Our Trustees are responsible for the overall control and strategic direction of Care for the Carers. They make sure we have a clear strategy, remain true to our vision, and that we comply with all necessary rules and legal obligations. As Care for the Carers is both a Registered Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee, the Trustees are also the organisation’s Directors. They meet regularly to discuss, decide and review our strategies and policies and receive reports and updates from senior managers and the team.
The majority of the Board have been, or are, carers. We are a membership organisation, and most of our Members are current or former carers. The Board is elected by our Members, and informed by their views. Our Trustees work with us as volunteers and are committed to Care for the Carers doing all we can to ensure no one is left to care alone.
Meet our Trustees
Neil Churchill OBE, Chair
Neil joined Care for the Carers Board in 2020, moving into the role of Chair in May 2021. Neil is Director for Experience, Participation and Equalities at NHS England. He is senior responsible officer and chairs NHS England’s Commitments to Carers Oversight Board. Neil joined NHS England in 2013 after a 25 year career in the voluntary sector at organisations including Barnardo’s, Age Concern, Crisis and Asthma UK where he was CEO. Neil has extensive experience as a charity trustee, including at organisations like Crisis, Alone in London, Cardboard Citizens, Age Concern Scotland, Age Concern Cymru, Age Concern Northern Ireland and Tavistock Relationships. As well as a trustee for Care for the Carers, Neil is a member of the Strategy Board for the Beryl Institute, a trustee for Future Care Capital and a member of Cambridge University’s Remuneration Committee. He was awarded an OBE in 2018 for services to carers and the voluntary sector, brings lived experience of caring and lives in Forest Row.
Jake Jay, Vice Chair
Jake joined the Care for the Carers Board in February 2020 and stepped into the role of Vice Chair in May 2021. Jake has held a range of roles in the fields of Electrical Engineering and Project Management during his career, creating and developing step changes within a company of over 6500 employees. Jake brings a diverse range of skills, including strong management, leadership and strategic business change. Jake is passionate about helping to progress charities for the benefit of society, and keen to give back to the community, and has a particular interest in whole family and youth work.
Sue Lilja, Treasurer
Sue Lilja was appointed to the Board in 2019, taking on the role of Treasurer in May 2021. Sue has 40 years of experience in finance and risk management gained in retail and investment banking. During her investment banking career at JP Morgan, Sue had the opportunity to carry out due diligence on many types of businesses across Europe. She is qualified as an associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. Since retiring, Sue has volunteered with three additional charities.
Alan Botterill, Trustee
Alan Botterill was co-opted to the Care for the Carers Board in September 2015, to support its development and growth, and was voted on to the Board in 2016. Alan has a wealth of experience in management and governance within business and the Third sector. His trustee roles have included for Carers Trust – Epping Forest, Harlow, Havering and Redbridge and Carer Support West Sussex; also, he acted as a volunteer mentor for two Carers Trust Partner CEOs. In addition, Alan was a trustee at the National Centre for Social Research for nine years and has been involved with the YMCA for some time – he is Chair of the YMCA UK Pension Plan and has served on the World Alliance Investment Committee. Alan is an actuary and supported the profession as a volunteer for many years.
Polly Evans, Trustee
Polly joined the Board in 2019. She worked as a BBC News journalist for nearly 20 years and was the anchor of the evening news programme BBC South East Today for the best part of a decade. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter covering stories across Sussex and Kent. Polly has experience of long term caring within her family and towards the end of her time with the BBC she also worked as a Social Affairs Correspondent reflecting her concern about the fair treatment of everyone in society including carers. She is currently the Head of Communications & Digital for a charity called The Access Project which supports young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to get into top universities. She is responsible for communications strategy and external relations.
Jane Lawrence, Trustee
Jane joined the Care for the Carers Board in December 2021. Jane’s career within the statutory and voluntary sectors, included managing both mental health day support services and carer support services in the voluntary sector. Towards the end of her career, Jane set up the ‘Improving Carers’ Experience’ Community Interest Company with a colleague. Since retirement, Jane has written a book for mental health carers, and shares her time between Hastings and Bristol.
Richard Pearson, Trustee
Richard, a carer, joined the Board in December 2021. He has extensive charity governance and business expertise, including Trustee roles at Lewes/Sussex Downs College, Sussex Oakleaf, the Employability Forum, Lewes and District Citizens Advice, and is Chair of the Lewes Community Land Trust , and the Lewes Fund. Richard is an economist who has worked internationally, and was Director of the Institute of Employment Studies for 12 years. He is now retired and living in Lewes.
Mary Barnes, Trustee
Mary joined the Care for the Carers Board in December 2021. Mary is the Councillor for Hurst Green and Ticehurst and was elected to Rother District Council in 2011. She has served on a range of committees, including Planning, Audit and Standards and Anti Poverty. Mary is Rother’s representative on the East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee giving her a detailed insight into NHS services and key health issues.
Vikki Carruth, Trustee
Vikki joined the Care for the Carers Board in December 2021. Vikki is the Chief Nurse and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust. Originally from Dublin, she qualified as a registered nurse in the UK and has worked in the NHS since 1989, holding a variety of senior nursing posts in London and the South. Vikki brings an in depth knowledge of health systems and leadership, along with a commitment to quality care. With a clinical background in acute medicine, she has a particular interest in the care of vulnerable patients and those with more complex needs. Her healthcare experience has given her a personal passion for the carers’ agenda, in particular, that of young carers.
Natasha Burrows, Associate Trustee
Tash joined the Care for the Carers Board in December 2021 as an Associate Trustee, and is also one of Care for the Carers’ Ambassadors. She is a Young Adult Carer. Tash’s original background is as a Young Carer, so she has personal experience of the impact that caring has on a young persons’ life. She also has experience volunteering in the charity sector, having previously held an administration role for a debt and counselling service.
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