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Age UK Norwich’s mission is to make Norwich an Age Friendly City and improve the quality of later life for our city residents. We do this through a mix of services, campaigns and influencing change.   


Our Trustees bring a wide range of experience and skills to support the strategy and governance of the charity. We’re a medium-size charity and a company limited by guarantee. The Trustees delegate the day-to-day running of the charity to the Chief Executive Office and their team but have regular engagement with the executive and staff team through different events and initiative.  

The primary duties of the Trustees are to oversee the mission and objectives of the charity ensuring Age UK Norwich maximises its resources for our beneficiaries, and complies with various standards, best practice and regulation.

The Board consists of around 5-10 Trustees at any given time, with members appointed for a 3-year terms.


Board Advisors provide guidance and input to the Trustees and/or Executive. This can be on specific areas of service delivery, governance, strategy or projects. Advisors can be appointed for specific time-frames, or for a 1-year term, reviewed at the Annual General Meeting.

If you would like to find out more about becoming a Trustee or Board Advisor, contact our Chief Executive Officer or click HERE

Chair - 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.

Alastair Roy

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.

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 Chief Executive at the National Centre for Writing. 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 is also on the board of Open Book Reading, the Norfolk & Suffolk Culture Board, and an Executive Committee member of the Norfolk Arts Forum. Peggy was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2023, an honour bestowed on individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of literature in the UK.

Anna Bennett

Anna joins the Board of Age UK Norwich in December 2022.  Born in London where she started her accountancy career in the city, she moved to rural Norfolk 30 years ago and now lives on the edge of Norwich.  Anna was a Director in the NHS for 20 years of her career locally in the Ambulance Service and in commissioning, planning and performance with Norfolk PCT.  In the latter stages of her career Anna undertook consultancy roles as a Finance Director in the NHS in Bromley and Berkshire and in Finance with City and Hackney PCT.  In those roles Anna  worked with partners to shape local services.

Anna is a member of the Audit Committee of the Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner’s Office and the Audit and Risk Committee for Saffron Housing.  Anna enjoys walking, dancing and exercise, playing walking netball, looking after her two year old grandson and spending time with family.

Tony Collins

Tony moved to the edge of Norwich five years ago. He retired in 2024, having completed 47 years as a professional consultant dealing with land, property, planning and development. He is a Chartered Surveyor, Chartered Town Planner, Chartered Transport and Logistics consultant and an Expert Witness. He spent much of his career at a large firm of International Chartered Surveyors in London where he became an Equity Partner. In 2006 he formed his own firm of Chartered Surveyors and Town Planners. He has advised private and public sector clients including the Government and FTSE 100 companies.

Tony now spends his time with family and enjoys walking football having not played for 45 years. Tony hopes his commercial experience will assist in the continuing development of Age UK Norwich as a sustainable charity.

Board Advisors

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”.   

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.”