As a Registered Charity, the Nelson Trust has a Board of Trustees who are legally accountable for our good management.

The Trustees appoint the Chief Executive and meet regularly with the senior managers to oversee our work and our compliance with our legal responsibilities.  They also provide strategic guidance to our work and to our sound financial management.

In addition, Trustees regularly visit our residences and meet with service users to ensure that good care and support is provided, that the well-being of residents is safeguarded and that the houses are clean, comfortable and safe.

Our Trustees bring to the Nelson Trust a wide range of business, legal and clinical expertise based on successful professional careers in many different fields, and they give their time to this work without payment.

Chair of Trustees

Dame Janet Trotter DBE, OBE, CVO

Dame Janet Trotter who was awarded an OBE in 1991 and a DBE in 2001 and was Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire from 2006 – 2018. Dame Janet brings a vast amount of experience and expertise to her position at the Trust. She has been involved in a number of charities and served our County through her many years of work in education, health service, and as Lord-Lieutenant.

“I am honoured to have been invited to Chair the Trust. I have been involved in its work for some years and have admired its capacity to support some of the most vulnerable in our community. I look forward to working with the Board and with staff and clients to build on the work of past Trustees to extend the Trust’s reach and range as it meets the challenges of society today.”


Trustee, Rhona Macdonald (IPFA) – Former CEO and Director of Social Care, Bath and NE Somerset Primary Care Trust with a background in senior finance roles in the public sector including the NHS. Rhona joined the Board in 2016 and has particular interest in organisational development and Chairs the Finance and Performance Committee. “It is both humbling and inspiring to be involved with The Nelson Trust and its staff, and to see the evidence that recovery and growth is possible with the right support”

Trustee, John Bensted John is a former Chief Probation Officer for Gloucestershire and now works as an Independent Consultant in Community Justice. He had a long career in the Criminal Justice System, working for over 40 years in Probation and social work in London, Bristol and Gloucestershire. He has experience of working in many different settings including prison, courts, public protection, drug treatment and youth justice. John joined the Board in 2015.

Trustee, Claire Wynne Hughes – Following a career in the Consumer Services sector in marketing roles, particularly Customer Relationship and Consumer Insight, Claire moved to the charity sector where she has experience of volunteer management and fundraising. Claire now works for a Community Foundation in a Philanthropy role. Claire joined the Board of the Nelson Trust in 2015. “I am passionate about the importance of the work of the organisation and the impact that The Nelson Trust has on the lives of the people we work with, their families, their communities, and wider society.”

Trustee, Naina Mandleker – Naina works for Gloucester CCG as a Commissioning Manager for services for people with LD and autism. She also offers consultancy on development of specialist schemes to support people with complex care needs. She brings considerable experience of social care as well as developing services for women in the Criminal Justice System. Her skills span areas of organic growth, strategic partnerships and acquisitions and mergers. Naina joined The Nelson Trust Board in 2016 and is part of the Board’s Finance & Performance subcommittee. “It is my privilege to be a Trustee of The Nelson Trust and in that role support the excellent work they do with people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. I am honoured to know the people who work for the Trust”.

Trustee, Justin Sargent – Justin has been Chief Executive of the Somerset Community Foundation since 2005, leading on the pioneering Surviving Winter Campaign, the 2014-15 Somerset Flood Relief programme, and establishing the Hinkley Point C Community Fund. Prior to this he worked with the Lesotho Council of NGOs in Southern Africa supporting environmental justice, food security and HIV programmes, and with the Countryside Agency on the original Countryside Stewardship scheme. Justin joined the Board in 2018.

Trustee, Jo Daubeney – Jo is a Specialist midwife working with vulnerable women in Gloucestershire, she has worked with and cared for expectant mothers with substance misuse issues for over 12 years have. “I have been able to care for women and support them on their sometimes complex journey to parenthood”.Jo has been a nurse and midwife in the NHS for 32 years, she combines work, mother of three boys and since 2017 involvement with the Nelson Trust as a trustee.

Trustee, James Tabor QCJamie joined the Board in 2018. Jamie spent his life in the Law. Barrister 1974 – 2003, appointed QC 1995. Practised extensively in London and the West Country.
Appointed resident Judge of Gloucester in 2003 and stayed in that, other than a short break in Bristol until retirement in 2018.
Married for 42 years, three daughters and five grandchildren.
He is Chair of Trustees for Gloucestershire Community Foundation, Patron of Stroud Court Community and Trustee of Infobuzz.

Trustee, Catherine ConnorCatherine has worked in the NHS since 2012. Catherine currently works for NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group where she has specific responsibility around the commissioning and delivery of Mental Health, Autism and Learning Disability services.

Catherine is currently undertaking an MBA with the University of Exeter. Catherine joined the Board of Trustees in January 2022.

Trustee, Professor Dame Julie Lydon DBE OBE FLSW FRSAJulie retired as Vice-Chancellor of the University of South Wales at the end of August 2021 having been appointed on 11 April 2013; she previously held the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan from April 2010. Following completion of an honours degree in Economics, she worked for the Tube Investments group for ten years in a variety of management roles, followed by a period of leadership in the financial services sector.

She has a strong reputation of academic leadership including the formation of USW, curriculum design, widening access, governance, regeneration, partnerships and quality. Her research interests and publications are in the fields of organisational change and collaboration within Higher Education. She was Chair of Universities Wales, and a board member of Universities UK, University Alliance, National Council for Universities and Businesses, CBI Wales and Newport Economic Network. Julie was awarded a Damehood in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours in 2022 for her services to higher education.

Trustee, Demelza StampDemelza, started her career as an employee of The Nelson Trust in the Fundraising Department. During her tenure she had the privilege of seeing the transformative work of The Nelson Trust firsthand.

Since then, she has held roles in Consultancy and Tech. Currently, Demelza works in a Senior Client Success role for LinkedIn, where she has cultivated a deep industry knowledge of social media and client employee engagement.

Trustee, James Murray – James is a director and business owner of his family-owned estate agency, Murrays Estate Agents. Established over 30 years ago, the company specialises in selling and letting homes across the Cotswolds.  James is also passionate about the field of recovery and works regularly with recovering addicts supporting them in their ongoing recovery to live a life free from addiction. He brings extensive knowledge to the Nelson Trust Board in the areas of addiction and recovery via his involvement with The Twelve Step Programme as well as extensive knowledge of the property sector.

James is also an avid fundraiser for various charities including The Nelson Trust, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, run marathons, skydived, and competed in a Triathlon. He is always up for a challenge!

“I feel extremely privileged to join the board of trustees for a charity so close to my own heart and look forward to working closely with the board, the staff, and the clients. It is inspiring to be a part of the ground breaking support in addiction, recovery and Women’s Centres The Nelson Trust provide.”

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial