Board of Trustees

Jane Scott Dodson MSc FRSA.

Chair of the Board

I joined the board in 2017 and became Chair in the same year. My role with the board is to ensure good governance and help set the strategic direction for the organisation. I care deeply about the advocacy services we deliver and am proud to be part of such a committed team.

I began work in the international development sector, working in Asia and Africa on health, agricultural and refugee programmes. I then ran a refugee training and careers advice service in London and held several senior roles in small charities before setting up my own consultancy and spending some time in the public sector. My current role includes advising social enterprises on governance, strategy and social impact measurement.

Adam Chambers


Adam joined our Board of Trustees in the summer of 2016. Adam has been a barrister practicing in civil law for 25 years.  From that he has learned the importance of providing a mouthpiece for people who may not otherwise be heard in difficult situations.  He believes that the provision of advocacy services is of vital importance in a society where rights have to be asserted. He has volunteered in order to do his bit to see that this important service continues.

Irene Bews


I joined the Advocacy People as a Trustee in June 2019.  I sit on the Board and the Audit committee, and work with the Board and senior management to set the overall strategy and ensure implementation is a timely and resourced manner. I utilise my skills and expertise gained from my professional financial career, and I help to liaise with the finance team in order to ensure the appropriate financial information is made available to the Board and that we, as a charity, remain in good strong financial health. 

I am delighted to be on the Board and help take forward the extremely important role of The Advocacy People, as I am committed to empowering people to ensure they can express their views and have their voices heard.

I worked for over 20 years in Higher Education, with most of these years as Director of Finance at Aberdeen and Kingston Universities. I retired from Kingston In December 2017, and now take an active part in my local community and have taken up various voluntary roles.

Julie Swaffer


I joined the Advocacy People as a Trustee in June 2017.  I joined as I have a strong belief in vulnerable persons having their voice heard.

I have worked in the NHS for 32 years, 27 of these spent in various Primary and Secondary Care Management roles.

My background in Care Management means I am able to see how advocacy around healthcare services can be best managed.

I have a keen interest in human trafficking and modern-day slavery issues and have worked with the government and Anti-Slavery Commissioner in highlighting the various issues around advocacy and aftercare services for victims.

Tim O'Brien


I joined the Board in September 2018. With a passion for social justice, I see advocacy as paramount in empowering vulnerable people. As a Trustee, I fully support The Advocacy People’s vision, mission and values. My experience and skills help ensure that we continue to provide an efficient, quality service to all people who need support to make their voice heard.

After starting out as a teacher in the East End of London, I have spent most of my career as a senior leader in the Further Education and Training Sector, working at colleges across the country, as well as in East Sussex.  My particular skills and experience are in business planning, quality assurance and improvement and have been developed through ensuring adults and young people gain the skills required to help them overcome the barriers that hinder them reaching their full potential. 

Alison Steel


I joined the board in 2020. I was a newspaper journalist for ten years before embarking on a career in public relations and marketing. I ran my own public relations business for five years and held senior roles in the commercial and public sectors.

I retired in 2018 as Director of Marketing and Communications at Kingston University, London, and now concentrate on voluntary activities. I am a trustee and director of Hastings Literary Festival. I am passionate about the power of good communications and I’m keen to do what I can to support The Advocacy People in helping vulnerable people to make their voices heard

PO Box 375, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 9HU

0330 440 9000

Text 80800, starting message with PEOPLE

©2020 by The Advocacy People

Charity No. 1080679

Company No. 3963421