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Board of Trustees Age UK York

The role of the trustees is to serve on the governing body of the charity. The trustees have and must accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of the charity, and ensuring that it is solvent, well run, and delivering the outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.

Age UK York currently has five trustees including the chair, deputy and treasurer.  The chair and members of the board serve for three years, and elections take place at the annual general meeting.The board meets bi-monthly, and is attended by all trustees, the chief executive officer, and senior staff of the charity. ln addition, a finance committee meets between each board meeting to report on and action financial and trading matters. The trustees of Age UK York are all actively involved in the support of the key activities of the charity.

Trustees don't get involved in operational matters but we help out at fundraising and information days where we network with other charities and also spend time with our own staff and volunteers.


Howard Widdall (Chair)

Since retiring in 2017, following a 36 year career in the medical devices industry, spent mostly in management and leadership roles, including senior executive and board positions, I have been involved in voluntary work with a wide range organisations. This has included volunteering with the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, as a member of its Public Engagement Committee, the Yorkshire Air Museum, as an Admissions Steward and North Yorks Moors National Park, working with the Maintenance Ranger based at the Sutton Bank Visitor Centre and as a Seal Watch volunteer at Ravenscar. I also volunteer with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, working principally in their invasive non-native species program.

I joined the Governing Board at Langton Primary School, Malton, North Yorkshire, in March 2017, and took on the role of Chair of the Governing Board in September 2019, after previously being Chair of the Finance and Resources Committee. In September 2020, I was appointed by the Local Authority to the Interim Executive Board of Weaverthorpe Primary School, North Yorkshire.

I was extremely grateful for the invaluable support my parents received from Age UK, and so was keen to take the opportunity, when it arose in November 2018, to join the Board of Trustees of Age UK York and use the experience gained during my career to contribute to the Charity’s development and sustainability.

In addition my voluntary work, since June 2018 I have had a part-time seasonal job as ground crew with the Virgin Hot Air Balloon in the York region.


Jenny Collieson (Vice Chair)

Jenny’s professional background is in information research and project management in adult social care with a particular focus on ageing and older people. She is a qualified information specialist with over 25 years’ experience of researching and developing evidence-based resources for social workers and social care practitioners. She has particular interests in improving residential care and dementia services.

Jenny’s most recent full-time post was at the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) working with the Department of Health and Social Care and local authority partners on strengths-based and preventative approaches. In 2018 Jenny moved from London back to York (where she had studied as an undergraduate) and is now self-employed and involved in a range of voluntary activities.

Jenny joined the AUKY Board in March 2020 and is also a trustee of the charity Ageing Without Children (AWOC), a member of the Age UK national policy sounding board, and a member of the Open University Carers Research Advisory Group.


Colin Packer (Treasurer)

Actuary (FIA) and MBA (Edinburgh Business School).

Retired from Aviva after nearly 40 years in the insurance industry; specialising in life, pensions and investments. Wide experience across many roles, both technical and managerial. Trustee Director of Aviva's £15bn Staff Pension Scheme for nine years.

Joined AUKY in March 2020 as Treasurer and have been very busy on a range of initiatives. Pleased to be able to contribute at a challenging time. Charities and caring organisations like AUK are increasingly relevant and personal, especially when one’s own parents need a great deal of care and support.

Current voluntary roles include:

  • Director, CASEwork Services CIC, a not-for-profit company providing finance administration and other services to AUK Partners and other businesses.
  • Director and Treasurer, British Mensa.

I used to play a lot of club hockey, squash & badminton - now it’s golf, table-tennis and pickleball. Ran the Great North Run six times but knees now too crocked! Enjoy hill-walking (climbed Kilimanjaro some 30 years ago, now it’s just Hadrian’s Wall), cycling and keep-fit.

We manage our two-acre garden for wildlife and open it once a year for charity. I enjoy competitions, conundrums and solving/compiling cryptic crosswords. Keen on self-improvement and developing new skills. I’ve co-ordinate a special interest group focussing on longevity – living long and healthy lives.

Married to Christine, with two sons. Home is in Elvington, near York.


Paul Vittles

Paul Vittles has particular expertise in research, community engagement, marketing, change management, and strategy consulting. Paul was the first 'Research & Engagement Manager' for City of York Council, and went on to work for some of the world's biggest knowledge-based consultancy firms, as well as being awarded Fellowship of both the UK Market Research Society and the Australian Marketing Institute.

Paul was customer research & customer service consultant to Yorkshire Water from 1991 to 2001, helping it shift from state corporation to commercial, customer-focused business. He was visitor research consultant to the National Railway Museum 1991-2004, helping transform the NRM to become a rounded visitor experience for families, and grow the numbers of visitors from 450,000 pa to 750,000 pa.

Paul lived in York 1989 to 2004, then Australia 2005-2019, and has now re-located back to York where he has family. Paul has served on several boards and committees, including the Age UK National Influencing Committee. Paul is also an experienced executive coach and professional counsellor, with much of his work these days - for government, charities, and businesses - focused on mental health and suicide prevention.


Julie Stephens

Currently working at global healthcare organisation Bupa, Julie has held a number of HR leadership roles for the last 13 years, most recently being responsible for the wellbeing and inclusion of Bupa’s 84 thousand colleagues worldwide. Prior to this Julie worked for 13 years at the Royal Mail Group of companies in marketing roles (in which she has a degree) and HR roles.

Julie has a keen interest in support and care for older people, having worked for Bupa's care home business for 5 years as well as having had grandparents in care facilities.

The opportunity to be a Trustee for Age UK York was too good to miss and Julie hopes to share some of her experience in both the sector, HR and marketing to help the charity achieve its vision.

Living just outside York, Julie has spent time living away from the beautiful county of Yorkshire earlier in her career but is grateful to have been able to bring up her two sons in the beautiful Wolds.


Become a Trustee

As you can see our trustees are from different walks of life and backgrounds. You may already know about the activities of organisations such as Age UK York through your own experiences or those of people you know.  If you are interested in becoming a trustee, please follow the link below.