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You are here > About Us > The Board

The Board

Michael Hunter, Chair

I led the project group which set up the Worcestershire Voices Board and in December 2012 I was invited by the board to continue as their chair.
I have a long term commitment to the voluntary sector and have volunteered throughout my adult life. I started running a Scout Troop in Glasgow before I moved to London for work; I continued my involvement with the Scouts and progressed to become an Assistant County Commissioner in Central London – working with and supporting other leaders. After I moved to Worcestershire spent over ten years leading the Adult Training Team for Hereford and Worcester Scouts and then became Deputy County Commissioner leading and supporting the development of Scouting locally.

I was the Scout representative on the newly formed Worcestershire Council for Voluntary Youth Services (WCVYS) when the County Council split in 1998 and within six months I became the chair.

In 2007, when I took early retirement from paid work, I extended my volunteering and became the Voluntary Sector member on the Worcestershire Safeguarding Children Board and the Worcestershire Children’s Trust.

I chaired the Partnership Advisory Body of the Trust for two years from 2008. This group brought together all the partners – Children’s Services, Health, Schools, Police, Probation, Connexions, etc and the Voluntary Sector – and acted as a catalyst to develop effective partnerships. I chair the Workforce Strategy Partners Group.

I have a long term commitment to partnership working and believe in the benefits to Worcestershire of having a strong and influential Voluntary Sector.
In addition I am chairman of governors of my local first school in Evesham and I also served for over five years as churchwarden of my local church until May 2012.

Contact: 07595 099 881 :

Cat Illingworth, Board Member

I wanted to join the Voices Board because I am passionate about the Voluntary sector and want it to be seen as the independent and exciting area that it is. From volunteering and working in the VCS I know its strengths and weaknesses, and I want to enable it to become cohesive, dynamic and pro-active. The strengths I bring are strong analytical skills, which enable me to understand problems and provide practical solutions, an ability to communicate clearly with a wide range of people and a direct approach which gets things done!

I started volunteering at a young age and have never really stopped. After University I worked for a pharmaceutical company while volunteering in my spare time until I chose a career in the voluntary sector. My specialism is youth programmes and over the past 11 years I have developed intercultural programmes for young people from different backgrounds, managed the branch of a charity running personal development programmes for disadvantaged teenagers, volunteered regularly at a youth centre and helped children with reading at school. I now work for Worcestershire Council for Voluntary Youth Services (WCVYS) providing support to voluntary youth organisations, and am also the co-founder and Treasurer of a small youth charity in Gloucester.

Contact :

Jim Smith, Board Member

I am currently Head of Branch and Community Services for Sight Concern Worcestershire, and before this role Chief Officer of the health and wellbeing infrastructure charity WAVOCC. I wanted to be part of the Worcestershire VCS Strategic Board as I recognize the need for strong and accountable VCS leadership structures in this time of great sector change and uncertainty. I bring a great deal of experience to the VCS Strategic Board. My leadership of WAVOCC, over five years, gave me a broad knowledge of the VCS in Worcestershire, particularly those working in Health and Wellbeing. While my role at Sight Concern, and a previous role at Age UK, gives a strong Service Provider perspective.

Some of my past and current VCS Leadership experience includes: Appointed Governor of Worcestershire Acute Hospitals, The Safer Communities Theme Group, Embedding Personalization Group etc. I have also been a VCS representative in the selection process for the C.E.O of both Worcestershire Acute Hospitals and Worcestershire Health and Care Trust. I first worked within the sector in 1995, and have volunteered in a number of roles including Co-founder of SpeakEasyExperience and my current role as Communication Director for CAWF ( Community Action Wyre Forest ). 

Contact:  01905 612726 :

Kate Harvey, Board Member

I have a strong commitment to the VCS in Worcestershire and believe it has a critical role to play in ensuring equality of opportunity, promoting diversity and addressing issues of exclusion and contributing to the social and economic life of the county. I therefore wanted to be part of this exciting new initiative and contribute to strengthening the sector, clarifying identity and purpose and ensuring engagement and participation in a meaningful way. The VCS is facing a particularly challenging period and the Board can play a key part in supporting the sector to deal with these challenges and develop the confidence and belief to see itself as an equal partner in planning and contributing to the creation of a thriving county.

I have 15 years experience within the VCS in Worcestershire and have considerable knowledge and skills gained through this I have led an organisation through significant growth and change and worked closely and effectively with a wide range of partners across all sectors in the county. Particularly strengths I bring to the Board include being an effective communicator with the ability to build and sustain good relationships, being able to think creatively and problem solve, strong team skills, working with others to find solutions and a great commitment to working in an inclusive and empowering way.

