Phone: 0344 848 7978

How we are governed

As an independent charity, we have a Board of Trustees who are collectively responsible for ensuring the organisation is financially sound, well managed and that it meets its charitable objectives.

The Board provides leadership and guidance to our Chief Executive, Liz de Villiers who has day-to-day responsibility for leading and managing the organisation.

Meet our Trustees

Guy Sutton- Chair

Guy has been a lifelong supporter of the Citizens Advice movement. He became chairman of the Trustees in May 2018 having previously been a volunteer in the Bureau. Before retirement he worked in a large legal firm and as a Judge in the Employment Tribunals. He has lived much of his life in or around Tunbridge Wells, and has a large family who mostly live locally. His other interests include gardening, hiking, playing tennis and walking his dogs.

Alan Goda – Vice Chair

Alan Goda has been a trustee since 2009, and vice-chair for the last two years. He originally became involved with Citizens’ Advice as a trustee of Citizens’ Advice-South Lakes when he lived in Cumbria.  He is married with two sons and three grandchildren, of whom he is very proud.

In addition to his work with CA, he is a governor of High Weald Academy which is a comprehensive school in Cranbrook.  Alan’s other activities include sailing, gardening, walking the dog, and washing the mud off his 1967 MGB.

Peter Lawne – Treasurer

Peter has been a Trustee /Treasurer since July 2017.

He has lived in the Tunbridge Wells area for 26 years and after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant he worked most of his career for an international oil company in a number of positions related to finance. He joined Citizens Advice in 2015 and was a Gateway Assessor and Adviser until taking over as Trustee/Treasurer.

Peter is married with two sons. He is also Treasurer of the Sports Ground Association in Groombridge.
His leisure interests are bridge, bowling, classic cars and walking.

David Marriott – Trustee

David has over 40 years’ experience in commercial property and worked with Knight Frank Group in Sydney, Jones Lang Wootton in Los Angeles, USA, Hillier Parker (now CBRE) and Lawson-Price in London.

David set up Core Commercial in 1996 in Kent specialising in industrial and warehouse property. He was a Councillor for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for 8 years until May 2010 and has been involved with CATWD for over 10 years and more recently as a trustee.

Julia Braggins – Trustee

Julia Braggins joined the CA Trustee Board in 2012.  She has been a trustee of several charities, and is closely involved with the local branch of Samaritans.  Her working life was spent in adult education (she was a part time Open University tutor for 20 years) and criminal justice.  She taught in Bedford and Wandsworth prisons, and ended up as Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. She still takes the minutes for the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group. She lives near Cranbrook, and she and her husband enjoy having more time to spend with their three daughters and their young families.

Lawrence Heasman – Trustee

Lawrence is a Borough Councillor for the Pantiles and St Marks and has been a Trustee of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells and District since 2018.  Since his career in Taxation and Investment Management, Lawrence has used his knowledge to help others in the community.

Jennifer Cross – Trustee

Jenny Cross has been a Trustee of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells and District since 2009. Her background is in Social Work. She worked for many years for an Inner London Borough in a variety of settings both as a social worker and a manager. For several years she was an academic tutor for final year social work students completing their professional social work training. She sat on the Protection of Children Act Tribunal and she currently sits on Mental Health and Care Standards Tribunals, as well as the Upper Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She has been a Magistrate for over 20 years and currently sits in the Family Court. She was for several years a trustee of a national mental health charity.

Elaine Abbs – Trustee

Elaine Abbs is the Chair of the Friends of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells & District and joined the Trustee Board in 2016. Elaine is an employment lawyer and currently works for the National Union of Teachers.  From 2004 she worked at the Bureau as a volunteer for over 4 years jointly delivering the Employment Law service. Elaine has previous experience of working for the whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work and of working for the Maternity Alliance, lobbying Government and working with the former Equal Opportunities Commission and with the Health and Safety Executive on projects to improve employment rights for pregnant working women and all parents.  Elaine also worked as an HR Manager for 4 years for a local school and is a trained nurse.  She enjoys caring for her family, singing with the Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society, politics, gardening and making bread.

Dame Helena Shovelton – Trustee

Dame Helena Shovelton joined the Trustee Board in March 2020 having once worked for Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells & District before going on to chair the National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux in the 1990s.  Dame Helena’s previous roles include Chief Executive of the British Lung Foundation and Chair of the Audit Commission.

Tom Bourne – Trustee

Tom joined the Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells and District as a trustee in 2016. Tom is a commercial lawyer specialising in dispute resolution at Cripps LLP and regularly advises clients in the charity sector.

Caroline Mack – Trustee

Caroline has been a Trustee of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells  and District since May 2019.  Caroline brings a wealth of experience having spent 8 years as Chief Executive of Wealden Citizens Advice before taking on the same role at Croydon Citizens Advice.