage more residents to take an active role in their community and get involved - for the skills and time they can give to others and for the 'feel good factor' that they can gain for themselves as a result!"
"I found Support Staffordshire through a mentoring client who is a member. My experience in large corporate business and then running my own business enabled me to help other small businesses through offering my skills and experiences as a Business Mentor.
Through mentoring my clients included some small local charities; I never cease to be amazed at the energy and enthusiasm shown by volunteers so when I was approached by Support Staffordshire it “fitted” with my corporate social responsibility.
I am currently a Board member for Chase Chamber of Commerce and a Trustee of an Academies Trust. My interest in communities grows daily as we see the changing landscape develop and the need to recognise the important work local people do.
I believe I can bring business experience and knowledge both to the board and our actions on behalf of our members. My specialist skills are HR and Employment Law, and Developing leaders."
Adrian has been a resident within Staffordshire since 2002 and has a passionate interest in contributing to the work of community, educational and charitable institutions. He has worked within both the commercial business and charity sectors himself, holding very senior management and creative leadership positions. He is delighted to have been appointed a Trustee of Support Staffordshire, and has particular interests around public profile and awareness of charitable organisations, and indeed encouraging both the public, and commercial businesses to fully engage and interact with the charity sector.
Adrian’s experience over several decades has included; school governance, roles within the Magistracy, charitable trustee experience of both local and national charities and working in the community on high profile arts led initiatives.
Adrian always enjoyed being a very active member of “We Love Lichfield” and continues to support whenever possible. He is very committed to working with Support Staffordshire and responding to the ever increasing demands being placed upon charitable community organisations.
"On graduating from Loughborough University in Mechanical Engineering I have spent over twenty years in the engineering and manufacturing sectors, most recently as the Chief Executive of Brandauer, one the largest precision stamping and toolmaking subcontractors in the UK, where I have had the opportunity to work with my team to deliver positive cultural change, increase revenues and deliver improvements in internal efficiencies to secure the companies long term future.
In addition, I voluntarily chair a manufacturing business network call MAN Group which exists to collaboratively share best-practice, revenue opportunities and marketing and communication overheads to drive the growth of UK manufacturing in the Midlands region.
My commitment to CSR has introduced me to the 3rd sector in terms of fund raising through challenges and special events and more recently discover the vital role volunteers play in everyday society. This coupled with a family passion for volunteering has inspired me to proactively seek a volunteering role where I might be able to do my bit and add some value.
Support Staffordshire is the 3rd sectors best kept secret, an organisation that exists to guide, steer, advise and support the county’s charitable organisations……you might say a charity that helps many 100s of charities! What a fantastic story to tell. I hope, by applying some of my more transferrable skills, I can help to spread the word on the organisation and its offerings to the benefit of Support Staffordshire, its members, volunteers and staff."
"I was a Staff Governor (representing Volunteers) at Queen’s Hospital Burton (BHFT) for 6 years prior to the merger with Royal Derby forming the University Hospital of Derby and Burton NHS FT (UHDB). I served my many executive committees during my period of Governor Office: People and Development, Quality, Equality and Diversity, Safeguarding, Women’s and Children’s Medicine as well as various Cancer Charities, Strategy Development and Clinical Audit. I left the role in August 2020, after a further 2 years’ service, to gain experience in another direction.
I volunteered substantially at the Trust, pre- and post-merger, for 11 years and gained enormous insight and knowledge of the role, remaining passionate, focussed, positive and determined throughout.
The Merger work was detailed and lengthy, but I undertook it with diligence and passion. I am aware of where the NHS began, how it works locally and nationally and how, as a wider community, we must aspire to serve the local population somewhat differently throughout the 21st century. The impact of the NHS on all we do in communities can never be underestimated but we need to continually develop a more shared role across all aspects of society to sustain a partnership that is both real and sustainable.
