John Machin, Chair

John recently retired from his international career in the chemical industry, having worked and lived in many countries over nearly 40 years. He relocated back to the UK when he retired in 2015, but still holds non-executive director positions abroad. He’s now based in Middleton Tyas, North Yorkshire. John first got involved with Emmaus North East due to the “different and unique approach” taken by the charity, and the substantial scope of the South Tyneside project. With extensive experience in industry, he was keen to bring his knowledge to the third sector, and contribute to our exciting cause.

Peter Churchill

Peter was born and brought up in the North East, and returned to work here after university. He is an architect who has worked for 30 years across many sectors including public and private sector, residential, healthcare, retail, and commercial. As well as project design and delivery, he has an interest in quality management and business development. His other current activities include part-time university teaching and examining, and hosting international post-graduate students.  Peter’s interest in Emmaus began through Don Pinchbeck (see below), with whom he worked as part of a locally active branch of the Royal Society of Arts.  The Emmaus live-work concept immediately appealed to him, so when new trustees were being sought to help with setting up our new regional community he was keen to become involved.

Don Pinchbeck

Don was originally an electronics engineer who rose through sales, marketing, training, and human resource roles, before moving into general management. He worked internationally as functional director, CEO and chair of several multinationals before conducting a series of company turnarounds in the public, private and third sectors. He served 15 years as a youth club leader, and several years as chair of a hospice.  Don is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Member of the Institute of Directors.  He recently completed a term as a member of the Emmaus UK Federation Committee.

Gemma Trainor

Gemma is a communications professional with substantial experience in both internal and external communications for a €14bn global paints and coatings organisation. Currently working for a multinational telecommunications company in an internally focused role, Gemma will bring a sound knowledge of reputation management, branding and crisis communications to Emmaus, alongside the understanding of ‘being on the other side of the fence’ for companies who are looking to improve their corporate social responsibility agenda. The vision to enable homeless people to rebuild their lives through a social enterprise that enriches and involves the local community really appealed to Gemma. As a mother to two small children she has a desire to show her children that if something is wrong with the world you can try and do something to fix it rather than walking by.

Julian Wenman

Julian has a background in healthcare with a particular interest in helping to transform people affected by mental health problems, addiction and dependency. He currently works in a managerial role at a large teaching hospital in the North East. Julian has an interest in the sustainability of charities, both from a social enterprise and financial perspective. He hopes his experience can bring a new dimension and perspective to Emmaus North East.

Jessica Cook

Jess has over ten years’ experience in regulated industries, across finance and energy. Currently leading a substantial programme of work for a national poverty charity, she has a passion for supporting people in vulnerable circumstances, demonstrated throughout her career both in direct customer delivery roles, and in strategic and policy-focused positions. Having lived in South Shields all her life, Jess has been aware of the work of Emmaus North East since they first developed the Stanhope Road property in 2017, and is drawn to the ‘people first’ approach ENE offers. She hopes to be able to use her skills in stakeholder engagement and customer experience to raise the profile of ENE, enhance the experience of companions, and influence positive change for the Emmaus community.

Shelley Armstrong

Shelley is an award-winning, senior communications specialist with a track-record of delivering often complex multi-stakeholder campaigns working for non-profit, public-private organisations. In her current role, she leads the marketing team for a specialist business support organisation who help regional companies achieve sustainable growth through innovation. Her interest in Emmaus stems from her strong beliefs that society has a responsibility to support its most vulnerable members, dignity and equality are a human right, and that everyone should feel safe. She hopes to bring her experience of building and maximising strategic partnerships to help Emmaus NE achieve its ambition to support more individuals through its community and network of social enterprises.

Debbie Hamilton

Debbie has over 30 years senior experience of strategic leadership, start-up and change management, operations management, generating new business and client/supporter development. Combining a background of commercial awareness, business acumen, marketing and project management Debbie has a solid track record of success in the third sector at both Director and Trustee level and in Healthcare at both Managing Partner and Business Manager level.

An accident which left Debbie with life changing injuries as a teenager, dramatically shaped her career and personal outlook, from the way in which she thrives on working in ambitious organisations that see obstacles as challenges and adversity as diversity to her drive and enthusiasm to always strive for what others dismiss and to encourage contribution from all. When asked about her interest in Emmaus North East, Debbie responded “It’s quite simple, another person’s belief in someone else is life changing, the Emmaus philosophy is life changing, this is my interest.”

Jake Hanmore

Jake has a background as a logistics & supply chain professional in the private sector, working for a major retailer in various management roles before relocating to the North East for postgraduate study at Newcastle University. Rather than return immediately to the private sector Jake decided to bring his skills to the charity sector, taking a leadership role at FareShare North East and guiding it through a significant period of growth & change. Jake first heard of Emmaus North East through their work setting up Lucie’s Pantry, an exciting project that helps bring dignity to food provision through a community based pantry model. As a trustee Jake now hopes that his experience both in the private sector and as a charity leader will help Emmaus North East to continue to grow and expand its impact across the region.