Meet the Steering Group
The Alliance steering group and all members agree to the Terms of Reference.
Alison Stevens, Chair
Alison Stevens is currently Chief Executive of Farleigh Hospice, based in Chelmsford covering the mid Essex area. She is a nurse by background and has worked in the NHS, private and voluntary sectors and in health management for 27 years. She has been a member of The Alliance for 4 years, joining the steering group in 2014 and took over the Chair’s role from Paul Feasey in May 2016.
Alison is passionate about our sector and the amazing contribution we make to our communities. Prior to taking on the role as Chair, she set up and chaired a Health, well-being and social care workstream of The Alliance and together the group had great energy and commitment to influence how things worked across the system and Alison is keen to re-energise this work.
Over the past year the steering group have been reviewing the work of The Alliance and re-shaping how we connect with our members to ensure we make best use of every possible opportunity to connect with one another, share good ideas and the challenges that we face. Alison is excited about our re-launch event on 31st October and is certain The Alliance will grow to achieve its full potential.
Sharon Alexander began her career as an archivist in the central library before becoming a police officer in the Merseyside Police where she worked for several years before taking some time off to bring up her two children. There followed a brief spell working for Adult Education and the youth service, before she was appointed to work at CVS Tendring (CVST). In 1994, Sharon helped set up a local helpline for parents and as chairman supported its subsequent merger with Parentline Plus.
Sharon was appointed as a non-executive director onto the board of the Tendring Primary Care Trust in 2000 and was nominated the champion for older people. As Chief Officer for CVST, she has co-ordinated the organisation’s growth, gained lottery funding for several projects including the purchase and development of Imperial House a Community Resource Centre, and launched several local charities. More recently, she was appointed Chair of the Police Independent Advisory Group and Chair of the Voluntary Sector Forum for Tendring.
James Clarke is Chief Executive of Action for Family Carers which supports unpaid Carers of all ages across Essex. Action for Family Carers has been a member of The Alliance from its inception and James participated previously in the Health, Wellbeing and Social Carer workstream.
James is also a Public Governor at EPUT (NHS Foundation Trust), his previous experience includes managing Citizens Advice and Connexions services in Inner London and international development volunteering in Cambodia and St Helena. He is dedicated to supporting the local voluntary and community sector and to achieving the best possible outcomes for people in Essex.
Clive Emmett served within the Metropolitan and Essex Police services as a Detective for 20 years, he then moved into the Voluntary Community Sector as County Manager of the Essex Home Office initiative Drugs Intervention Programme.
He continued to manage similar substance misuse services moving more into the clinical approaches to addiction treatment in London, West Sussex and then again in Essex. He then acquired a position of Head of Operations with a Youth service that worked with troubled youth in the outdoors.
Currently Clive is the Chief Officer of the Council for Voluntary Service Uttlesford leading an infrastructure organisation supporting the local Voluntary Community Sector. Passionate about the impact the Voluntary Sector has within our communities.
Paul Feasey, Treasurer
Paul Feasey is the CEO of Signpost; working in Employability and Skills in Deprived Communities using Empowerment as a Mechanism of Change. He is a strong believer in facilitating better Communication to create a robust Community Sector in order to better serve the residents of Essex.
Paul was involved in the creation of The Alliance back in 2013. He was Vice Chair at the outset and occupied the Chair in 2015 but has since stood down from that role in order to focus more on the ‘day job.’ Paul is remains a committed member of the steering group and has been Treasurer of The Alliance since early 2016.
Janis Gibson has been CEO of Castle Point Association of Voluntary Services (CAVS) for just over three years and previously was a Trustee on the Board. Janis’s career spanned twenty five years in the City where she held executive positions within the financial services industry, followed by the establishment of her own consultancy business supporting both corporations and SMEs. Janis is a Governing Body member of a CCG, a non-executive director of a Housing Trust and currently Vice Chair of the South Essex Children’s Partnership Board.
Janis’ personal interest in health, social care and community work followed a non-executive four year term with Basildon and Thurrock NHS Foundation Trust Hospital where she learnt about and experienced the invaluable services that are provided by community groups. As a qualified coach she has volunteered her time to assist young people within educational settings as well as ex-Army Service personnel who were injured in the line of duty and who required assistance to gain employment following discharge. Before working with CAVS, Janis volunteered as a Befriender for four years to support an elderly lady in her own local area.
Sarah Lasker joined Maldon and District Community Voluntary Services in August 2005 as a part time development worker. Shortly afterwards she took on the running of the Volunteer Centre and in 2013 was appointed Director.
During her time at MDCVS Sarah has worked with hundreds of community groups to provide support and has also been instrumental in the set up new projects to meet local need. The latter includes the Maldon Shed whose opening in August 2014 led to the development of the Essex Shed Network which is hosted by Maldon and District CVS.
Sarah is currently the chair of Volunteer Essex and was a member of the The Alliance steering group during its early days and is pleased to be rejoining the group for The Alliance’s new phase.
Lorraine Pendleton is currently the Volunteer Coordinator for Provide CIC, and previously worked for the Welsh Assembly Government on the National Exercise Referral Service and on other health rehabilitation programmes. Her current role requires providing effective recruitment and training of volunteers to support health services and current projects include working with Essex and Anglia Ruskin Universities on several health promotion campaigns, developing pop-up shops for inpatient service users and setting-up a volunteer-led independent feedback service.
Having managed fitness facilities for many years, Lorraine has a particular interest in health and wellbeing. Working with Falls Prevention, she recently developed a simple seated chair exercise training programme for carers to deliver in residential care homes and continues to run her own dance school.
Seeing the plight of rough sleepers in Colchester she collects and distributes coats and sleeping bags in her community and volunteers in an organic community garden and at the Arts Council gallery Firstsite in Colchester.
David J Pickles
David J Pickles is the Chair of Citizens Advice Essex which is a consortium of the fourteen local Citizens Advice in Essex and the Unitary Authorities. Until recently he was the Chair of Maldon & District Citizens Advice, but remains a Trustee.
He has been involved with Citizens Advice both as a volunteer and Trustee for ten years. David also represents Citizens Advice Essex and The Alliance at the Essex Compact. Being a member of the steering group allows him to bring his experience in industry and the voluntary sector to all members of The Alliance.
David Sollis is the Chief Executive Officer of Healthwatch Essex, and is building on the National Award winning programme of work through Engagement, Research and Information & Signposting. David joined Healthwatch Essex in September 2013 as Engagement Manager and has created an expansive portfolio of high quality engagement throughout the health & social care sector.
Prior to joining Healthwatch Essex, David’s career included working with the national health volunteering charity Attend and Momentum helping patients with severe brain injuries, and working with the charity Whizz-Kidz to establish a national social model of disability. He has also had extensive direct contact with young people facing a range of challenging conditions. David’s professional experiences range from academia to the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.
Alison Wilson is the CEO of Mind in West Essex. She has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 30 years. She has been part of The Alliance steering group since July 2016.
Alison is pleased to be a member of the steering group at this current time because she is passionate about developing ways of engaging with all sectors of the community in a meaningful and transparent way.