Who we are
Our service is delivered by carefully selected and trained staff and volunteers.
We pride ourselves in being a flexible employer, being Disability Confident and we are working towards the Investors in Volunteers accreditation to continually improve our volunteering experience. We have also achieved the Trusted Charity Mark Level 1 for the high quality of our service.
We’re a unique team of more than 270 volunteers and 40 paid staff delivering services across West Sussex.
We deliver a comprehensive range of information and advice services in collaboration with our partners.
Our day-to-day operations are led by our Senior Management Team, and you can find out more about our Trustee Board below.
We welcomed a new Chief Executive Officer and a new Chair of Trustees to our team in January 2020: click here to read about them.
Take a look at our ‘Organisational Chart’ below, to see how we’re structured.
We welcome and value our staff and volunteers’ diverse work and life experience, so we can support the community and our clients in the best possible way.
We have a Trustee Board, whose role is to provide strategic direction ensuring the charity is run efficiently and delivering all our obligations, like complying with the Charities Commission rules and meeting our contractual requirements.
Our Trustees have a huge range of skills and experience. You can find out more about them below.
Trustees are volunteers; we are the Non-Executive Directors of the charity. We provide governance and guidance for the way the charity is run, monitoring the direction of the charity’s policy and having final financial responsibility.
Meet our Trustees
Click on each section below to find out about our Board members.
Irene Campbell: 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.
Nick Clay: Co-Vice Chair
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.
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.
Andrew Brock: Treasurer
I came to being a Trustee at Citizens Advice East Grinstead in 1995, via my role as a council representative for East Grinstead Town Council. Since then the charity has gone through mergers and changes which have meant that I’ve been able to remain in this role. I have seen a lot of change since I’ve been here, and I have been proud of the way we adapt to the changing environment and difficult times.
I enjoy being Treasurer and using my experience of working with company accounts; it keeps me occupied and enables me to use my skills and experience for something really worthwhile.
I’m glad to be able to support our teams who are doing such a great job, giving free and knowledgeable advice to anyone who seeks it, wherever they live and whatever their background.
Having previously worked for Citizens Advice as a Welfare Benefits Specialist, I have seen first hand the difference our advisers can make to people’s lives, and I am really pleased to be able to continue being a part of that as a Trustee for Citizens Advice in West Sussex (North, South, East).
I now have the chance to use my experience and the skills I’ve gained in my Human Resources career to support the Executive team as we move forward in a challenging and uncertain future. I love being a part of the team, and contributing to our local communities, in a small way.
At the end of my business career, and as a magistrate, I wished to ‘give back’ to society and the obvious choice for me was Citizens Advice, as it stands for supporting, helping and advising members of our community on a huge raft of different and challenging issues.
I was a volunteer adviser at CAWS for five years, and I got a huge buzz of satisfaction every time I tried to help out and was able to make a difference for clients. As a Trustee I feel privileged to be able to contribute to the bigger picture on issues of planning and strategy. I still, however, continue 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 I wanted to be involved, though becoming a Trustee was rather accidental: I previously lived in East Hertfordshire, knew some people who volunteered with the local CA and soon I was hooked.
My background had been initially in engineering, then in purchasing and latterly in tutoring students of purchasing in universities and colleges. All this taught me 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, I 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.
When I retired after 27 years with West Sussex County Council I wanted to make voluntary work part of my life, and I knew about the work done by Citizens Advice. I looked at the various roles and put myself forward to be a Trustee. I have been able to draw much from my experience of local government, social care, health and voluntary sector services.
I have been a Trustee for eight years and enjoy being part of an organisation that makes a real difference to the lives of so many people. The Board of Trustees is made up of volunteers with a wide range of skills and experience, working as a team to guide and support the strategic direction of the organisation. We get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from this. Being Chair for 2018 and 2019 was a particular highlight for me.
Alex Ross: Trustee Designate
I’ve 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 I’d like to use the experience I’ve 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. I’ve always been impressed by its ability to gather data, examples and advocate on the part of those it helps, to achieve positive change.