Our trustees

Meet our Chair

  • Sarah Stevens
    Chair of Trustees

    Sarah chairs RVA Board meetings and manages the CEO on behalf of the Board, taking overall responsibility for RVA’s strategy and monitoring of delivery. Sarah worked in rail management for 28 years, ultimately developing major new projects. Since then, she has volunteered and worked for a range of local charities including homelessness advice, coaching for women and fair trade/refills shop management.

Meet our other trustees

  • Peter Brierley

    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

    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

    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.

  • Steve Leitch

    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
    Vice Chair of Trustees

    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.

  • Gillian Thomas

    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. 

  • Rosemary Westbrook

    Rosemary worked in Local Government for most of her career. Her last role was as Director of Housing and Adult Social Care for the London Borough of Camden. Since retiring she has volunteered for local organisations and charities.

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