Meet the Trustees
Following our recent recruitment process we are delighted to welcome five new Trustees to the Board.
Howard Grant, Barbara Johnson, Priti Joshi, Helen Murray and Suzanne Packer
They will be joining the other Trustees whose introductions are below, we are grateful for all that these people do for VASL in a voluntary capacity.
I was born and brought up in Leicestershire and have lived in Hallaton, in the Harborough District, for over 27 years. My career was in criminal justice. I was Chief Probation Officer in Leicestershire and Rutland for 16 years, before joining the Home Office and Ministry of Justice as the Regional Commissioner for prisons and probation in the East Midlands. I retired in December 2009.
I joined the VASL Board as I wanted to give something back to my local community. I really enjoyed my professional life and wanted to share my knowledge and skills. I am proud to Chair the VASL Board. I am a trustee on two other charities, including the Hallaton and Isabella Stenning Charity which manages 16 almshouses, the village hall, recreational ground and allotments in Hallaton and the surrounding area.
My other passions are wildlife – I am a volunteer at Rutland Water Nature Reserve – travel, reading, walking, gardening, watching sport and playing golf, when I have the time!
I have lived in the Harborough area for nearly 30 years but am originally from Sheffield. Following graduation from Loughborough University, I spent more than 25 years in the private sector holding a variety of business, project management and information systems roles. I worked in a number of different organisations covering manufacturing, supply chain logistics, and travel (including 13 years working for Golden Wonder in Market Harborough). I then commuted to London for several years to work in the public sector, managing the delivery of IT-enabled change in the Crown Prosecution Service.
Following retirement a couple of years ago, I knew I wanted to work in the voluntary sector so I visited VASL to find out about opportunities, and volunteered as a befriender. I was quickly matched up with an individual in the area and thoroughly enjoy visiting her once a week. I also applied for, and was accepted in the role of Treasurer on the Trustee Board for VASL.
In my spare time, I enjoy travel, singing in a choir, Nordic walking around Harborough, visiting family and friends, and the theatre and shows.
I lived in Market Harborough with my husband and two young children for nine years until 2018 when I moved to Rutland. I work as a solicitor at Bird Belderbos and Mee Solicitors in Oakham, practising private client law.
Since a young age, I have volunteered for various projects including helping in homeless shelters, running a youth club and more latterly being a member of the Harborough Twenty 12 Lions Club. It has always been important to me to give back to the community where I live.
I joined the VASL board over 3 years ago. I enjoy all aspects of the role of trustee and being the legal sounding board for any matters that may arise for VASL.
I have been married to Jef for 30 years and we have lived in the Market Harborough area for approximately 3 years after relocating from Hertfordshire.
After my early retirement from a more than 30 year career in the financial services industry, I wanted to volunteer to help people. I initially volunteered as a Community Champion which I find extremely rewarding and worthwhile. Finding out more about VASL made me want to further support the excellent and worthwhile work they do. I therefore successfully applied to become a trustee and hope to contribute to this amazing organisation for years to come.
I am also a committee member of the South Leicestershire U3A. My leisure time is spent walking our dog, doing various different crafts and cruising.
I grew up in Coventry but moved to Leicester for my first Graduate Trainee role with Emgas.
I qualified as an accountant and worked in several different industries in Leicestershire becoming Finance Director of ECC Quarries based at Croft.
From there I progressed to be the Managing Director of the Building Materials Division of Aggregate Industries. My last role was Chief Executive of United Merchants Plc which at the time was the largest buying group for builders merchants with a turnover approaching £1billion. I have held Non Executive Director roles with three businesses and I am a trustee/advisor to two charities one local and one with a more national focus.
I live in Bruntingthorpe where we have developed a garden which opens under the NGS charity scheme and I enjoy watching rugby, basketball and historic motor racing
I was born and brought up in Leicestershire and have lived in Market Harborough since 2006. Following a degree in psychology from The University of Manchester I began my career as a primary school teacher in Leicester. For the past twelve years I have worked for Leicestershire LIbraries as an outreach worker, supporting children, older people and those who are disadvantaged or vulnerable to access libraries. This summer I started a new role in libraries and heritage for Leicestershire County Council as part of the Participation Team, where I devise and manage cultural projects to support people who are isolated, lonely or vulnerable. I have volunteered supporting refugees in Leicestershire through fundraising and supporting refugee families in the local area.
I have always been very passionate about helping people live to their full potential and supporting people in need. When I saw the trustee position it was an ideal opportunity to contribute my skills and knowledge to furthering that aim.
I am married to Craig and we have two young children. As well as spending time with my family I enjoy reading, history, theatre and pilates.
After many years in London my husband and I moved to the Market Harborough area 12 years ago where we now live with our 2 teenage children. I work part time as an employment solicitor.
I am involved in other charities including Corby Food bank, a volunteer for the Samaritans in Kettering, and the Market Harborough Third World Group.
I love walking with our 2 labradors, cycling round Rutland Water every week and watching our daughter and son in their sports matches.