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Our team of staff, trustees and volunteers are committed to serving people in later life throughout Essex.

Click below to find out more about our management team, trustees and trading directors.

If you'd like to join our team, please visit our Work For Us page to view our latest vacancies. 

Our management team

Our management team are responsible for the day-to-day running of the charity and work to ensure we deliver high quality services to older people.

Diane Nicola - Chief Executive 

Joined Age Concern Essex in 2000 after moving to Essex and leaving a career in London. Initially working as a volunteer within Information and Advice in the Thurrock area, Diane went on to develop and manage several countywide services for the organisation which included starting up our well established Befriending Service in 2002, Active Lives Service in 2012, Digital Befriending and Dementia Connections in 2013.  Since 2014 Diane has been responsible for the Home Help Service and in November 2016 she was promoted to Deputy Chief Executive and also took responsibility for the Toenail Cutting Service and our Trading activity.  In February 2018 Diane was appointed to Chief Executive and continues to manage all Age UK Essex paid for services, Volunteering and Befriending. Diane holds a qualification in health & social care management and is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Michelle Bennett – Deputy Chief Executive

Michelle joined Age UK Essex in July 2017.  Michelle has worked in the charity sector for 18 years, including 5 years as Chief Executive Officer for a local MIND Association in Mid Essex.  She holds a Degree in Charity and Social Enterprise Management and a Certificate of Higher Education in Charity Management.  Michelle has developed, managed and worked in partnership to deliver services for Essex County Council, EPUT and HPFT.

Gary Clinton - Head of Service Information, Advice and Advocacy

Joined our Advocacy service in 2004 from the Citizens Advice Bureau after a career in the construction industry. Appointed as Service Delivery Manager for Advocacy in 2012. Gary is active in the Advocacy Movement and is a past chair of the Essex Advocacy Alliance.  In 2017 Gary became Head of Service for Information, Advice and Advocacy.

Our trustees

Our trustees are the guardians of the charity and work with our Chief Executive and management team to ensure that we work in the best interests of older people in Essex.

Mike Mahoney - Chairman

Qualified as a cost and management accountant with Ford Motor Company. Worked in Greece, and then joined a leading Lloyds insurance broker in 1969 as Financial Director. Became Deputy Chairman and then Chairman before retiring from the City in 2000.

Nigel Rodliffe - Deputy Chair

Nigel is a Chartered Marketer and has worked in senior business development roles in a number of international companies. He now works as a marketing consultant with a focus on strategy, branding and digital marketing.

Jill Fletcher - Deputy Chair

Until she retired in September 2014, Jill was a working Director and Independent Financial Adviser of the long-established Essex insurance brokers W B Baxter Limited. Jill looked after very many corporate and private clients for over 30 years having previously gained experience in the London insurance market. Jill became a Director of Age UK Essex Trading in August 2012.

Chris Ignatowicz - Treasurer

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge (Classics and Modern Languages) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Worked principally in the banking sector, mainly with HSBC both in the UK and abroad. After retiring, spent two years as a school Bursar in York, before joining Age Concern Essex as a Trustee in 2009.

Chris Kelly BA(Hons) TEP

Chris is a Solicitor and specialises in acting for older clients in a range of matters, including estate planning, long-term care costs planning, Will drafting, the preparation of Lasting Powers of Attorney, deputyship applications with the Court of Protection and the registration of Enduring Powers of Attorney. In addition to being a fully qualified Solicitor, Chris is also a fully qualified member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the leading worldwide professional body for practitioners in the fields of trusts, estates and related issues.

Eleanor Sinclair

After qualifying as a Registered Nurse, Eleanor graduated through various management posts in the North of England before moving to Chelmsford in 1976 becoming responsible for nursing covering all general areas in Chelmsford and Essex. In 1979 Eleanor was appointed to Southend HA responsible for Mental Health, Education, Midwifery, General Nursing and Community Services and she went on to be elected to the English National Nursing Board serving on the Finance and Disciplinary committees. In 1992 Eleanor became a volunteer with Abbeyfield providing training programmes for House Managers across the Anglian region before joining CAPE in 1993 at its transitional stage and became Chair in 1996. CAPE merged with Age UK Essex in 2015. 

Heather Plaxton

Heather joined Redbridge Social Services as a Home Help Manager and then qualified as a Social Worker and achieved a BSc (Hons) degree in Social Work. She worked mainly with adult clients and then qualified as an Approved Social Worker (ASW) to also carry out Mental Health Assessments. Following management training she managed Community and Hospital Social Work Teams in Thurrock and across Essex.  On retirement she became a Trustee with Community Action Project for the Elderly and has recenty trained as an adviser for Citizen Advice in Southend.

