How we are governed

As an independent charity, we have a Board of Trustees who are collectively responsible for ensuring the organisation is financially sound, well managed and that it meets its charitable objectives.

The Board provides leadership and guidance to the Chief Officer who has day-to-day responsibility for leading and managing the organisation.

Find our annual reports:


Meet our Trustees

 Christopher Bates – Chair

Christopher Bates has been a Trustee of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells & District since 2011 and was elected Chairman in 2013, but his wife has been a volunteer adviser in the Bureau for over 20 years. He enjoyed a full career as an officer in the Royal Engineers, serving in a wide variety of appointments in many parts of the world. His introduction to the charitable world was as an ex-officio Trustee of Royal Engineer Charities. On his retirement from the Army in 1999 he joined the Dulverton Trust, a grant-making charity, initially as Deputy Director and then as Director. In this capacity he travelled widely to visit charities which had applied for grants, throughout the UK and to a lesser extent in Africa.

Since his second retirement in 2010, he has retained a link with the Third Sector by serving as a Trustee for the Mines Advisory Group (MAG International), the Army Central Fund and Cleanup UK, as well as CATWD. He also enjoys tennis, sailing, classic cars, walking his springer spaniel, gardening and his 7 grandchildren.

Alan Goda – Vice Chair

Alan Goda has beAlan Goda, Vice Chairen a trustee since 2009, and vice-chair for the last two years. He originally became involved with Citizens’ Advice as a trustee of Citizens’ Advice-South Lakes when he lived in Cumbria.

He is married with two sons and three grandchildren, of whom he is very proud.

In addition to his work with CA, he is a governor of High Weald Academy which is a comprehensive school in Cranbrook.

Alan’s other activities include sailing, gardening, walking the dog, and washing the mud off his 1967 MGB.

 Lynn Mercer – Treasurer

Now retiLynn Mercerred, Lynn joined Citizens Advice in January 2014 as Trustee / Treasurer.

He has lived in the Tunbridge Wells area for more than thirty years. Much of his career was with a major international company for whom he held a number of senior positions in business, information technology, personnel and change. Latterly he directed a management consulting group and worked as an executive coach.

His leisure interests are focused around family, golf and walking.

 David Marriott – Trustee

David haDavid Marriotts over 40 years’ experience in commercial property and worked with Knight Frank Group in Sydney, Jones Lang Wootton in Los Angeles, USA, Hillier Parker (now CBRE) and Lawson-Price in London.

David set up Core Commercial in 1996 in Kent specialising in industrial and warehouse property. He was a Councillor for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council for 8 years until May 2010 and has been involved with CATWD for over 10 years and more recently as a trustee.

 Julia Braggins – Trustee

Julia Braggins joined tJulia Bragginshe CA Trustee Board in 2012.  She has been a trustee of several charities, and is closely involved with the local branch of Samaritans.  Her working life was spent in adult education (she was a part time Open University tutor for 20 years) and criminal justice.  She taught in Bedford and Wandsworth prisons, and ended up as Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. She still takes the minutes for the All Party Parliamentary Penal Affairs Group. She lives near Cranbrook, and she and her husband enjoy having more time to spend with their three daughters and their young families.

 Jennifer Cross – Trustee

Jenny CroJennifer Cross, Trusteess has been a Trustee of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells and District since 2009. Her background is in Social Work. She worked for many years for an Inner London Borough in a variety of settings both as a social worker and a manager. For several years she was an academic tutor for final year social work students completing their professional social work training. She sat on the Protection of Children Act Tribunal and she currently sits on Mental Health and Care Standards Tribunals, as well as the Upper Administrative Appeals Tribunal. She has been a Magistrate for over 20 years and currently sits in the Family Court. She was for several years a trustee of a national mental health charity

 Ellie Boon – Trustee

Ellie became a Trustee of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells & District in 2015. She first became involved with the service as an employee, managing their Big Lottery funded project, Partnership In Action, which had the twin aims of increasing people’s awareness of the need for quality advice services, and developing a partnership of local charities and stakeholders. Ellie has worked within the voluntary sector for the majority of her career, most often working with older people, people with disabilities, and carers. She has worked on the frontline, delivering information and advice, as well as at senior management level. Ellie is relatively new to Kent and has spent most of her life working in London.

Elaine Abbs – Trustee
Elaine Abbs Trustee - PhotoElaine Abbs is the Chair of the Friends of Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells & District and joined the Trustee Board in 2016.  Elaine is an employment lawyer and currently works for the National Union of Teachers.  From 2004 she worked at the Bureau as a volunteer for over 4 years jointly delivering the Employment Law service. Elaine has previous experience of working for the whistleblowing charity Public Concern at Work and of working for the Maternity Alliance, lobbying Government and working with the former Equal Opportunities Commission and with the Health and Safety Executive on projects to improve employment rights for pregnant working women and all parents.  Elaine also worked as an HR Manager for 4 years for a local school and is a trained nurse.  She enjoys caring for her family, singing with the Royal Tunbridge Wells Choral Society, politics, gardening and making bread.

Tom Bourne – Trustee

Tom joined the Citizens Advice Tunbridge Wells and District as a trustee in 2016. Tom is a commercial lawyer specialising in dispute resolution at Cripps LLP and regularly advises clients in the charity sector. He enjoys working with local charities and is an experienced fundraiser. In his spare time Tom enjoys playing football, cricket and skiing.


Tom Stevens – Trustee

Photo and details to follow