As CEO at Reach Volunteering, Sarah developed a deep understanding of the skills and contribution needed to build effective boards, both with Reach’s own board and in supporting other charities on that journey. She founded Reach’s TrusteeWorks service, personally leading the board effectiveness and governance development service.
Sarah is highly experienced in facilitating board reviews from simple skills audits, to building board roadmaps to navigate challenging charity mergers and respond to the needs of a new strategy. Over the last three years, Sarah has been working from within the board room context with three charities supporting the transformation of the Board meeting structures, providing Trustee training and development support to improve their effectiveness, as well as acting as board clerk.
Sarah has significant experience working with Trustee boards and a good understanding of the challenges the Board/Chair/CEO dynamic can bring. As well as her experience at the Board table as CEO, she also has 25 years’ experience as a Trustee herself, including as trustee at Havens Hospices, Southend, and chair of YMCA Central Herts, a £4m charity, leading them through their successful merger process in 2012.
For six years Sarah was chief executive at the University of Nottingham Students’ Union working in collaboration with the Board, students and the university, in a complex, and often challenging, student-led organisation.
Sarah has carried out Board Reviews for Crossroads Care, nationally and at the local branch level. At the other end of the spectrum, she supported the Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust, a start-up charity, in its Board development journey following the Review carried out by Grant Taylor. Most recently Sarah has been the lead consultant delivering highly valued Board reviews for UnLtd and the Active Partners Trust.
Sarah has sat in each seat at the charity board table, as Trustee, CEO and Chair. She has also worked at a national level supporting the development of excellence in governance practice. Sarah commissioned the review of the original Charity Governance Code working with the Cabinet Office funded Governance Hub and led a series of governance projects with NCVO. She was also a co-founder in Trustees Week.