Meet the Steering Group

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

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.


Simon Prestney, Co-Chair

Simon Prestney is CEO of Age Well East and Chairs the Suffolk and North East Essex VCSE ICS Leadership Panel. Simon is pioneering closer working relationships between the NHS, Local Government and the VCSE with a focus for improving population health.

Simon is part of a number of health and wellbeing boards including dementia, mental health, healthy ageing and end of life care. Simon enjoys connecting people, activities and solutions for the benefit of those we serve and is Co-Chair 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. The charity is based in Maldon and seeks to achieve positive outcomes for carers of all ages and their families across Essex.

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.


Sarah Troop

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.


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.


Martin Lord

Martin Lord is the Director of Development for Citizens Advice Essex, the lead charity for the consortium of ten local Citizens Advice serving the greater Essex area.

Martin’s previous experience has included leadership within Local Citizens Advice, where he also spent his earlier career specialising in Housing, Welfare Benefits and Debt Advice. He also spent a period at the UK Electoral Commission. He is a board member of a Housing Association in the East Midlands, sits on the Anglian Water Customer Engagement Forum, and provides freelance consultancy to charities and social enterprises.