Our volunteer Trustee Board give invaluable guidance and governance to the organisation, and we benefit from their huge range of skills and experience.
We’re delighted to welcome two new Trustees to the team: Tony Book and Alex Ross.
We spoke with both Tony and Alex about their background, why they chose to volunteer for Citizens Advice, and their thoughts on the unusual time they join us in.
Tony Book (on the right in our image) knows us well, having spent five years with as a volunteer adviser with CAWS. Tony is not only a CAWS Trustee, but has also moved over to Citizens Advice Brighton and Hove as a volunteer adviser.
‘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.
As an adviser, 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.’
Alex Ross (on the left in our image) is an experienced communications professional; he has held senior roles in both public and private sector, including at Accenture, the Department of Health and the Environment Agency, as well as in the third sector. On choosing Citizens Advice, Alex says:
‘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, legal challenges or relationship breakdowns. As well as the face to face support for which it is well known, 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.
Most of my previous roles have 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.’
Tony and Alex have joined the Board at a challenging time; the service is currently operating via telephone, web chat and email, with staff and volunteers mostly based at home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tony says: ‘Working from home during these strange Covid times, it’s been amazing to see how staff and volunteers have coped with all the changes so professionally and continue to support the public who are under even more pressure than before the emergency. And of course, we still here we are to help and advise.’
Alex agrees: ‘Maintaining services during the Coronavirus outbreak has been a challenge for almost every organisation, but the teams have adapted and managed admirably through one of the biggest tests ever faced.
The AA used to describe itself as “the Fourth Emergency Service” but the description is much more accurate when applied to the work of Citizens Advice and the many charities and support services it works with. The impact of Coronavirus will only reiterate the vital role it serves in our communities.’
We look forward to working with both Tony and Alex: welcome to the team!