Who's who on the Norfolk VCSE Sector Leadership Group

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Sector Leadership Group members are elected or appointed to represent the wider voluntary, community and social enterprise sector. Together they have a broad range of expertise and many years' experience working in and with the sector. Find out more about them and how to get in touch below. 

Emily Balsdon (appointed by Norfolk Community Advice Network (NCAN))

Emily is Director for the Norfolk Community Advice Network – a partnership of charities who provide quality, free, impartial, social welfare and legal advice.  NCAN works together to make sure this advice is easily accessible, to ensure quality and best practice, to identify gaps in provision and to provide strategic expertise. 

Contact Emily: [email protected]

Judith Bell (Elected Member)

Judith Bell is Operations Manager for Healthwatch Norfolk, an independent organisation that uses people’s views and experiences to help inform and improve the services that are commissioned and provided in Norfolk.  Judith’s 15 years of experience working in the voluntary sector, including her previous roles as CEO of Yare Valley CAB, Operations Manager of Norfolk CAB, and Service Director of Norfolk Family Mediation Service, means she is familiar with a wide range of issues within the VCSE sector.

Contact Judith: [email protected]

Daniel Childerhouse (Elected Member)

Daniel is the Chief Executive Officer of Future Projects, a charity which works across Norfolk to address hardship and deprivation through the provision of high quality services and support.  These services include a therapeutic special school for children with SEND, Norwich’s community radio station, and a collection of specialist support, advice and guidance services - all of which are embedded within the communities where they are needed most.  In recent years Daniel’s focus has been on organisational change as he set about the task of reshaping the charity to become the success it is today; in that time the charity has more than doubled in size, developed new services, and expanded across the county.

Daniel is also the Chair of Living Wage Norwich, a local charity which works with employers to promote fair pay and fair employment practices. The charity aims to support local employers to adopt the real Living Wage so that in-work poverty becomes a thing of the past.  In recent years, and under Daniel’s leadership the Charity has taken the lead in advancing this agenda alongside large local employers such as Aviva and Norwich City Council.

Daniel has an interest in all things VCSE, and through Future Projects’ broad mission has been able to acquire significant experience across a range of themes such as housing and homelessness, health, employment, community development, social inclusion, inclusive growth and so on.  Daniel is keen to bring this experience to the SLG to give a stronger voice to services and organisations that change lives.

Contact Daniel: [email protected]

Jon Clemo (Appointed by Community Action Norfolk as one of the "Working Together" (VCSE Engage) partners)

Jon is Chief Executive of Community Action Norfolk, a county-wide membership organisation whose aim is to build a stronger, fairer Norfolk through working with voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations as well as public and private sector partners. As one of the ‘Working Together’ partners, Jon provides a link between the VCSE sector and Norfolk County Council to improve engagement, support and working together to achieve better outcomes for the communities and residents of Norfolk, particularly smaller and rural community groups. Community Action Norfolk formed in April 2015 following the merger of West Norfolk VCA with Norfolk RCC, where Jon had been previously been the Chief Executive.  Jon has a background in economic development with a focus on local economies, and has a particular interest in rural issues and community development. The work that he does at Community Action Norfolk ranges from working with communities and community groups on grassroots needs to working with partners on high-level strategic issues.

Contact Jon: [email protected]

Rachel Cowdry (Elected Member)

Rachel Cowdry is the CEO of Break, a long established children’s charity providing services for children and young people in East Anglia.  Rachel has nearly 30 years of experience in children’s social care within the private, statutory and not for profit sectors with roles in social work, workforce development, organisational development and strategic development. Rachel was instrumental in Break’s improvement journey and bringing in evidenced based international models into the organisation.  Rachel brings the voice of young people and their role in developing the sector’s future with us into the discussions within Break, the SLG and directly with NCC.

Rachel has Board level experience not only in her current role, but also as the vice-chair of Momentum and a Trustee of Voluntary Norfolk. She is currently the Voluntary Sector Forum Representative on the Corporate Parenting Board for NCC.

Contact Rachel: [email protected]

Claire Cullens (Appointed by Norfolk Community Foundation)

Claire is Chief Executive Officer of Norfolk Community Foundation which is part of a worldwide charitable network and one of 46 Community Foundations within the UK.  The Community Foundations work together to share learning and provide a structure for government, grant funders and organisations wanting to have an impact across the UK.  The Community Foundation is a trusted and expert advisor on giving, philanthropy and funding that makes a difference across Norfolk.

Contact Claire: [email protected]

Philip Eke (Appointed by Mental Health Provider Forum)

Philip is Chief Executive of Norfolk & Waveney Mind and Chair of the Mental Health Providers Forum, and has been nominated by them to represent mental health providers on the SLG. 

