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Age UK Norwich exists to enable older people in Norwich to live life to the full. It does this by providing information and advice services for all and direct care and support for older people who are isolated, living with mental health and other problems. It also seeks to influence the provision of other services through enabling older people to have a voice and through direct involvement in strategic discussions.

It is a medium-sized charity and a company limited by guarantee. It has approximately 33 staff and over 100 volunteers, so it is very much a ‘traditional’ voluntary organisation. Its work is funded by a mixture of agreements with the Council, trust income and donations and legacies. As much of its costs are staff-related and incurred to maintain on-going services, maintaining sustained income is a major challenge. 

Our trustee body is able to leave management to a small team of senior managers and a CEO, but does maintain a more hands-on approach than larger charities. We also value the fact that Trustees as individuals engage with staff and volunteers in different ways both to inform themselves and show support. They are a key group of volunteers. 

However, their primary role is as trustees of the assets and mission of the organisation and they carry the ultimate responsibility for the work of Age UK Norwich.

Could you help us to achieve our aim for all older people to be able to love later life, whatever their circumstances and would like to join us as a Trustee find out more here  

Chair - Alastair Roy

Alastair was appointed Chair of Age UK Norwich in April 2021. He retired early from a long career in management in the NHS and has been involved in the third sector for over 10 years.  As Chief Executive in the NHS, he developed a special interest in public health and is determined about tackling health and well-being inequalities including poverty.

He brings charity experience from previous local chairing roles - Community Action Norfolk; Horizon Health; more recently - Break. He has also been involved in supporting councillors to maintain the standards expected in public life and brings lots of knowledge around governance as well as a passion about the voices and rights of older people. Explaining his desire to join, he said, “I have skin in the game now and want to be involved to help.”

Originally from Scotland, he has been in Norfolk for 50 years and enjoys his local family who, like him, are staunch Canaries fans.

Joanna Hannam


Joanna Hannam has lived in Norwich with her husband and two daughters for some 30 years and joined the Board of Age UK Norwich in May 2017. Her professional career has primarily been in health and local government where she held responsibilities for leading and developing services in health improvement, consultation and community engagement, PR and Customer Services. Prior to the family’s move to Norwich, Joanna spent 10 years at Westminster working as a parliamentary assistant and, later, for a national environmental organisation.  Joanna’s community engagement work to support service change in health and social care gave her a long standing interest in the needs and concerns of older people - and carers in particular - which heralded her commitment to support the work of Age UK Norwich.
Alongside her trusteeship, Joanna also serves as a Non Executive Director of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Kate Money 

Kate has been a trustee of Age UK Norwich for the past 10 years. She has been vice chair and chair of trustees for nine of these years. Prior to retirement and moving to Norwich in 2008, Kate was a planner and leader of NHS services in the south of England where she worked closely with local authorities and other partners to improve and develop services to meet the needs of local people.  She had a particular interest in helping those with mental health and learning difficulties, as well as older people, and a lot of her work involved attempts to integrate social and health care. Kate says she has particularly enjoyed being able to apply some of that experience to local services - where it’s sometimes easier to make things happen quickly.  “What I like about Age UK is that it runs a whole range of activities engaging with local people about what is important to them.”  Kate studied politics as a mature student at the London School of Economics.  “Norwich is a very ‘liveable’ place - a good city in terms of facilities to be an older person, and we want to build on that.”

Jacqueline Middleton


Jacqueline is a long serving trustee of Age UK Norwich, and on the board of Marion Road Centre. Jacqueline specialised in employment law - employed by the Citizen’s Advice Bureau, representing clients in Employment Tribunals where she was a ferocious advocate on behalf of her clients and has appeared in Norwich, Bury St Edmunds and London Tribunals and in the Employment Appeal Tribunal.  She had a phone-in programme for Radio Norfolk, wrote articles for magazines, a book published in 1989, trained East Anglian CAB volunteers in employment law, and also lectured to employers’ organisations, sixth forms and others. She finally worked for Hatch Brenner, Solicitors in Norwich. She was a General Commissioner for Income Tax, and a case she chaired went to the House of Lords. Jacqueline has also been a school governor, first ‘Independent’ chairman of Norfolk County Council’s Standards Committee, has been a Manager under the Mental Health Act for eight years and does Internal Audits of the Norfolk & Norwich Hospital.  Jacqueline’s main interest is in adult mental health, particularly in older age. 

