Our 16 trustees come from all walks of life. What they have in common is a desire to help us in whichever way they can to bring together Sussex donors with the communities they wish to support. You can read more about them below. The current Chairman is Keith Hollis.
Keith Hollis – Chairman
Keith has lived and worked within the legal world for 45 years. As a young solicitor in London he was involved in the law centre movement, as well as helping to establish a community centre and adventure playground. Shortly after qualifying as a solicitor, he established his own practice in South London, primarily dealing with legal aid work. He was subsequently appointed as a judge and sat in Kent and Sussex for over twenty years, retiring as a Circuit Judge in 2013 to work as a mediator and judicial trainer. For many years, he has run judicial training programmes in different parts of the Commonwealth. His professional interests have chiefly been in human rights and in environmental and housing law. He is married to Mariana, a landscape architect and lecturer, with two grown-up children. He enjoys hill walking and music (both singing and playing the piano and bassoon).
Maggie Burgess grew up in Canada and trained as a nurse. She qualified as an open-heart intensive care nurse and spent several years working in Saudi Arabia, organising trips to Nepal in her spare time.She founded Promise Nepal, a charity aimed at helping to provide medicine, education and rehabilitation for those affected by leprosy. Maggie studied at Brunel University London and is a Fellow of The Royal Geographical Society, The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and the Royal Anthropological Institute. In recognition of her outstanding services to international communities, she has been awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Social Sciences from Brunel University in 2009.
Rodney has been a trustee of many charities spanning four decades. Initially, he was Chair of ActionAid and also chaired the Executive of the Industrial Society. Rodney’s interests grew in all forms of people and community development. Having qualified as an accountant with an MBA and running a number of businesses, he took the unusual step of becoming Group Personnel Director of the W H Smith Group. before retiring early to focus his time on the voluntary sector. A ten-year engagement with Community Land Trusts has provided valuable experience. as he now chairs the Heart of Hastings CLT amongst a number of other voluntary roles.
Julia Carrette has worked in the voluntary sector since 1981, following 12 years in the private sector. After working in East London in the 1980s, developing community businesses as a response to high unemployment in an area of severe deprivation, Julia worked for eleven years as a Community Relations Officer in Hampshire. This work involved undertaking complainant aid, BAME community development, multi-agency policy development, training and public education. Since then, Julia has worked for charities managing contracts and projects dealing with ex-offenders, young people at-risk and children, as well as running a number of grants programmes and being a trustee of other charities. Julia was Chief Officer of Voluntary Action Worthing until 2016.
Guy spent 35 years working in the finance sector in London before retiring in 2017. Prior to this, he trained as an accountant. He has been active in the voluntary sector, principally focussed on the provision of youth services. He was treasurer and then chair of a Hackney–based youth club for many years and is currently a trustee of London Youth. Guy was brought up in Kent and has lived in Sussex for 30 years. He is married with two grown-up sons.
Corinne Day has worked in community and economic development for over 20 years. After working in both a paid and voluntary capacity in Sussex for ten years, delivering regeneration programmes aimed at reducing worklessness and barriers to employment, and supporting skills and enterprise, she moved overseas to Thailand, where she supported local NGOs specifically around child protection and community resilience. In that time, she also worked with international NGOs and communities from Myanmar to provide education, food, health care and livelihoods to the communities living in the refugee settlements. Corinne now resides in Shoreham with her young son, working full time in Newhaven and, in her spare time, tending to their allotment and walking the dog.
Jonica Fox was Chairman of Wealden District Council, after having been a councillor since 1999. She had a successful commercial career in national newspapers and advertising before setting up two family-owned vineyards in East Sussex producing Rose English Sparkling Wine. She has also been very active in the voluntary sector and is a member of National Trust Council.
Originally from Eritrea, Mebrak is the founder and director of two organisations. Vandu Language Services which provides interpreting, translation and health and social care advocacy to public and private sector organisations in and around Sussex. Diversity Resource International is a social enterprise that provides research, executive coaching, business management and leadership training to cross sector organisations in the UK and Africa. Mebrak is the social entrepreneur in residence at the University of Brighton. Mebrak was a member of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) from 1978-1994. As a young female independence fighter she was a barefoot doctor and then a Morse code radio operator until Eritrea gained its independence in 1991. Mebrak came to the UK as an international student to study business at Bachelor and Masters Level. She has successfully combined her experience of war and conflict with leadership and business education.
