We are proud to have an experienced and committed team at Guildford Action with a very low turnover. From the 12 staff we employ, over half have been with us over 10 years. With a ‘there is always a way’ attitude the team don’t give up on anyone, regardless of how challenging the situation is. Always happy to go the extra mile. Working within our strength based model we have built relations with those who are hardest to reach over the years and have harvested respectful and fruitful working relationships.
Our dedicated team of 10 trustees have a wealth of experience. The diverse board offers expertise in local government, governance, marketing, fundraising, finance and social research.
Joanne Tester – Chief Executive
I have been fortunate to have worked for Guildford Action for 20 years. During this time I have worked across all projects in different roles. Having grown up in Guildford and with my family still here, I have a particular passion for the town and our people, particularly those most marginalised. I’ve often said I’ve seen it all at Guildford Action, but then a new challenges pops up to surprise me. Outside of work, I have two children I love football and all sport.
Carol Dunnett – Chair
Carol has chaired Guildford Action since 2016, and has been a passionate supporter of Guildford Action for many years. She currently manages job Voluntary Action South West Surrey and has worked in the voluntary sector for 18 years.
Matthew is Guildford Action’s Treasurer, which means he ensures the organisation is financially secure. Matthew is Guildford Action’s Treasurer, which means he ensures the organisation is financially secure. When he’s not worrying about the sustainability of the charity he is employed as an HR professional and has worked across a variety of different industry sectors. He lives in Guildford and is the proud owner of a classic VW campervan.
Elizabeth qualified as a Social Worker back in 1964 and had 20 happy years in social work both in England and USA. She later trained as a social researcher and specialised in action research, working with national, statutory services, churches and community groups. She has lived in Guildford since 1974 and has been involved with Guildford Action for over 20 years.
Bob is an IT project manager, recently retired from the Dept for Environment Food and Rural Affairs where he ran a number of projects to improve the sustainability of IT across government departments. He helped set up Guildford Action as an Unemployed People’s Centre back in 1981 and continues to support the charity as a trustee.
Fran is an experienced marketing and PR professional who has worked for many Guildford organisations over the last 20 years including G Live, Guildford Spectrum, the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre and the Surrey Community Foundation. She currently heads up the Sports Marketing division at Goodwood Estate.
Veronika works for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau in Guildford where one of her key responsibilities is to identify the impact of welfare reform on individuals and families. She has lived in the Guildford area since 2005 and is acutely conscious that changes in circumstances can lead to dire straits for some people in the borough – something that Guildford Actions works hard to address.
A former British Army Captain, Emma has worked in the voluntary sector for 15 years and is currently the Information Systems Manager for a Central London charity. Her private sector experience includes planning and project management roles at Tyne Ship Repair, Eurotunnel and Deutsche Telekom.
Caroline has lived in Guildford for 30 years and was elected as a Liberal Democrat borough councillor for Friary & St Nicolas ward in 2005. She has been involved with Guildford Action for many years and has worked with many different issues in her time as a councillor, supporting various residents’ associations, pressure groups and individuals.
Alistair is a Chartered Surveyor of some 30 years standing, specialising in commercial property development and Investment projects. He is also a director of a ‘waste to energy’ company, evolving innovative technical solutions to convert household waste into electricity.
Nigel is a retired design technology teacher, now doing DIY jobs for others. He is passionate about helping the homeless in Guildford, and his volunteering work in this area includes organising the bacon rolls feeding the homeless on Sunday mornings. He is also an enthusiastic course fisherman taking some of Guildford Action’s service users out on trips to the lakes as part on their on-going activities.