David Wootton

David joined the Board of Age UK Norwich in January 2009, and is a qualified Social Worker. He was employed for 40 years in residential care settings - for the first 16 years with young people, then with older people. Prior to retirement David undertook the inspection of care homes for the local authority. He is committed to the quality of provision for those living with dementia, and in this context has a special interest in the Marion Road Centre in Norwich. He has been involved in the mentoring and supporting staff. David also volunteers at Blickling Hall, where he is a member of the Costumed Interpretation Group.

Celia Cameron

Celia was part of the group that set up the original Women’s Refuge for Norwich - the second in the country, and worked for them for about eight years - including four as organiser and secretary. She trained as a local government officer, with a Diploma in Municipal Administration, and worked as a senior local government administrator between 1968 and 1971, before becoming a Norfolk county councillor in 1981 for what was then St Stephen’s Ward - now Town Close Ward.  Celia was a county councillor from 1981 until 2005. She served as Labour spokesperson on social services between 1982 and 1990, leader of the council between 1993 and 2001, and was leader of the Labour Group from 2001 to 2005, when she retired. Joining Age UK Norwich then as a trustee, she is a former Chair of the Board. Celia was also the first Chair of the East of England Regional Assembly which was constituted in 1998, and was awarded a CBE in 1999 for services to Norfolk and local government. She has a daughter and two grandchildren. In addition she worked for Labour MP John Garrett as PA from 1987 to 1997 and then for Charles Clarke, Labour MP for the same constituency. She was also a member of the Norwich Health Authority in the 1990s.

Pete Kelley

Pete is an ex-newspaper journalist, having worked for more than 25 years for the Eastern Daily Press, where he was also for more than a decade the lead rep for the National Union of Journalists, involved in pay talks and helping individuals with employment issues. He began volunteering with Age UK Norwich in late 2014, just before retiring, and - wanting to understand the whole organisation - has had hands-on experience in the day centre, backroom office support, client surveys, befriending, plus helping older people with information and benefits forms. Currently, he works a shift on the reception desk, where he is often able to see our clients make their first contact with the organisation. That’s a relatively unusual approach for a trustee, but he hopes it enables him to bring a different perspective to the Board which complements that of members with more management and professional health or social services backgrounds. He also tries to provide a media perspective, and works to support the communications team on press releases and copy writing. Pete recently became a Buddhist, after taking courses at Norwich Buddhist Centre for four years. He links that to the vital need for older people, like himself, to stay curious and stay connected.  He says that what first attracted him to Age UK Norwich was its pragmatism, “a sense that being nice isn’t enough… you have to be effective”.   

Sue Whitaker


Sue was born in Manchester and has a degree in European Studies from UEA. She worked for HMSO from 1973 until being made redundant in 1997.

From 1999 to 2007, Sue was a Non-Executive Director at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.  During this period, she was also a volunteer adviser at Norwich CAB.  Sue was elected to Norfolk County Council to represent Lakenham area in 2001 until she stood down in 2017. Whilst on the County Council, she was Labour Group Leader (2007-2009) and Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care (2013-2016).  In addition to being a Trustee of Age UK Norwich, Sue is also a Trustee of Future Projects and does some sessional work for the local Mental Health Trust (Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust). In her spare time, Sue enjoys foreign travel, socialising, politics, reading and yoga.       

Karl Gessner

Karl moved to Norwich in 2017 with his family having lived and worked in Australia, Ukraine, and South Africa. He is a qualified chartered accountant with almost 23 years of experience working for a wide range of businesses including those in the not-for-profit sector. Most recently he was a director at Price Bailey Chartered Accountants and Managing Director of GMG Color Limited UK, a fast-growing specialist software business. His strengths are in conducting operational reviews, implementing innovative business solutions, and mentoring people.

Whilst his professional experience is predominantly focused on commercial enterprises, he has always made an effort to get involved with different charities as part of his desire “to give something back to our communities”. His financial and commercial experience is transferable and, as such, Karl is confident about making an impact working with his fellow Trustees in promoting the objectives of Age UK Norwich.

Peggy Hughes

Peggy Hughes is Executive Director at National Centre for Writing, having been Head of Programmes there from 2017 until January 2022. She is on the board of publishers at 404ink and Open Book Reading, and is former Chair of Literature Alliance Scotland, Scotland's largest membership network, committed to advancing the interests of Scotland’s literature and languages at home and abroad. She is from Northern Ireland, and before moving to Norwich worked in literature in Scotland, at the University of Dundee, Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, Scottish Poetry Library and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Peggy interviews authors at festivals around the UK and Ireland. In her spare time, she enjoys running, radio, films, rambling about the countryside, and being a novice but enthusiastic gardener with the Friends of her local park.