We believe in a community free of inequalities where residents thrive through high quality advice and advocacy delivered together, in a system which works.
Our Trustee Board provide strategic direction so the charity is run efficiently and delivers all our goals. Trustees are volunteers and act as the non-executive Directors of the charity, responsible for our legal and charitable obligations. They monitor the charity’s performance and are responsible for the 270 volunteers and 80 paid staff who deliver our services, whilst overseeing the financial management of the organisation.
Our Trustees have a huge range of skills and experience, including local government, business and charities.
As we look to the future, we are recruiting additional volunteers to join our Board and help us with the new challenges. We want to reflect our community and are looking to bring more diversity to our team.
We’re particularly looking for people with knowledge or lived experience in commissioning, social welfare law, local government and HR.
Take a look at this role description for more information.
Everyday we give people a lifeline and make a difference.
Meet our Trustees
Click on each section below to find out about our Board members.
Ian Bretman - Chair
It’s a pleasure and a privilege to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Chair of Trustees for CAWS.
Although quite new to CAWS, I do have prior experience as a Chair of a Citizens Advice service, having held that role in Barnet, North London for six years until 2019, so I am familiar with the structures and processes of the network. I look forward to working closely with the Leadership Team but hope also to meet staff and volunteers over time as I get the opportunity to visit each of our offices.
Sarah Trowbridge: Co-Vice Chair
I joined Citizens Advice as a Trustee around the time that I finished full time work. I worked for 35 years in hospitality and retail in various roles which has given me experience in operational management, supply chain and customer service.
I chose Citizens Advice as it gave the opportunity to use my skills in new areas. One of the most interesting aspects of the role is the number of different backgrounds that the volunteers and staff have, and the opportunity to create a new network in a different sector.
As a Trustee I support the governance of the organisation, and I support the Chair of the Board as one of the Vice Chairs. I am also the Chair the People and Strategy Committees. I enjoy the role as it is varied and flexible around other commitments.
Nick Clay: Co-Vice Chair and Treasurer
I have been a Trustee for three years. Our family lived for 27 years in Haywards Heath which is where our children went to school. We now live close to the Shoreham branch. I have volunteered as a Trustee as I am tremendously impressed by the work that the organisation does in both our own area and at the national level. I enjoy working in a team, particularly with people who have different work experiences to my own. It is also an opportunity to put something back into the community I lived in for so long.
I am a Chartered Accountant and spent the bulk of my career working in the Global Asset Management industry, where I held a number of senior governance and finance roles. As well as attending regular Board meetings I am the current Chair of the Compliance and Governance committee and a member of the Finance committee. In both of these roles I am able to use some of the skills and knowledge I built up during my career.
Irene Campbell: Past Chair
My first taste of Trusteeship occurred over 20 years ago, when I was asked to represent my employer, West Sussex County Council on the Board of the Shipley Windmill Trust, owned by Hilaire Belloc.
On behalf of East Sussex County Council, I joined the Asham Trust (a short story competition organisation with links to Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Set).
Later it was the international RSA, where I became the Chair of the Fellowship Advisory Council and also a Trustee.
Then Brighton Theatre and I am now the Chair of the Nominations Committee and interim Chair of the Investment Committee of Cats Protection.
After serving my apprenticeship as Vice-Chair for 3 years, I find myself the current Chair of Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East), where I can use my skills, especially in strategy, customer service and information provision, as well as managing front facing services in Local Government and an understanding of how Governance works.
The best thing about being a CAWS Trustee for me, is the fact I can help the organisation help local people to make their lives more manageable and more comfortable. Staff and volunteers working together are making a real difference to our community on a daily basis.
Les recently stepped back from paid work into volunteer type roles as hewanted to start to “give something back” and to help people, families and children in difficult times.
Les has a Civil Service background but his specialism and interest of recent years is HR
At the end of my business career, and as a magistrate, Tony wished to ‘give back’ to society and the obvious choice for him was Citizens Advice, as it stands for supporting, helping and advising members of our community on a huge raft of different and challenging issues.
Tony was a volunteer adviser at CAWS for five years, and Tony got a huge buzz of satisfaction every time he tried to help out and Tony was able to make a difference for clients. As a Trustee, he feels privileged to be able to contribute to the bigger picture on issues of planning and strategy. Tony still, however, continues to be at the sharp end as an adviser for Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove.
“Citizens Advice is an amazing organisation that makes people’s lives better all over the country.” – This is why Mike wanted to be involved, though becoming a Trustee was rather accidental: he previously lived in East Hertfordshire, knew some people who volunteered with the local CA and soon he was hooked.
Mike’s background had been initially in engineering, then in purchasing and latterly in tutoring students of purchasing in universities and colleges. All this taught him the importance of analysis, of negotiation, of dealing with people of all sorts and of communication.
Being a Trustee is a most rewarding experience and, having moved to Worthing, he applied and was accepted to join the CAWS board.
“I enjoy contributing to something I believe to be very worthwhile, and working with interesting people – as well as the challenge of helping to guide CAWS through difficult times.”
Hannah hopes to be able to use her experience within the legal sector and local authority environment to aid the Chairty in achieving their goals. Furthermore, as a young professional, Hannah feel she may be able to widen the views represented on the board of trustees.
Alex has lived in Horsham for 25 years, after moving here to work for the RSPCA and have also had senior communications roles at the Environment Agency, Department of Health, Central Office of Information and Accenture. Most of those roles offered a combination of media, political, digital, campaigns, risk management, for social good – and he’d like to use the experience he gathered to support Citizens Advice across my home county of West Sussex.
Citizens Advice has a strong social purpose and does so much work to support and advise those in need. Across West Sussex, it helps thousands each year – particularly those facing poverty, unemployment or relationship breakdowns. Alex has always been impressed by its ability to gather data, examples and advocate on the part of those it helps, to achieve positive change.
Amir is Professor of Law and Social Justice, and Head of the Law School, at the University of Sussex. His research and teaching interests cover Employment Law, Public Law, Social and Economic Rights, and the Welfare State.
In addition, Amir is the Founding Director of Sussex Clinical Legal Education, an initiative that allows students to provide free legal advice, supervised by practitioners, to members of the community, in areas including criminal law, employment, family law, housing and welfare, environmental justice, and migration, as well as an award winning partnership with CAWS!
Prior to his appointment as Trustee, Amir was an Employment Specialist at CAWS. In his (somewhat limited) spare time, he runs, cycles and swims.