Board of Trustees

Sue Taylor (BEM) Our Chair

I was born in Glasgow, but have always lived in Cheshire, attending school in Stoke, and currently living in Nantwich. I worked at the DWP for 20 years, and then joined Vale Royal Borough Council, transferring in 2009 to Cheshire West and Chester Council.

I have always been passionate about supporting people in hardship, working closely with the Poverty Truth Commission to improve services and to make them easier to access. I was asked to be Food Lead during the pandemic, in addition to my day job as Transactional Services Manager.  I was involved in supporting families without food, medication, or housing, and those in need of welfare support. I was also involved in emergency Covid support and distribution of many of the additional funds. I was awarded the BEM in 2020 for services to local government which was presented by our Patron David Briggs in 2021.

I retired in June 2021 and have since taken on the role of chair of Platform for Life and trustee for Changing Lives Together. I am also director of a property company, as well as a wife, mother and grandmother.

Wendy Bell (Treasurer)

After studying Botany at Durham University I spent 12 years at Liverpool University where, as Head of Readers’ Services, I specialised  in library automation. In 1989 I joined IBM where I performed a variety of roles from solution design and delivery to operations management. I led organisational change in times of growth and in challenging economic environments. My responsibilities have included strategic planning, financial management, risk management and corporate governance. I am also an experienced people manager with a good track record of coaching and mentoring.On retirement from IBM UK, I set up a consultancy business with my husband with a focus on STEM education and, more generally, narrowing the attainment gap for disadvantaged children. I’m excited to use my business skills to support Platform for Life.

 

George Hartley (Chair)

I was born in Preston and grew up in the Weald of Kent where I attended Cranbrook School. Thereafter I went to Cambridge University where I studied Geography before completing a Masters degree in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London. I embarked on a career in teaching and taught at various schools in southern England before becoming Headmaster of Elizabeth College in Guernsey for eight years in 2009. Since 2017 I have been Headmaster of The King’s School, Chester. I live in Handbridge, Chester with my family. My interests include rugby, cricket, cooking and mountaineering.

Ann Gill

After a long career as a teacher, headteacher and adviser in primary schools I am very aware that there are times when struggling families benefit from the support of counsellors.  As a Trustee of Platform for Life, I relish being part of an organisation dedicated to improving the life chances for children and their families.

 

Andrew Kerr

I have had a long business career, mainly in the insurance sector where I qualified as an actuary.  Over this time, I’ve undertaken a wide range of roles including risk management, finance and the delivery of a number of large multi-year projects.  In addition, I have also performed a number of voluntary and non-executive roles. I have lived in Chester for over 20 years, with both of my children going to school locally. I enjoy most sports (including rowing and cycling) as well as the arts.  I am very excited to be involved with Platform for Life and am very much looking forward to utilising my business skills to support the excellent work done.

Emma Price

I am a Cestrian, born and bred and completed all of my education here. I went to the University of Chester where I undertook an Undergraduate degree in Psychology and Criminology, a Master’s degree in Crime and Justice and I’m currently finishing my PhD, which looks at third sector support available for mentally disordered offenders. I am currently a full-time Criminology lecturer at the University of Chester where I enjoy teaching and researching around my areas of interest which include; green criminology, mental health and victimisation. I have become a Trustee at Platform for Life because I wanted my research and expertise to make a difference within the community and I feel I can achieve this through the charity. I am very passionate and excited about being involved with a charity that provides such prominent support for improving the mental health and wellbeing of its service users.

 

Councillor Trish Richards

I am a happily married woman; proud Mum and Grandmother.  I recently celebrated 1 year in the challenging role of Blacon Ward Councillor.I was a Science teacher in high school for many years. Always involved in Trades Union activity in the workplace and through my involvement gained various qualifications regarding industrial relations. Eventually I left teaching to become the Local Negotiating Secretary of a leading teachers’ professional association. After leaving that role I went through rigorous training to become an ambassador for the NSPCC. Once qualified, I delivered workshops in Primary Schools. These sessions revealed to pupils (and teachers) the forms of abuse and the ambition of Childline to halt harm to children. Later I was employed by DOVE to promote body confidence to older high school students. I am very pleased to be part of Platform for Life.

Paul Rossiter

I am a solicitor and own a law firm which operates in North Wales and Cheshire and which often undertakes “pro bono” work for people in the local community. I have accepted a role as a Trustee at Platform for Life with the hope of being able to help more people in need in my local area. I live in Chester and am originally from Widnes, so I am a native to the North West, and I used to visit Chester when I was a child. I have always found it to be a lovely place and I am happy to now be engaged in making the lives of people in this area better.

 

Carol Jones

After spending 30 years in the finance industry, in 2009 I decided I wanted a change. I enrolled on a counselling course and never looked back. As a trainee I was privileged to gain experience at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd and so began a rewarding career in bereavement support. When the Hospice secured funding, I managed the project to develop a community wide bereavement service and later went on to manage the service when it was commissioned in 2014. I decided to retire in October 2020.

I’m a proud Cestrian and have happy childhood memories of time spent in Blacon. I’m delighted to be a Trustee as it gives me the opportunity to share the experiences I have gained in my working life. In my spare time, if I’m not catching up with friends, I can be found at my laptop writing short stories.