supporting families & local communities in Calderdale

Our Trustees

Members of the Board of Trustees of Home-Start Calderdale

Pam Burton (Chair of the Board) I was first introduced to Home Start as a head teacher in that it would be able to work with families from my school and on reading the information as to what the service could offer I was in agreement. On my retirement I was asked to join the Board of Trustees and have now been with Home Start for 14/15 years. I became Chair of the Trustees about 12 years ago and have seen many changes in that time, the best being that we now cover all Calderdale not just North Halifax. Home Start does what it says on the label in supporting families for many reasons and Home Start Calderdale is fortunate that everyone involved is 100% committed to it. I am told by my family if you looked into my heart you would see (apart from them) Home start Calderdale and FC Halifax Town. How right they are. Home Start is one of the best charities about and I am proud to be part of it and look to a successful ongoing scheme in Calderdale in the years ahead.

Rebecca Godar (Vice Chair) I'm the Vice Chair of Trustees for Home Start Calderdale and have been a Trustee since 2012. I work as an independent strategy consultant for local authorities, helping children's services departments to use research and evidence to shape decisions about services for vulnerable children. I live in Hebden Bridge with my partner, Jim, and we are proud to be part of such a strong and thriving community. On the weekends you will find me roaming the hillsides of Calderdale, in my garden or, when it inevitably starts to rain, engrossed in a good book. I joined the Home Start Calderdale team because I believe that early intervention, peer support and strong communities can help to improve outcomes for children and that supporting parents to help other parents is a great way to make these things happen. I know from my professional life that times are tough for local charities and we need to be really clear about what Home Start offers and the difference that we make if we are to continue our important work. While I may have started working with Home Start because of my belief in early intervention, I stay because of the great team of staff and Trustees and their unending and inspiring commitment to local families.

John Needell (Treasurer)  Early in 2016 I was looking for opportunities to volunteer in Calderdale and was contacted by Linda from Home-Start, amongst many people.  I saw the great work the  volunteers and staff of Home-Start were doing to help families with young children, the financial challenges faced and thought that it would be very rewarding to help.  When I talked to my wife, I found that when she had been a single parent with a young baby, she had sought help from Home Start.  That made my mind up to support Home Start and through them the families of Calderdale.  My background is in business leadership more than the voluntary sector, although I spent several years as a listening volunteer for Samaritans when I lived in the south.  I see that the need for Home-Start and other charities growing with the financial situation and the government and other statutory organisations reducing funding for social services.  I am looking to support Home Start using my experience and help the charity to keep up the good work it has done for families across Calderdale.

Sandra Bell (Safeguarding Trustee) Hi, my name is Sandra and I am delighted to become a Trustee with Home-Start Calderdale.  My relationship with Home-Start  began 12 years ago when I became a Children’s Centre Manager in Calderdale.  I met Linda Glew, then the Senior Coordinator, who promoted Home-Start services within the Children’s Centre and we collaborated in ventures to support families within the area. When we opened a Children’s Centre in Hebden Bridge I met Charlie Johnston, then the Upper Valley Coordinator, and my understanding and admiration for Home-Start  was enhanced:  Hebden Vale Children’s Centre provided a venue to enable the training of new volunteers and, consequently, local families benefited from new recruits. The venture was so successful that some of my own team became Home-Start  volunteers and got a real buzz out of the training and consequent work they undertook.  Indeed, when I was recruiting volunteers for the Children’s Centres, I often signposted (and subsequently lost) potential volunteers to Home-Start  - that proved to be a win-win for everyone. Now that I have resigned from full time employment, I want to offer my knowledge and experience to something I believe in - hence, my participation with Home-Start.  I have over 30 years of professional experience as a qualified social worker and manager in the public and voluntary sector.  Most of my experience is working with children and families and, in particular, child protection. I am experienced in project management, service development and provision as well as strategic and operational management. Whilst these can be complex and difficult behind-the-scenes tasks, I hope to be able to serve the organisation in such a way that local families will benefit and that it can all be done in a fun and friendly way. 

Kirsty Elliott (Fundraising Trustee) I’m Kirstie Elliott and my most exciting and challenging role is Mum to two lively, energetic teenagers! Although my degree is in Psychology, I have spent my 33 year career working for a large bank in IT performing a variety of roles including software trainer, analyst, programmer and project manager. During this time I have worked in both small and large teams, looking after people including recruitment and interviewing and unfortunately on occasions advising colleagues of redundancy.  I have managed large projects and budgets and I have had to closely monitor progress against spend and milestones. Through my role at the bank I have volunteered at various schools on a number of occasions to support apprenticeship weeks, work experience placements, I have conducted mock interviews and presented sessions on CV writing skills. To fund myself through university, I trained to become a swimming teacher and thoroughly enjoyed teaching 5-11 year olds – the moment the children “self-propel” for the first time is amazing and I never tired of seeing the joy in their faces. In my spare time I support my children at their various sporting and recreational activities as spectator and “Mum’s taxi” – I also enjoy musical theatre, gardening, dog-walking and going to the gym.