Adam Willis

Adam holds a Bachelor of Economics degree from the University of Australia and started his career in that country as a trainee adviser at Morrison Carr and then a private client adviser at Suncorp Bank. He moved to London to join Citigroup as a Technical Relationship Manager within UK asset management and then became a Sales Director for the UK Pension Fund & Asset Manager segment and the Executive Director and Head of Alternatives Business for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and Head of Sales & Relationship Management. Now working at Legal & General Investment Management as the Head of Index Fund distribution where he oversees and manages directly a portfolio of 2,000+ clients.

Daniel Crease

A Managing Director at HSBC responsible for the Bank's Global Supplier Management and Outsourcing practices. Twenty years experience in procurement and supply chain management in financial services, private healthcare and automotive industries. MPhil Supply Chain Management University of Bath.

Ann Naylor 

Trained in Medicine at the University of London/ Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine and qualified M.B.,B.S. Received Higher Training as an Anaesthetist in the N E Thames Region. Ann was a Consultant Anaesthetist for nearly 30 years at Basildon & Thurrock University Hospitals, and in retirement she has been the part-time Medical Adviser to the Health Service Ombudsman for 3 years. She is a County Councillor for the Brentwood Rural Division and was the Cabinet Member for Adult Health and Social Care for 3 years. Ann has a particular interest in services for vulnerable adults and children with an emphasis on Safeguarding for all ages. She represents ECC on the Brentwood & Basildon Clinical Commissioning Group. As a County Councillor she has regular commitments with the Brentwood Health & Wellbeing Panel, Brentwood Youth Strategy Group, and is a Member of the Essex Fire Authority.

Gabrielle Spray

Gabrielle’s career was principally within charity retail management, with Age Concern from 1997 as a shop manager and then Regional Manager, and then from 2011 with Age UK as Regional Manager. She joined East Anglia Children Hospices in 2012 as Head of Retail and retired in 2016. Gabrielle is a member of Braintree District Council, representing the Colnes Ward.

Peter Bland

Following a 30 year career as Company Secretary and HR Director with a Lloyd's insurance broker, Peter joined Age Concern Essex in 2004 as Deputy Chief Executive and Trading Manager. He retired in 2017.  

Christine Plampin

Christine is a qualified solicitor who owned and managed her own practice before becoming a consultant. She is also an experienced advocate appearing at magistrates, crown and county court. Christine has been involved with numerous charities including the CAB and Trident and most recently the Lady Taverners and a City Livery company who assist the disabled. 

 

Our trading directors

Our trading directors ensure that our trading company continues to deliver the best products and services while generating a surplus to support our charitable activities.

Mike Mahoney - Chairman

Qualified as a cost and management accountant with Ford Motor Company. Worked in Greece, and then joined a leading Lloyds insurance broker in 1969 as Financial Director. Became Deputy Chairman and then Chairman before retiring from the City in 2000.

Chris Ignatowicz - Treasurer

A graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge (Classics and Modern Languages) and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Worked principally in the banking sector, mainly with HSBC both in the UK and abroad. After retiring, spent two years as a school Bursar in York, before joining Age Concern Essex as a Trustee in 2009.

Nigel Rodliffe

Nigel is a Chartered Marketer and has worked in senior business development roles in a number of international companies. He now works as a marketing consultant with a focus on strategy, branding and digital marketing.

Jill Fletcher Cert Cll Cert PFS

Until she retired in September 2014, Jill was a working Director and Independent Financial Adviser of the long-established Essex insurance brokers W B Baxter Limited. Jill looked after very many corporate and private clients for over 30 years having previously gained experience in the London insurance market. Jill became a Director of Age UK Essex Trading in August 2012.

Peter Bland

Following a 30 year career as Company Secretary and HR Director with a Lloyd's insurance broker, Peter joined Age Concern Essex in 2004 as Deputy Chief Executive and Trading Manager. He retired in 2017.

Emma Adams

Significant experience in providing project management, income generation, stakeholder and client business development support. Awarded Heat Hero Award from the national fuel poverty charity National Energy Action at the House of Commons for work supporting people living in fuel poverty.

Strong personal engagement skills and ability to manage meetings and deliver presentations to motivate and engage stakeholders

Volunteering - Trustee on the Executive Committee for The Greater London Forum for Older People

Gender Pay Gap Statement 2018