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Meet our five new trustees

Five new trustees have joined the council of management of Church Action on Poverty, bringing fresh skills, insights, ideas and dedication to the organisation.

A still from a hand-drawn video, showing people crossing a bridge, holding a banner that says "Tackling root causes of poverty"

All five were elected at our recent 2023 AGM. This blog gives you a quick introduction, and outlines their and other trustees’ role.

The new trustees are:

Rich Jones from Greater Manchester

Rich is a multi-award winning social entrepreneur who brings with him 20 years of extensive experience in the voluntary, community, faith and social enterprise sector.

Rich has experience on the frontline, in leadership and in infrastructure consultancy within the charity sector.

Revd Amanda Mallen from Walsall

Amanda says: “I am from an impoverished background and have personal experience of financial poverty, and the emotional and mental poverty that goes along with it.

“I want to make a difference and try to do so in my own small way, engaging on a wider scale can only be a good thing. I feel I have come a long way and have something to say and something to offer those who are journeying through too.”

Ashleigh May from Halifax and Barking & Dagenham

Ashleigh says: “I have lived experience of poverty, and am very passionate to challenge all forms of oppression. I have over nine years of campaigning experience. I help to amplify the voices of the Black and Minority Ethnicity communities.”

Ashleigh lived in Barking & Dagenham but was relocated to Halifax, as the local council had been unable to rehouse her.

She co-runs an organisation called Mums On A Mission, which supports families and helps to strengthen community action, working in East London and West Yorkshire.

Ashleigh is part of Church Action on Poverty’s Speaking Truth To Power programme and recently told her story more fully here.

Martin Stringer from Kidderminster

Martin says: “Having undertaken five years of church-related community work in Manchester in  the 1990s, I spent over thirty years in highereducation, including leadership roles in the University of Birmingham and Swansea University. I have continued to research and work in inner-urban areas and am currently a consultant in higher education.”

Tracy Porter from Stoke

Tracy says: “I’ve known poverty for most of my life, in many of its ever changing forms, and the obstacles and barriers that poverty creates. 

“As I and my children got older, I started to look at what I could do to change how and why things are done. I signed so many petitions that were just rejected and had no effect whatsoever, few actually made any difference, and the difference was very small!  

“I had all but given up, when I found Expert Citizens, whom connected me with; The APLE Collective, Thrive Teesside, Church Action on Poverty, Christians Against Poverty, and All The Small Things. 

“The work I have been doing with these organisations have all been on variations of the same theme, as they have all been about different aspects of poverty. 

“I have also worked with various universities around the same themes, and at present am, working with Cardiff University’s Policy Team with The APLE Collective, we have been developing a workshop to gather data about reducing stigma. We have also organised and been invited to All-Party Parliamentary Groups, and we have been a part of research for health inequalities in data with The Ada Lovelace Foundation as peer researchers.”

Tracy is also part of the Speaking Truth To Power programme, and says: “It has been great to be involved with so many like minded, passionate and driven people, and I believe that together we can make meaningful change that will have a huge positive impact.”

What our trustees do

Church Action on Poverty’s trustees sit on the council of management, to oversee the governance of the charity. 

The council and management have worked over recent years to increase the number of trustees who have first-hand insights of UK poverty, and almost half of our trustees now do.

All of our work is rooted in the knowledge that no social issue can be fixed without the leadership and wisdom of people with direct experience of it. Our politics, media, business sectors and charity sectors would all be more informed and more effective if they were more accessible for people of all incomes and backgrounds, and Church Action on Poverty is pleased to be making progress in this way.

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