The journey to merger at the Trust was challenging; each Governor wanted the best for patients, staff and the wider community. Much reflection and resolve went into the decision and once made, that decision required full commitment from each member of the Council of Governors, and the Communities they serve, to see the aspirations delivered. The learning I experienced at that time has enhanced my skill set exponentially and I am grateful for that.
Prior to volunteering, my 30-year career in Education, ultimately as a Headteacher of an aged 3-11 Foundation Primary School, enables me to bring a substantial skill set to the table. I communicate, read and understand vast quantities both informational and data led. I work with dedication and passion. I understand all aspects of confidentiality; a blue-sky thinker but also a collaborative worker. I know about the commitment necessary in time and energy and appreciate the need to use strategic thinking alongside a myriad of leadership skills to achieve agreed objectives and successful outcomes.
I am passionate about both the NHS and the wider interactions of people and groups in my local community and would find it an honour to continue to serve in any capacity that meets these personal goals. In Support Staffordshire I see an avenue to do just that; it will be both an honour and a continued road to lifelong learning which I endorse fully!"
"I have worked in the Third Sector within Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire for over 20 years. First with a home improvement agency, and more lately as the business development manager for fuel poverty charity Beat the Cold. I have witnessed first hand the changing challenges of the VCSE sector over the years, but most importantly the crucial work that it does to support those in the greatest need in society. I am passionate about that work continuing, and being as good as it possibly can be.
My work has allowed me to foster relationships between housing, health, private sector, and social care, and between local authorities and the NHS. I have always strived to bring down silo working, to improve the service that is offered to those that need help, whatever that may be.
I have lived in Staffordshire all of my life, and attended Staffordshire University to study Law as an undergraduate, and business as a post graduate. I hope to put these skills to good use in supporting the board.
I believe that Support Staffordshire has a key role in shaping the future for the entire VCSE sector, and in helping it to thrive in challenging times."
"A relative newcomer to the Third Sector, I served the first 18 years of my career in the military, mostly in commando and intelligence roles. After leaving in 2005, I worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the EU/ASEAN Mission in Indonesia following the South-East Asian tsunami, before taking up a consultancy appointment in the United Arab Emirates. Since then, I have been fortunate to have led a Middle East consulting company, served as Managing Director for UK manufacturing companies Ultra Electronics PMES in Rugeley and the Barden Corporation in Plymouth, and held the position of President Industrial UK & Ireland for Schaeffler GmbH.
I transitioned into the charitable sector when the pandemic hit, serving with RE:ACT Disaster Response and the Voluntary and Community Sector Emergencies Partnership, coordinating stakeholder engagement across the Midlands in particular and England in general. It was during this time that I became aware of the valuable work of Support Staffordshire. In my current role I serve as the Director of Business Development and External Affairs for the UK Community Foundations, but continue to serve as a volunteer for RE:ACT and I’m also a mentor for SSAFA.
I was delighted to be asked to join the Board of Support Staffordshire and the opportunity to give back to the County that has become my home. I am hoping that my diverse experience in both the private and public sectors can help benefit the Board and contribute to the continued success of Support Staffordshire."
Ian has extensive knowledge and experience of the private, voluntary and statutory sectors and has been the CEO of East Staffordshire Family Support Service – Harvey Girls – Dads4Dads for the last 12 years.
With a wide range of experience of strategic, operation and financial management and a clear understanding of housing and public policy issues, Ian is action and results orientated and demonstrates an ability to develop relationships, networks and systems to achieve change. He is passionate about making a difference to the lives of individuals, families and communities.
Ian also sits on the Board of a number of smaller charities and believes good governance should be at the heart of every well-run charity. He has held the Chair position at the following organsations:
West London YMCA , Homes for Northumberland; Three Valleys Housing in Derbyshire, and Trent and Dove Housing, based in Burton.
Ian was elected to the National Council of YMCAs’ Board of Trustees in 2016 - 2019 and in 2009 was Awarded the Housing Heroes Inspirational Board Member of the Year.