Contact: Onside, Williamson House, 14 Charles Street, Worcester WR1 2AQ
Work Phone : 01905 27525 : Direct Line 01905 746559 : Mobile Phone 07836515458:

Richard Quallington, Board Member

I am currently Chief Executive of Community First, the Rural Community Council for the two counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire.  From a background of research into rural deprivation I pursued a career in regeneration and community and voluntary sector development before taking up my current role. I am a planner by training and have many years experience of working with communities on issues such as affordable housing, transport, ICT and in developing sustainable rural services and facilities. I have also worked extensively in support of the third sector at a strategic level across Worcestershire and have spearheaded various initiatives to enable the sector engage more effectively with statutory partners to influence the development of policy and the delivery of services locally.

I am a passionate believer in the importance of the role of the voluntary and community sector in reaching out to those most disadvantaged in society and in developing innovative and creative solutions that engage and empower users in the design and delivery of services. The VCS in Worcestershire is at a key and challenging point in its development. Expectations of its role are running high whilst resources to support its engagement and delivery are at an all time low. The sector needs to be at its most creative, influential and persuasive over the next few years and I believe that the VCS Strategic Board has a key role to play in helping organisations to navigate the challenges ahead. The Board needs to show leadership by promoting and modelling genuine partnership and collaborative arrangements within Worcestershire that are focused on building the strength, the role and the influence of the sector locally.

I am keen to play a personal part in this work and to ensure that Community First supports and adds value to the work and role of the strategic board as it develops.
Contact : 01684 312762 :

Sally Ellison, Board Member

I am Chief Officer of Worcester Volunteer Centre, where I have worked for the past 23 years.  Previously I was a nurse, having worked in both the NHS and the private sectors, as well as spending 4 years as a City Councillor. I have been principally responsible for the growth of the Volunteer Centre, from working in 1 room with 1 member of staff, to where we are now, with our own premises, 10 staff members and approximately 100 volunteers. I was awarded an MBE in 2001 for my organisation's work, providing services to the elderly in Worcester. I am a Trustee of Worcester Roots Foundation, Engage Life and Worcester Community Trust, a co-opted Governor at Worcester 6th Form College as well as Chair of  Worcestershire Community Transport Consortium.  I am also a member of the Worcester City Children's Trust and their representative on the Worcestershire C.T.E.B.  I am a Director of SWISH (South Worcestershire Information and Support Hub) and a member of Worcestershire Volunteering Hub.

I wanted to join the Strategic Board as I am passionate about the voluntary sector and believe it is vital that the sector is heard and recognised for what is does and for what it can do in the future.  I am also passionate about volunteering, the importance of volunteers and ensuring that anyone who wants to volunteer is enabled to do so.  I believe my ability to communicate well at all levels will be a strength I can bring to the Board as well as my passion for the sector and my belief in ensuring that the sector’s voice is heard!! Although I am based in Worcester, I have excellent contacts throughout the sector through the local Volunteer Centres and CVSs and believe these will be useful as the Board develops in the coming months. 

Contact : Worcester Volunteer Centre, 33 The Tything, Worcester. WR1 1JL
01905 24741 :

Derek Markie, Board Member

For the first 30 years of my life my voluntary work was largely centred around church activities including leadership roles but following a career break in the late ‘80’s, my life as a Chartered Chemical Engineer and Operations Director took a new track first into consultancy and then into self-employed consultancy focusing on smaller organisations. Since then I have worked with voluntary and mutual organisations in every sector, local authorities and many SMEs and Social enterprises.

I have been involved in bids and bid adjudication as well as regional infrastructure for the 3rd Sector and both nationally and regionally for the faith sector, working with those of all faiths and none.

A move to Worcestershire in 2012 meant a change again and I am therefore new to the county but was encouraged by others that the Voices Board could use my experience and perspective. As ever I am delighted to work with the sector and the community in which I am now investing through daily life and grass roots volunteering.
Since arriving here I have been able to assist the formation of a new charity, contribute to a couple of commissioning bids and join in the work of Worcestershire Voices and soon begin work on a major community resource in Evesham. 
Contact: 0777 877 2176 :

Lorraine Preece, Board Member


Doug Chaplin, Board Member

I am currently a Development Officer for the Diocese of Worcester (part of the Church of England). In that role I hold a social responsiblity portfolio, and encourage and support parishes to engage with the needs of their communities, often in partnership with other faith bodies and other VCS organisations. I also work with the Worcestershire Interfaith Forum, and so have a particular role in seeing how the faith communities both play their part in, and are valued as participants in the voluntary and community sector. I also serve as the Worcester link officer for small grants from the Church Urban Fund, one of the main ways in which the Church of England seeks to tackle poverty in practical projects.

In the past I have served as a parish priest in Worcester and Droitwich. As part of that role I have served as a school governor in primary, first and special needs schools in the public sector, and also in a 3-16 private school. I was chair of trustees of Worcester YMCA through a significant developmet project in the mid to late nineties, have been a trustee of Droitwich CVS, and chaired a Town Plan Development Group through to completion in Droitwich.


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