Nikki Glover grew up in Sussex. She worked in London in the advertising industry for seven years before returning in 1989 to get married. She is a Trustee of the Albert Van den Bergh Charitable Trust. Together with freelance book-keeping for various local businesses, she has also been involved with voluntary and charitable work within Sussex. She has two grown up children and her hobbies include tennis, exercise, gardening and reading.
David is the CEO of a small group of companies based in Brighton & Hove. Before starting his business in 1998, he was a principal board director of Airtours Hotels and responsible for the live entertainment and events product in over sixty-three hotels worldwide. David has developed a portfolio of large events, including the leading family pantomime in Brighton and the UK’s biggest outdoor gin and food festival. Over the last fifteen years, David has focused his career on helping a large number of local and national charities to develop their income generation strategy and heighten their profile. He has been instrumental in expanding the number of key fundraising events in the county and also acts as a marketing consultant for several charities. In 2012, David became Chairman of Brighton Pride and was instrumental in leading the organisation to become the largest LGBTQ Pride event in Europe. David joined Sussex Community Foundation in November 2019, and he chairs the communications and marketing committee.
Brian has spent over 40 years in the hotel industry. Following a Liverpool University education in economics, he pursued a corporate career path with luxury international hotel groups, before developing a hotel management company in 1992 with the brand Small Luxury Hotels of the World brand.
He spent the subsequent 22 years developing this into a global company as specialists in this niche area of the industry. After selling his business in 2014, he has subsequently held several non-executive positions within the hospitality industry.
Originally raised in Kent, Brian and his family have lived in Sussex for over 30 years. He is also a mentor for the Prince’s Trust helping young people to start their own business. Brian is a keen sports person and enthusiastic yachtsman holding membership of Royal Thames Yacht Club. In 2014, he sailed across the Atlantic, raising charitable funds for Hospitality in Action.
Martin is a solicitor and former partner of Pinsent Masons LLP, a Top 10 UK-based international law firm where he specialised in construction and infrastructure law. He retired from the partnership in 2017. He is an elected member of the CBI London Regional Council and a member of the CB1 Construction Council. He has been a governor/trustee of Cumnor House School in Danehill, trustee of the Barts Hospital Research and Development Trust, trustee of the Pinsent Masons Foundation and an ambassador for Arthritis Research UK. He has recently been appointed to the Elections Committee of the Royal Automobile Club. Martin lives in Newick with his wife, Jane. They have two children in their early 20s.
Mark Spofforth OBE
Mark trained in the City as a Chartered Accountant and joined the family accountancy firm in Sussex, which subsequently became Kreston Reeves LLP. He served as President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 2012 and was appointed to the UK Takeover Panel. Mark spent six years making weekly broadcasts on local BBC Radio on financial matters and has lectured widely on accountancy and regulatory topics. He spent two years on the Government’s Better Regulation Strategy Group. He is currently a member of the Charities SORP Committee that sets the accounting standards for Charities, one of his specialisms, and is a Board member of IFAC, the International Federation of Accountants. He was awarded the OBE in 2014 for services to the accountancy profession. Mark has been Master of two City Livery Companies. He is a Governor of Sion School in Worthing, and is a Trustee of the Thalidomide Trust. He served as High Sheriff for West Sussex for 2016-17.
Patrick originally qualified as an accountant in Norfolk. He spent the majority of his career in private practice in accounting firms in London, the last 17 years as a managing partner and tax specialist partner in one of the Big 4 firms. He then took a retirement job as Tax Policy Director at the Chartered Institute of Taxation (where he had previously been President and Member of the Council). He is also a trustee and treasurer of the think tank, the Resolution Foundation. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Pamela Stiles has lived in East Brighton for 38 years and is a mother of four grown-up children. She is a graduate of Birmingham and Oxford Universities and has taught in schools in both the UK and New Zealand. She worked in Parliament for seven years before becoming a Councillor, representing Woodingdean for 11 years on Brighton and Brighton & Hove City Councils. Pamela has been on the committees of many local charities and, at present, she is a trustee of Brighton and Hove Music Trust and Chairman of Gorham’s Gift Trust. Pamela has been a Brighton magistrate since 1989.