Chair of Trustees: Liz Somers-James

Having worked in Catering Management in the University Sector for 34 years and subsequently Citizens Advice I wanted to give some time for volunteering. I had started as a Volunteer for Citizens Advice and then was employed with them with the responsibility of recruiting and training volunteers and staff. This was both challenging and rewarding and I learned how valuable and dedicated volunteers were. I was a member of the Trustee Board initially representing volunteers and then staff.

Helping children to read in school was always something that I wanted to do and I did this at a local school for 3 years before my other volunteering commitments encroached on this time.

I am a Governor for a local school, which is part of an Academy Trust and am a member of the Trustee Board.

I am actively involved with my local church and act as Treasurer for them.

I was asked to consider joining the Trustee Board of the Volunteer Bureau when I retired from Citizens Advice and I was pleased to be able to support its volunteer work. I have chaired the Trustee Board for several years and feel proud to work with such a dedicated team of volunteers and staff.

Trustee (Vice Chair): John Sutton

John spent nearly all of his career working as an Actuary in the Reinsurance industry in Folkestone, London & Bermuda.  On retiring for the second time in 2014 he became a volunteer driver at the Shepway Volunteer Centre, later also becoming one of its Trustees. His other interests include Rugby being a long time member player and a former chairman of Folkestone RFC.

Trustee (Treasurer): Mark George

Mark is a self-employed accountant who spent almost 30 years working as a senior-level tax inspector for HM Revenue & Customs. He has significant experience of dealing with tax-related matters at individual, corporate and multinational levels and, more recently, was involved in HMRC’s drive against offshore tax avoidance.

Mark is a committed trade union activist and has been a member of the FDA union since the day he began working. During his time with HMRC he was a Personal Caseworker for the trade union, assisting members who were experiencing difficulties with their employer. Mark became a national-level union officer and, until recently, had responsibility for running a UK-wide network of TU personal caseworkers. He has accordingly developed a wide range of skills, representing union members in various formal and disciplinary situations up to and including Employment Tribunal.

Trustee: Eddie Pugh

Worked for over 30 years for a leading insurance company in their head office. My last two positions was running a department of approx. 60 staff and then
serving on the management committee of a project rolling out a new computerised accounting system nationwide. Having successfully completed these tasks was then made redundant along with most other long serving managers.

Then for 5 years as a paid job ran an indoor sports complex with several hundred members.

Finally retired back to Deal some 10 years ago and in that  period have been Secretary and now Chairman of Betteshanger indoor bowls on a voluntary basis. Some three years age became a trustee of Dover and Deal Volunteer Centre where my wife volunteers on the transport desk.

Trustee: Heather-Gail de Souza

After 40 odd years of teaching in this country and the Emirates, I felt I still had a lot to 'give'.  So in 2010 I joined Shepway Volunteers with the 'Memory Makers' Project.  From there I got involved (and continue to be) in a number of other projects.  I was honoured to be asked to join the Trustees during the merger and to carry on being a Trustee for Kent Coast Volunteering.

Trustee: Xanthe Pitt

Xanthe currently works as a consultant, supporting public and third sector organisations with fundraising, project development and delivery. Xanthe holds an MSc in Spatial Planning, and has worked on a wide range of projects over the past decade, including the provision of planning advice and development of High Street regeneration schemes. Until recently she also practised as a Solicitor, specialising in crime, and has an extensive insight offending and the workings of the criminal justice system through her work as a Duty Solicitor. 

Xanthe founded and leads a social enterprise called Discovery Planet which partners with Universities and working scientists to deliver science communication events through pop-up events  at the heart of disadvantaged communities (

Kent Coast Volunteering Head Office
Kent Innovation Centre

Millennium Way
CT10 2QQ

01843 609337

Charity No: 1111800, Company Limited by Guarantee: 5392093


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