Our trustees

Meet our Chair

  • Karen Morton
    Chair of Trustees

    Karen chairs RVA Board meetings and manages the CEO on behalf of the Board, taking overall responsibility for RVA’s strategy and monitoring of delivery. She is an experienced leader, manager, chair, facilitator, consultant and trainer, with a background in charity management and development.

Meet our other trustees

  • Peter Brierley
    Trustee

    Peter is part of the Neighbourhoods and Communities team for a national Housing Association, specialising in Community Development. A firm believer in the core notion of community development, he is also passionate about volunteering and hopes his enthusiasm will be an asset to RVA and its aims to support Reading’s voluntary sector.

  • Kate Forster
    Trustee

    Kate brings to RVA’s Board of Trustees a broad variety of HR experience in a range of organisational settings and sizes in both the public and private sector.

  • Simone Illger
    Trustee

    Simone has lived in Reading all of her life. She currently chairs the Reading Physical Disability and Sensory Needs Partnership Board (PDSN), co-chairs the Thalidomide Trust’s Health and Wellbeing Committee, serves as Chair to her local Residents’ Association and has recently been writing articles for RVA as a Community Journalist.

  • Lillian King
    Trustee

    Lillian joined the Board of Trustees in 2012 and as one of our Volunteer Adviser Team has a wealth of knowledge of the local voluntary and community sector.

  • Steve Leitch
    Treasurer

    Steve is a local businessman and company director with a background in finance. He works within diverse sectors such as IT, the internet, advanced motorcycle training and product sales. He is a trustee of a small local children’s charity and is a member of the management team for the East Reading Festival. He has a passion for music and can be seen manning the stage at local community arts and music events.

  • Julie Roberts
    Trustee

    Julie has worked in the voluntary sector for more than 20 years, mostly in the areas of disability and international development. She is a specialist in fundraising and market research and has led teams at a variety of national and international charities. She has an MBA in Charity Management from London South Bank University, writing a dissertation on mergers in the UK voluntary sector.

  • Unis Shaikh
    Trustee

    Unis is an experienced team leader and manager with a background in international newsgathering at the BBC. He is currently a trustee and volunteer producer for Reading’s Talking News, a charity which supports the blind and visually-impaired. He is also passionate about sport and Reading FC.

  • Sarah Stevens
    Trustee

    Sarah worked in the rail industry for 28 years, on projects including the £7billion investment programme for the upgrade of the West Coast Mainline, and developing and building the new high-speed rail line from London to the West, High Speed 2.

  • Gillian Thomas
    Trustee

    Gillian Thomas worked for the NHS for over thirty years as a counsellor in the gastroenterology department of the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Her work entailed counselling people affected by ongoing gastroenterological conditions and providing training and information to nurses about the psychological care of patients. 

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