Meet the Trustees

Community Action Sutton is governed by a Board of Trustees who meets six times per year and are responsible for the strategic direction and policy of the organisation. Trustees are elected for terms of 3 years at the Annual General Meeting.

Find out more about our Trustees below;

Jenny Sims (Chair) has worked in the education sector all her working life including secondary schools and is currently working in adult education. She has grown up children who also work in education. She is a governor of two primary schools and enjoys working within the Sutton Borough, believing passionately in the need to ensure there is good access to second chance opportunities for adults to study and develop their skills. She enjoys photography and walking as well as being interested in sports.

Nick Walsh (Vice-Chair) has been working with adults with learning disabilities for the past 17 years. After finishing university, studying business computing and cultural studies, he started as a job coach for a local charity. He then worked up right to senior management in various local charities. Five years ago, after becoming disillusioned by the direction learning disabilities services was taking, he set up Nickel Support, a community interest company focused on the employment arena for adults with learning disabilities. This organisation has now become well established locally and is at the forefront of shaping learning disability services in the borough. Nick is proud to say that he has lived in the borough for nearly the whole of his life and has many forged many strong community relationships. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his young family and playing football.

Amie Stace (Treasurer) has volunteered for charities since the age of 15 and recently worked for Sutton’s Domestic Abuse service. She is currently working for a Mediation Charity in Surrey and is Branch Coordinator for Sutton NCT. As a Mum of two young daughters she is passionate about women’s rights and playing her part in making Sutton a great place to live.  

Bob Harrision has worked extensively in charitable and public sector roles for over 25 years. During this time, he has led large scale education and other focused projects which support vulnerable children, young people and young adults by securing funds from a wide range of funders. These include grant givers, European Social Fund, National and Regional tendering opportunities across the UK (and once for a time setting up the careers service in Croatia). He is a trustee and/or or governor of charitable trusts in London and the South East and remains active in the voluntary sector, coaching sport and sitting on governing bodies and the Boards of not-for-profits as well as becoming a trustee of Community Action Sutton in 2018. Bob is currently Chief Executive of Head and Heart Empowerment Limited, a company providing consultancy services to help local authorities, charities (and their leadership) improve the work they do with those in the communities they serve. With a particular interest in capacity building in the charitable sector, ensuring that statutory services do not ‘exploit’ the relationships and good will of the volunteer community, Bob hopes to continue to support Community Action Sutton now and in the future as the charity grows and expands its own ambitions to make the partnerships in Sutton as strong as they possibly can be.

Dave Hobday has worked in the voluntary sector for 25 years, including many years as a senior manager in a local infrastructure organisation, supporting partnership working between voluntary organisations and the public sector.  Since 2013, Dave has been Chief Executive at Sutton Mencap, a local charity for people with a learning disability.  He also chairs the Local Governing Body for Orchard Hill College, a specialist learning disability college and represents the voluntary sector on a range of local partnership boards.

Laurence Imrie is a barrister specialising in regulatory and criminal law.  He enjoyed growing up in the Borough until he left to go to University and he now lives nearby.  Laurence has two young children and coaches a junior football team.  In his spare time he enjoys cycling and playing football at an increasingly slow pace.

Polly Persechino worked in the Further Education sector, as a practitioner, for 15 years with a focus on supporting adults into work through skills training and development.  In 2018 she moved into a strategic role, helping to develop economic, skills and employment policy and programmes for south London.  She has lived in the borough for 14 years with her husband and, now teenage, daughters and is strongly committed to making Sutton an inclusive and nurturing borough, with well connected communities; ensuring that Sutton is not only a great place to live and learn but a great place to work and do business.  In her spare time, she sings with the Sutton Music Centre Choir and enjoys cross stitch and open water swimming.

Vanessa McCain with a background in Psychology and over 9 years’ experience working as a prison law caseworker in a legal firm, I am also the founder of People Arise Now a charity that supports ex-offenders, families of offenders and women. As a local resident in the borough I am very passionate about helping people discover and unlocking their purpose in life especially those who are not easily reached.  Not forgetting  I enjoy spending time with family, dancing and travelling.