0191 226 3440

(open everyday 9am - 9pm)

Stay connected

Menu

Governance Framework 

Our charity is governed by a board of unpaid trustees who volunteer their services. 

Trustees are independently appointed from a range of backgrounds to support and review the strategic direction of the service. They coordinate the annual review of service delivery, working with senior management to set strategic, operational, and financial goals.  

We have strict governance measures to support the CEO and senior management team. Trustees meet eleven times each year to review goals, commitments, impact and the active risk register which is used to record, monitor and mitigate all operational risk.  

Our finances are subject to internal and external audit with clear governance arrangements including a finance working group to ensure expenditure is aligned to our objectives and provides good value for money. 

Current Membership

Chair – Den Wilkins  

Denise is a GP who retired in 2018 after 37 years at the same practice in Heaton, Newcastle.

She undertook her medical training in Dundee and then moved to Newcastle to do the 3-year Postgraduate GP scheme which involved training in both hospitals and in General Practice.  During this time, she achieved membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Denise was then appointed as a partner in a General Practice in Heaton where she became the senior partner for a number of years.  Under her leadership she guided the practice to achieve Outstanding in their CQC report.

Denise enjoyed the variety of general practice and also the long relationships she had with many of her patients and their families over several generations. She enjoyed supporting younger members of the practice and the GP registrars who were attached to the practice as part of their training. She also chaired the Patient Participation Group.

Denise has 3 adult children who she enjoys visiting as often as possible.  She also enjoys walks in the country with her husband, Pilates and Yoga and has been learning Spanish for the past 2 years.


Treasurer -Alastair Mitchell

Alastair is a retired Chartered Accountant who trained and qualified with Ernst & Young in London. He subsequently moved to industry where he developed strong financial and commercial skills working across a number of different sectors. 

Following Ernst & Young he moved to PepsiCo Inc where he held a number of senior international finance roles.  Initially based in London and New York he led the International Internal Audit Function.  He then worked in Hong Kong for nearly 3 years followed by 5 years in Budapest working with the regional Pepsi-Cola beverage businesses.

Upon his return to the UK with a young family he became Finance Director, and subsequently Managing Director, of the AIM listed leisure business Georgica PLC. The business operated around 250 venues across the UK including the Megabowl ten pin bowling centres, Rileys Cue Sports, and a chain of 35 Burger King restaurants.  With over 5000 staff and an ambitious fund raising and refurbishment programme, this was an exciting and hugely rewarding experience.

Alastair moved to the North East in 2006 to become CFO of Sage UK and Ireland where he managed the acquisition of a number of businesses and streamlined the Newcastle based operations.  In addition to leading the UK and Ireland Finance Function he led the Business Services and Legal teams.

Prior to his retirement Alastair worked for two years with the NCG college group as their Director of Finance, Estates and IT.

Alastair enjoys spending time with his two grown up sons and walking his dogs with his wife San.  He also tries to keep as fit as possible with regular trips the gym and the swimming pool!


Trustee – Sue Sinton

Sue’s career began in London as an Archivist in the South East Asia department of the Foreign Office.

After moving home, she ran a successful jewellery business in the West Midlands before relocating the Company to Newcastle when she married in 1984.

In 1996, she was privileged to be appointed as a Justice of the Peace, working both in the Criminal and Youth courts for 20 years. During this time she served as Bench Chairman and as a member of the Lord Chancellors Advisory Committee. This work gave her a passionate interest in the judicial system and so she decided to study for a Law degree as a mature student, graduating in 2005 from Northumbria University. Sue now works as a Patient Support Volunteer at St Oswald’s Hospice and enjoys planting and working in her garden and surveying the results alongside her husband and 2 daughters!


Trustee – Lynne Griffin

 Lynne is an HR professional who retired in 2018 but was tempted back to work as an HR Consultant working with Further Education Colleges in London.

Lynne is MCIPD qualified and holds a Masters in HRM from Newcastle University.

Lynne’s career in HR spans a range of organisations including health service, banking, housing, care and support and further education. She has also held a number of non-executive posts including a number of years as a board member and vice chair of a housing association.

Lynne is married and enjoys travelling with her husband. She lives in Gosforth with no children but a gorgeous dog Mack the Spoodle. She also adores spending time with her nieces and nephews!

Trustee – Phillip Brown

Originating from Northumberland, Phillip moved back to the region in 2020 and now splits his time between his work as a Costumier and a freelance Digital Marketer.

After relocating to Brighton in 2018, Phillip began overseeing social media for cult footwear brand ‘Irregular Choice’ before starting his own brand, ‘Oh! Reinette’ – specialising in creating outfits for Drag performers. His work has been shown on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK and Drag Race Spain. 

Phillip now lives in Whitley Bay with his partner and his dog named Pig. In his spare time, he enjoys watching Doctor Who and tending his many house plants.

How we are funded

We are a not for profit organisation. We receive funding from a number of different sources including contract, grants, donations, legacies and income generated through trading.  

We help hundreds of families each year with the funding we receive and the limited resources we have.  

Your support can help us to reach thousands more.  

Our work is made possible with the support of