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Our Trustee Board

The following are Trustees and Company Directors of the Citizens Advice Cornwall Board:

  • Fran Keene (Chair)
  • Henry Meacock (Treasurer)
  •                                                                                                                                  John Baker
  • Sean Finlay
  • Prof Meryll Dean
  • Jane Williams
  • Natasha Arnold

Fran Keene (Chair)

Fran has been directly involved with the Citizens Advice service since 2011 as a Trustee of National Citizens Advice and Chair of the Equality Committee. Her mother-in-law was the long serving Bureau Manager at St Austell, so her relationship with the service goes back almost 25 years. She is deeply committed to the twin aims and principles of the service, and a huge advocate of the power of putting the client at the heart of our decision making and practice. She is also a long-term volunteer, starting out with a drug-alcohol service more than 20 years ago and now as a Trustee at CA Cornwall and a Non-Executive Director at the Ocean Housing Group.

Fran has worked across public, not-for-profit and commercial sectors. Her primary purpose is trying to work out how we can reduce socio-economic inequality to create a place where people can thrive. It all started for her in the 1980s with the anti-apartheid movement and her studies into the early foundation of the welfare state while at Liverpool University. That sparked a lasting curiosity at how public and voluntary institutions can help and hinder progress towards community empowerment and equality of outcome.

As Head of Diversity at the Audit Commission, she led the integration of equality and inclusion into the Comprehensive Area Assessment framework, giving people a snapshot of life in their local area and an independent view of the value for money of local services. She has led national policy reports on race equality and local e-government. As part of the start-up team at the National Lottery Community Fund, she helped deliver £90m of funding to civil society groups in its first year. Since arriving in Cornwall in 2012, she has worked with Falmouth University as a Lay Member of the Research Ethics Committee, advised various organisations on their approaches to equality, diversity and inclusion and supported holiday letting owners to transform their properties to improve their physical accessibility and enhance their attractiveness to disabled and non-disabled holiday makers.

She feels very lucky to live in Falmouth with a husband, two boys, a dog and a cat.

Henry Meacock

Henry graduated from the University of Warwick in 2001 with a degree in Management Sciences. He subsequently qualified as a Chartered Accountant and spent the initial part of his career working in the private sector, based in the North West. Henry held several different finance roles before relocating to Cornwall in 2012 where he moved into social housing work. He was treasurer of the homelessness charity St Petrocs from 2014 before joining them as a director on a full-time basis in early 2020. Henry is married with five children. He is active with his family, enjoying many different sporting activities.

Sean Finlay

I am originally from Plymouth. My wife grew up in Cornwall and, of course, I was a regular visitor as a teenager. I started work as an apprentice in Devonport Dockyard, then after university I worked as a project manager and in general management, both in the Civil Service and industry, but always helping to equip Royal Navy ships and submarines. These roles caused me to move around the country quite a bit, mostly in the Westcountry but with sojourns in Glasgow, Portsmouth, Stockport and, for a short time, Nice.

Following retirement, I volunteered for the Foodbank in Helston, as a driver and providing admin support. In parallel I trained to be a general adviser for Citizens Advice Cornwall gaining my certification in early 2018. After that I provided advice in Camborne and Falmouth until the pandemic changed everything last year. I now hope to try to help the people of Cornwall in a different way and hopefully bring the benefits of my experience of volunteering to the Trustee Board.

Professor Meryll Dean

I am originally from North Cornwall and returned frequently after going to university thereby remaining in contact with the people and issues of the county. In 2014 I returned to live here permanently. After university I qualified as a barrister and worked in the profession before becoming an academic. I have obtained Board experience in various roles. In particular sitting as an independent member of a Police Authority and being an independent member of Council Standards Committees at City and County Level.  My interest in the work of Citizens Advice started when I was an academic and arranged work placements for students. My career and volunteer roles have enabled me to work with people of all ages and socio-cultural backgrounds and coming from Cornwall I hope I am now well placed to bring my legal and career experience to the Trustee role at CA Cornwall.

Jane Williams

Originally from Hampshire, I moved to Cornwall in 2015 via London and Bristol. Formerly a senior civil servant in the HR function, I bring a range of different experiences from a range of different government departments to my Trustee role, most recently as the HR Director of the Defence Support Group (a trading fund of MoD before it was sold into the private sector). I am also a Chartered Fellow of the Institute of Personnel & Development.

I stepped away from my first experience as a Trustee in Citizens Advice about 18 months ago, but am hoping my second experience will allow me to contribute to the HR agenda of an organisation which is now much more forward facing than in my first outing. I also volunteer in Penlee Gallery and Museum in Penzance and am Chair of the Friends of Penlee which is the Charity arm of the Gallery and I’m also a volunteer on Cornwall Council’s education appeal panels.

Natasha Arnold

I have lived in Cornwall for 18 years and for 14 of those I worked at Fifteen and the Cornwall Food Foundation. I joined Fifteen as part of the opening team and then spent nine years developing my expertise in operational management in a social enterprise. In 2015 the Cornwall Food Foundation, the charity behind Fifteen, were looking to grow their services and reach more people and communities in Cornwall – I moved into a development role to gain funding for a new community food skills programme. I then progressed to Head of Foundation in 2018. It was an amazing experience where I had the opportunity to lead the direction of the organisation, develop and deliver new services, build new partnerships and secure new funding. At the heart of my own journey is that I want to make a difference in the world where we live – particular in terms of social mobility and making our communities better places to live.

I feel closely aligned with the twin aims of the Citizens Advice and the fundamental difference it makes to people’s live – particularly those with a lower socio economic status. I am looking forward to using my skills and experience to support the charities development at a strategic level.

John Baker

I started in the retail food industry in 1973 when I took over a small convenience store in West Cornwall, after 12 years of trading and the business sold I moved to London to take up a position as manager of a small supermarket. Realizing I could not afford to buy a home in the Capital I embarked on a plan to get back to Cornwall, after several positions I achieved this in 1997 running stores in Falmouth, St. Austell and Truro, I retired from this position in 2010.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the company I worked for was rapidly expanding by acquisitions and new store openings, during this period I was involved with recruitment, training and the opening of new stores.

After retiring from the retail food industry I became a little bored and started to renovate a couple of properties requiring total refurbishment which were later sold. Still feeling I had something to give in the job market I took on the job of managing a small charity in Penzance, this made me aware of the many dedicated people in this sector and the experience of working with a Board of Trustees, when this job finished I felt I could use this experience and applied to be a Trustee at Citizens Advice Cornwall.

I also volunteer as an advisor for Age UK, which involves visiting clients in their own homes, giving advice and applying for any benefits they may be entitled to. I have also been involved with Cornwall Hospice, helping to set up a new income source.

My spare time is taken up by gardening and I have an interest in classic cars and own a 1951 Triumph saloon, sadly in pieces on the garage floor and a 1976 Triumph Stag, currently undergoing an engine rebuild.