Alan Hopley (Appointed by Voluntary Norfolk as one of the "Working Together" (VCSE Engage) partners)

Alan is Chief Executive of Voluntary Norfolk, a county-wide membership organisation which promotes, supports and develops volunteering and the work of voluntary organisations, aiming to encourage recognition and understanding of the value of the sector in the achievement of individual well-being and an inclusive and fair society.  As one of the ‘Working Together’ partners, Alan provides a link between the VCSE sector and Norfolk County Council to improve engagement, support and working together to achieve better outcomes for the communities and residents of Norfolk.  Voluntary Norfolk will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019 and continues to provide infrastructure support and services via Charity Backroom and membership to hundreds of voluntary organisations throughout Norfolk.  Alan has both a commercial and a voluntary sector background, working for YHA and Addaction before joining Voluntary Norfolk in 2016.  A background that includes being a volunteer for a children’s disability charity for over 25 years.

Contact Alan: [email protected]

Hilary MacDonald / Dan Skipper  (Appointed by Norfolk's Older Persons' Strategic Partnership and Age UK Norfolk)

Hilary is Chief Executive of Age UK Norfolk and Dan is Chief Executive of Age UK Norwich.  Together they bring the perspectives of older people to the Sector Leadership Group, both having a strong commitment to supporting the needs and aspirations of people in later life and are passionate about involving older people in the design and development of services.

Edward Maxfield (Elected Member)

Ed Maxfield is the Chief Executive of Musical Keys, a charity which provides music and arts activities for people with disabilities and additional needs in Norfolk and the surrounding area.  Ed joined Musical Keys in April 2018 after a career in management, communications and public affairs.  He first moved to Norfolk at the age of 18 and has worked in the public, private and voluntary sector in locations around the UK and Europe.

Contact Ed: [email protected]

Dan Mobbs (Appointed by the Voluntary Sector Forum (Children & Young People))

Dan is Chief Executive of MAP a charity for young people, providing advice, counselling and youth work as well as education and training for young people.  He is the elected Chair of the Voluntary Sector Forum (Children and Young People) Group.  Dan is also one of the VCSE representatives on the Norfolk Health and Wellbeing Board.  Dan has spent his career working for charities focusing on mental health, substance misuse and homelessness and has worked alongside the NHS and local authorities.  He has worked in a number of roles to promote the VCSE including training commissioners and co-authoring a VCS commissioning guide.  His priority is to ensure there is a positive relationship of equal partners with the VCSE and public sector and that whenever the VCSE is best placed to deliver services because of their skills and values they are given the opportunity. 

Contact Dan: [email protected]

Ben Reed (Appointed by Equal Lives)

Ben is Chief Executive Officer of Equal Lives, a membership based organisation with over 50 user-led member groups and over 600 individual members, aims to unite the voices of people who face disabling barriers and work to enable them to live barrier free, independent and Equal Lives.

Contact Ben: [email protected]

Daniel Williams (Elected member)

Daniel is the Director of yournorfolk Ltd., a management consultancy service for the VCSE sector in Norfolk.  Daniel is an elected member of the Sector Leadership Group and has worked within the VCSE sector in Norfolk for over 20 years.  He worked in housing before moving to the Prince's Trust, where he became the manager for all aspects of Prince's Trust operations across Norfolk.  In 2006 Daniel joined the Big C cancer charity as Chief Executive, increasing the commercial profile of the organisation and generating long-term, sustainable revenue funds during his nine year tenure.  Daniel believes this is a challenging but exciting time for the VCSE community in Norfolk.  With the integration of statutory health and social care providers gathering pace there is an opportunity for our sector to work more effectively as part of a whole health and social care system.  We know that the work of many VCSE providers will  improve independence and build resilience across those who may otherwise be accessing community or acute healthcare services and a more fully integrated commissioning process could tap into this resource.

Contact Daniel: [email protected]

Elly Wilson Wickenden (Appointed by Norfolk Arts Forum)

Elly is the Project Portfolio Manager and Deputy Director at Creative Arts East.  She joined the charity in 2009 and has been involved across all areas of the charity’s work during the last nine years.  Creative Arts East focuses on engaging those communities or its members who face geographical, physical or other barriers to participating in the cultural life of their area, using high quality arts and culture to make a positive difference to individual and community life.  Their Vision: Culturally vibrant, connected and motivated rural communities.  Their Mission: To improve community life through the creative use of the arts.  Elly also sits on the Norfolk Arts Forum Executive Committee, StartEast Steering group and the Norfolk Culture and Wellbeing group.  She will act as a link between the creative and cultural sector of Norfolk and the Sector Leadership Group, ensuring the sector has a voice within these fora.

Contact Elly: [email protected]

The group maintains a register of members interests in line with the Conflict of Interest Policy, both of which are published below. The secretariat for the group is provided by Community Action Norfolk. 

For more information about how SLG representatives are connected with the Norfolk VCSE please click here