Meet the Steering Group

The Essex Alliance steering group and all members agree to the Terms of Reference.

Alison Cunningham

Alison Cunningham is a qualified counsellor and founder of The Listening Post C.I.C, which opened in 2016.

Alison feels strongly that groups and organisations need to work together to develop networks and build working relationships so that we can hear what the community is asking for and what it needs. We can then use this knowledge to treat each area with a holistic approach and provide a way forward to achieving a happier, more vibrant community.


Alison Stevens

Alison Stevens is Chief Executive of Farleigh Hospice, based in mid Essex. She previously worked as a nurse in the NHS, private and voluntary sectors and in health management for 27 years.

Alison has been a member of The Essex Alliance steering group since 2014, and was Chair of the group from May 2016 to October 2019. Alison is passionate about our sector and the amazing contribution we make to our communities.


Alison Wilson, Co-Chair

Alison Wilson is CEO of Mind in West Essex, who host the employment of our Project Lead and Administrator roles. Alison has worked in the voluntary sector for nearly 30 years and is passionate about developing ways of engaging with all sectors of the community in a meaningful and transparent way.

Alison is Co-Chair alongside Sarah Troop, having jointly won the vote in October 2019.


Clive Emmett

Clive Emmett is the Chief Officer of the Council for Voluntary Service Uttlesford. He previously served within the Metropolitan and Essex Police services as a Detective for 20 years, before moving into the Voluntary Community Sector as County Manager of the Essex Home Office initiative Drugs Intervention Programme.

Clive is passionate about the impact the Voluntary Sector has within our communities, and is currently co-chair of ECVS.


David Pickles

David Pickles is the Chair of Citizens Advice Essex which is a consortium of the fourteen local Citizens Advice in Essex and the Unitary Authorities. David was previously the Chair of Maldon & District Citizens Advice, and remains a Trustee.

David also represents Citizens Advice Essex and The Essex 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 Essex Alliance.


James Clarke

James Clarke is Chief Executive of Action for Family Carers, who have been a member of The Essex Alliance from its inception.

James’ 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.


Lorraine Pendleton

Lorraine Pendleton is the Volunteer Coordinator for Provide, and has been involved in setting up a range of projects working with community services such as community agents, Braintree Mosque, voluntary services, MIND and MAST to promote opportunities for people with mental health challenges to contribute and volunteer.

Lorraine joined the steering group in order to encourage joint working between organisations and services across the county.


Paul Feasey, Treasurer

Paul Feasey is the CEO of Signpost, and was involved in the creation of The Essex Alliance in 2013. Paul was Vice Chair for 2 years before being Chair from 2015 to 2016.

Paul is remains a committed member of the steering group and has been Treasurer of The Essex Alliance since 2016. He is a strong believer in facilitating better communication to create a robust Community Sector in order to better serve the residents of Essex.


Sarah Troop, Co-Chair

Sarah Troop is Director of Maldon and District CVS, and has provided support to hundreds of community groups including helping to launch the Essex Shed Network. Prior to working at Maldon and District CVS, Sarah worked in a variety of health and social care roles, which has been of huge benefit when working to support local communities.

Sarah is the Chair of Volunteer Essex and Co-Chair of the The Essex Alliance steering group, having jointly won the vote in October 2019.


Sharon Alexander

Sharon Alexander is Chief Officer for CVS Tendring (CVST). Sharon began her career as an archivist in the central library before becoming a police officer in the Merseyside Police.

Sharon was previously Chairman of Parentline Tendring, and Non-Executive Director for both Tendring Primary Care Trust, and Tendring Regeneration Ltd. Sharon is currently Chair of the Police Independent Advisory Group and Chair of the Voluntary Sector Forum for Tendring.


Simon Prestney

Simon Prestney is CEO of Age Concern Colchester & North East Essex and Chairs both the Dementia Action Alliance in Tendring and the Older People’s Forum in Colchester.

Simon is part of a number of health and wellbeing boards including dementia and end of life care. Simon enjoys connecting people, activities and solutions for the benefit of those we serve.