NAVCA Board of Trustees

We have a fantastic, committed and enthusiastic Board of Trustees, chaired by our interim Chair Alison Semmence.

The Board meets four times a year, each time at a different member's location, and hosts our Annual General Meeting in the autumn.

Trustees also attend events, speaking engagements, meetings and roundtables on behalf of NAVCA and our members.

Trustee nominations 2019-2022

The opportunity to nominate Trustees to serve on the NAVCA Board for three years from December 2019 is now open.

Nomination is open to anyone suitably qualified or experienced, but all nominees must be proposed by a current NAVCA member.  If you wish to stand as a Trustee but do not have a member to nominate you, please contact us for advice. 

This year we are accepting nominations for up to three Trustee vacancies.  Full details, the nomination form and the candidate declaration can be downloaded here.

NAVCA Trustee nomination form and declaration 2019 (docx)


Interim Chair: Alison Semmence




Alison has worked in VCS infrastructure since 1997, firstly as the Director of Volunteer Centre Chelmsford, then for ten years as Chief Executive of SAVS (Southend Association of Voluntary Services), and since 2018 as Chief Executive of York CVS.

Alison is passionate about supporting grass roots community action and in local people having a say in how services are developed and delivered, for example, through co-production. She believes a strong infrastructure is vital to a healthy and vibrant VCS.

Vice Chair: Julie Farrow


Julie Farrow has been the Chief Executive at Hunts Forum since April 2008, and leads Support Cambridgeshire, an infrastructure partnership that provides strategic support and development to Cambridgeshire VCS groups. 

She has a specific interest in health and social care issues and is the only VCS representative on Cambridgeshire’s Health and Wellbeing Boa

Vice Chair: Judy Robinson



Judy has worked in the VCS as a staff member, as a volunteer and as a board member. 

She is interested in how voices improve services and democracy and in policy development about local government, equality and local economies. Judy is Chair of HealthWatch Sheffield and promotes the role of VCS in creating wellbeing. 

Judy is a committed northerner and knows Yorkshire, Greater Manchester and Lancashire well, having been the CEO of Involve Yorkshire and Humber and the Director of GMCVO.

Treasurer: Brian Coghlan



After a long and varied career in Commercial and Corporate Banking including the intensive management of distressed businesses, Brian has recently joined the Key Fund as an Investment Manager.  

Brian has enjoyed joining a team that actually makes a difference, not just in a financial sense but also in the diversity of opportunities and programmes that are supported.  What he really enjoys most is actually using his skills, qualifications and experience to guide and support people running Social Enterprises to guide and support them in their drive, vision and compassion to help others.

Married with 2 grown up daughters, he enjoys foreign travel and seeking to achieve that better non corporate work life balance. Taking the dog for a walk and not living by the constant barrage of work emails does help!

Brian was appointed to NAVCA's Board of Trustees As Treasurer in 2018 for a term of three years.

Richard Jackson



Richard is Chief Officer of Voluntary Action Leeds, an organisation which aims to help ensure that Leeds has a thriving Third Sector through delivering a range of targeted support services to local voluntary and community groups.

As part of his job, Richard has a leadership role within the Third Sector, primarily as a facilitator helping bring conversations and relationships together within neighbourhoods, the City, City Region and England’s Core Cities.

Will Lindesay


Will is the Chief Executive at HVOSS (Herefordshire Voluntary Organisations Support Service), the leading infrastructure support organisation in Herefordshire, West Midlands. 

Will played a leading role in establishing HVOSS following a merger of 3 local support services in 2012. Prior to this, he was Chief Executive of Herefordshire Voluntary Action for 6 years. 

Will's experience of managing change, mergers implementation and partnership development is an asset to NAVCA and other VCS leaders facing similar challenges.

Melanie Mills



As Social Sector Engagement Director for Big Society Capital, Melanie leads a range of programmes to support social enterprises engage with social investment. 

Previously, Melanie was CEO at Social Enterprise West Midlands CIC (SEWM), a leading membership network established to grow the social enterprise sector across the region. Melanie led it from a publicly funded project to a sustainable social enterprise through four years of trading and growth.

With a background of 20 years in retail Melanie has also deployed her commercial skills to run her own consultancy working with community organisations and charities to raise funds and to look at new ways of sustainable income generation.

Outside of her day job she is also Social Enterprise Champion for Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, and Chair of Governors at a rural primary school. Melanie was part of the Independent Commission which published ‘Change for Good’ which lead to her joining the NAVCA board as a Trustee.

Carole Phillips



Carole has been Chief Executive of Voluntary Action North Lincolnshire since January 2000, and as such has developed a real respect for the work of NAVCA and her fellow CVSs.

Her interest in the voluntary sector started as a volunteer when she was ‘persuaded’ into being on the Committee of her local Preschool in 1980, soon becoming Chair, and this snowballed into a lifetime of voluntary action including leading projects to refurbish the Village Hall, develop the village playing field, create a purpose built pre-school facility, set up an out of school club and create a parish plan. She has also been a School Governor, volunteer youth worker and Parish Councillor.

Carole took part in a project with North Lincolnshire Council supporting St George in Transylvania, Romania (Pre-accession). Her role was to share learning to support newly emerging health and social care VCS organisations.

She has a degree in Sociology and PGCE, and extensive experience of working in the strategic arena with public sector bodies, ensuring that the VCS voice is heard, including as vice-chair of the LSP.  Carole has a real commitment to equality and strongly recognises and endorses the role of communities in supporting the disadvantaged.

She holds a strong belief that we are stronger together and if we choose competition over collaboration we will fail as a sector. As a result VANL has been at the forefront of leading or supporting many successful collaborations, locally and further afield.

Mike Wild




Mike is Chief Executive of Macc, the local development organisation for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector in the city of Manchester. 

Since 2005, Mike has led Macc to expand on its policy and campaigning work into areas such as capacity building support for local voluntary organisations, establishing Volunteer Centre Manchester and the Spirit of Manchester programme, an annual celebration of the sector’s work in the city.  

Mike has worked full time in the sector since 1996, having started with voluntary work at school. His background is in advocacy, promoting the voices of the marginalised and seldom-heard alongside creative thinking and values-based working. 

A champion of local voluntary action, Mike also promotes the value of civic leadership and an inclusive economy. Mike sits on Our Manchester Leaders Forum, Manchester Health & Wellbeing Board and a range of local partnership structures. He is also a founder member of the Greater Manchester VCSE Devolution Reference Group.

Stephen Craker



Stephen is CEO of Communities 1st, a newly merged infrastructure organisation (bringing together Community Hertsmere and Community Central St Albans) in Hertfordshire. 

In his spare time, he is involved with a number of voluntary and community-based enterprises, including Chair of Volunteering Herts CIC, as an Enterprise Advisor for a national non-profit, Editor for a newsletter that champions improved services for Older People and as Chair of Governors for a local primary school.