CHAT is governed by a board of trustees

Simon Friend – Chair

I am a Chartered Surveyor and property developer and have been working in that industry for over 30 years – so housing is my passion.  I became a trustee of CHAT in 2010 and became Chair of Trustees in 2017.  CHAT, through it’s dedicated and professional staff and a wonderful team of volunteers, including my fellow trustees, provides a fantastic service to people who are often facing the most difficult and testing of circumstances.  It is our aim to serve with compassion to bring hope where often people are at their most vulnerable.

I am married to Judy and we have four sons – all establishing their own working lives and homes and facing the struggles of raising deposits and paying rent.  So like everyone – we all face housing joys and hardships which is why I love being a part of the CHAT team.

Peter Day – Vice Chair

From 2005 – 2013, when I retired from paid employment, I worked part-time for CHAT as Development Officer – fund-raising and promoting the work. After taking some time out following retirement I was invited to become a Trustee of CHAT and was elected at the AGM in 2015.

I have been married to Margaret, who volunteers one morning a week for CHAT, for over 40 years; have 3 grown-up children and 7 grandchildren.  I worship at St George and St Paul’s, Tiverton where I am currently a Churchwarden.

Jean Clifton

I am an active member of Tiverton Baptist Church and have been closely involved with CHAT for many years as a Trustee. To add to these duties, I help weekly both in the Foodbank  and carrying out some household jobs as and when required.

Jenny Tower

I am Jenny Tower and have been a Trustee for CHAT for just over a year now. Before I retired I worked for Social Services and have a background in safeguarding. Since retiring I have spent many hours volunteering for several charities in the Tiverton area, working mostly with older adults and unpaid carers. I have helped with Governance at CHAT as a Trustee and organise the food collection rota from one of the supermarkets. I spend lots of time with my grandchildren.

Lara Wielenga

Originally from South Africa, my husband and I have lived in the UK since 2003 and in Tiverton since 2012. We have two sons and our family is part of the St George’s and St Paul’s Church congregation. I am a teacher specialising in teaching students with dyslexia. Over the years I have gradually come to learn about the many different ways in which CHAT support a large number of people in Mid-Devon. It is a privilege to be associated with a charity which helps to bring hope to so many and helps to build a strong and caring community. I benefitted from a caring community as I grew up and would like to help bring this about for others too if I can.

Terry Norris – Treasurer

Matthew Melksham

Rev Ian Johnson

Vivienne Kilbride

My interest in affordable housing began in December 1992 when, along with many others from the South West, I joined a lobby of Parliament for the homeless.  Retirement from a teaching career has since enabled me to renew my commitment to this particular cause through the work undertaken by CHAT.

Roderick Hewson

I am a qualified management accountant with experience working across many areas of the public sector including education, social services and housing as well as the Police and Fire Services. I currently work as a senior accountant for a local authority and was elected to join CHAT’s board of trustees in 2020.

At university, I studied Community Arts and worked with many different groups of people such as vulnerable adults, children and elderly people. This experience was particularly valuable in developing an understanding of the needs of those in society who require our support and care.

I am passionate about supporting the good work of CHAT because I believe that it plays a vital role in society that is otherwise missing. I believe that there are many in our local community who would be left behind if CHAT didn’t exist to fill in that gap.