All of our Trustees have a diverse set of skills and backgrounds, including a chartered accountant, chartered surveyor, former government cabinet adviser, and others with financial, support, business and marketing backgrounds.
The purpose of the board is to provide sound governance to the organisation. This includes agreeing strategic direction, approving and reviewing policies and procedures, appointing executive staff and ensuring compliance with the objectives, purposes and values of the organisation, and with its governing document. The Emmaus Hertfordshire board of trustees has adopted the NCVO Code of Good Governance. The board meets bi-monthly, for discussion, feedback and socialising.
Emmaus Hertfordshire regularly conducts a board skills analysis and has a structured and transparent method for recruiting additional experienced, qualified and committed people to join and strengthen the board and project groups.
We are currently recruiting for new Trustees to join our board, specifically a Company Secretary with a legal background and a someone with fundraising experience. Visit our vacancies page for more information and to apply.
Active Patrons : Lord Charles Cecil and Lady Virginia Cecil
Chair: Heather Hurford
Secretary: Julia Elson
Treasurer: Robert Prynn
Current Trustees: Richard Exact, Sam Drury, Richard Belt, Chloe Mann, Simona Bojare and Harley Scott.
Charles and Virginia first encountered Emmaus when he was High Sheriff of Hertfordshire in 2011/12. They were delighted to be asked to become Patrons in 2013, having seen what extraordinary work Emmaus does—and now to be able give active support.
Virginia practiced as a Five Element Acupuncturist (including charitable working at Drugcare St. Albans with addiction and PTSD sufferers) after a career in the art world and before that in retail and fashion. Charles has always been in the financial world, is active in a number of Hertfordshire charities and organisations and is a Deputy Lieutenant of Hertfordshire. Their interests include gardens, country life, travel, reading and music.
Heather joined the Emmaus Hertfordshire board in June 2017 and became Co-Chair in March 2018. She wanted to support a local charity and was attracted to Emmaus Hertfordshire because of our practical approach to tackling homelessness, helping people move on from experiences of social exclusion and homelessness and to get their lives back on track.
Heather’s background is in psychology, mental health social work and mental health law.
Richard’s interest in homelessness began in the late 1980s when he used to walk through the cardboard city near Waterloo. He moved to St Albans over 20 years ago and continued to support a number of homeless charities.
Once his children left home he decided that he wanted to be more involved in the governance of a charity that I felt a strong affiliation to and became a trustee of Emmaus Herfordshire in 2017.
In his spare time, he is an active member of the local churches whilst also enjoying opportunities to run, walk or cycle in the local countryside.
Sam has previously worked in financial services as an underwriter and broker for Lloyds of London. Initially, she was based in London before moving to Singapore, spending ten years covering Asia and Australia. On returning to the UK at the beginning of 2017, she searched for charities that might find her financial skills and fundraising experience useful. Her main aim was to find an organisation that she could get deeply involved with and dedicate a portion of her working week to.
The work of Emmaus Hertfordshire stood out to Sam. Before officially becoming a trustee with us, Sam volunteered with us so she could experience all the work that our companions do, whether that be upholstery, helping in the workshop, cooking, working in the retail shops or on the vans. This helped her to get a good understanding of how an Emmaus community works before officially becoming a trustee.
Julia joined the Emmaus board in April 2019 and has experience in working both in voluntary and private sectors. She is a qualified solicitor, and is currently Legal Director for a hospitality and leisure chain. She enjoys walking, yoga, reading and playing the saxophone.
Robert has lived in Harpenden for the last 22 years and is keen to support charities that have an impact on his local community.
Robert has worked in finance for over thirty years most recently as the Chief Financial Officer of a top 100 UK private company with extensive experience of working as a senior director with a particular specialism in finance, strategy and system implementation. In his current role the objective is to maximize the profitability of 54 road service locations across the UK which needs strategic and commercial input as well as my knowledge of finance. He is using his experience to support the work we do through our shops in St Albans, Tring and Boxmoor, and is working to identify opportunities to maximize the income through these locations together with new sources of income.
Richard has a professional background as a Retail and Retail Property Director and has lived in St Albans for over 35 years. He has been involved as a school Governor at three local schools covering a period of over 25 years.
Richard has been a Trustee with us at Emmaus Hertfordshire for just over a year, wanting to use his skills to support a local charity. Our approach to tackling homelessness appealed to him as we are a very practical organisation, and our community of companions looks to develop skills and assist people to move on when they are ready to do so.
Chloe is originally from Harrow in North West London but spent her 20’s and early 30’s living in London, before moving to St Albans in 2015 to start a family.
She was drawn to St Albans Emmaus after hearing good things about the charity from a friend. During the pandemic she experienced fresh motivation to make positive changes in her life and career and decided to apply when she learned of the Trustee role. Chloe has sat on voluntary committees before, but not as a Trustee, so is expecting to learn as she goes along!
Chloe’s career background is such that she has worked in construction and the built environment for almost 15 years; becoming a chartered quantity surveyor in 2020. She is currently working on live building projects for a consultancy practice in London. Chloe is hoping to be able to use her skills and experience in construction to contribute knowledge to the Board at Emmaus St Albans, particularly for any building maintenance requirements and a possible future expansion development project at Hill End.
Simona joined the Emmaus board in December 2022.
Her professional background is in communications, marketing and PR. She has worked both in the non-profit and private sectors. Her current role is at a prominent defence law firm, where she leads on all external and internal comms.
In her spare time Simona volunteers at a charity called Doorstep Library, rock climbs and spends as much time outdoors as possible. She is also currently working towards finishing a qualification in counselling.
Harley has worked in mental health outreach, drug and alcohol services and now manage a project which offers accommodation to some of Bedford’s most entrenched rough sleepers who have not been able to maintain a tenancy in any other setting.
Emmaus was attractive to Harley as she can see how the model offers the stability that may enable people experiencing homelessness to make sustained changes to their lives. Emmaus is a natural step in the path of reintegrating back into a local community following (normally) an event which has taken someone off their desired path.
Harley is extremely passionate about supporting people – whether it be the first time they’re accessing a service, or the 100th time!
With her background in delivering drug and alcohol services. along with her current experience running a project where all of its service users have addictions, Harley is hoping to bring a different lens to the difficulties and challenges around supporting people with addiction issues.
Michelle is a hypnotherapist with a background in social care working within supported housing and day services and has also worked within the voluntary sector where she first became aware of Emmaus Hertfordshire.
Michelle was drawn to the way in which Emmaus Hertfordshire supports people experiencing homelessness by providing accessible, inclusive spaces where they feel safe and able to make changes and move forward with their lives.
She joined the board in December 2022
In her spare time Michelle enjoys meditating, reading and going for walks in the countryside.