The board of trustees act as the governing body for Gateshead Carers Association and is currently chaired by David Clelland, Valerie Smith has been vice chair since 2011. New board members are nominated and recruited for their specific skills and expertise, take a look at our members to see what they each bring to the charity. If you think your knowledge and skills would benefit Gateshead Carers, please get in touch here.
Current Board Members
David Clelland – Chair
Elected to Gateshead council in 1972 and was – inter alia – chair of Recreation committee, council Leader and vice chair of Gateshead Health authority before being elected MP for the Newcastle/Gateshead constituency of Tyne Bridge which he served from 1985-2010.
Evelyn Valerie Smith – Vice Chair
Valerie came to Gateshead Carers when she needed support caring for her husband. Since 2009 she has returned that support by becoming a trustee for the charity, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience gathered from over 30 years working in Social Services at Gateshead Council.
After retiring as a nurse through ill health, June became a full time carer for her husband of 40 years. She joined Gateshead Carers in 2007 as a volunteer and such an integral part of running the organisation that she went on to become a trustee in 2009. June has two grown up children and is an active member of our Support and Activity Groups.
Ann has been a qualified solicitor for over 26 years and currently works for PGS Law in South Shields. She continues to offer a Pro bono legal advice clinic at South Tyneside Citizens Advice Bureau having previously held the position of vice-chair for the Trustee Board. Ann stepped down from this position to spend more time with her Mother, who sadly passed away in 2019. She is passionate about helping unpaid carers in Gateshead with her expert knowledge and experience.
Michael is an experienced management accountant with knowledge of charity finance and accountancy polices. Michael has previously worked for Newcastle Building Society, Greggs PLC and Daisy Communications, and volunteered his accountancy skills to offer support to the Greggs Foundation.
Margaret originates from Gateshead, and worked in Gateshead Council as a social worker and senior manager in Adult Social Care for 27 years until she took early retirement in June 2016. Throughout her time in the Council, she always championed the cause of carers; she led the multi-agency Carers Partnership and worked closely with Gateshead Carers Association for the last 15 years. Margaret continues to be registered as a Social Worker, and she remains passionate about carers’ services, and was a carer herself until February 2016.
Amanda has been a working carer and then a full time carer for her partner who has complex health challenges for over eight years. Additionally, she has recently become a full time carer for her elderly mother. Amanda’s employment background includes working in the primary health and social care arena which has provided her with an external insight into the needs of carers and the challenges they face. She has lived and worked across three continents and is a passionate advocate of celebrating diversity. As a resident of Gateshead she has been a service user of the Gateshead Carers Association for a number of years and is very proud of the quality of support and expertise offered by GCA to others in her situation. She has been an active member of the Gateshead Carers Association Board of Trustees since 2018.
Michael was born in Jarrow in 1957, he grew up and lived there until he married my wife Maria in 1984. We lived in the Wardley and Leam Lane area for 14 years, before we moved to Blaydon in 1998 where he still resides. He has 3 daughters and 2 grandchildren. Michael went to local schools in Jarrow and Hebburn before starting work at British Steel in Jarrow, he worked there until the plant closed in 1986. He went on to work for International Paints (Courtaulds) Powder Coatings Division as part of their management team. Michael had to leave on health grounds. He began working in schools in Gateshead. He also began working for a private Domiciliary care company, where he is now part of the senior management team. Over the years Michael have volunteered for a local autism charity, a special school in Gateshead and a charity ‘Resyke y Bike’. He is currently a trustee at Gateshead Carers. Michael has a wide range of experience as a family carer for his parents, mother and father in law and his middle daughter, who has Asperger’s. He first became involved with Gateshead Carers over 25 years ago and fully appreciates its value to the local community.
Stuart Cox (appointed December 2019)
Most of Stuart’s career was in the steel industry. A degree in metallurgy provided the academic background for a technical specialist who then progressed into senior management. Redundant in his mid-fifties, Stuart then operated his own taxi and undertook various consultancy projects until retirement. When family caring responsibilities came in 2017 he was referred to Gateshead Carers, where “I received a warm welcome and a high standard of professional support from the team.” Stuart hopes that membership of the board of trustees will enable him to help support the team in “their great work” and ensure the service is maintained long term.
Elsie Johnson (appointed December 2019)
Elsie was an active Board member for Gateshead Carers Association during 2003-2015 and was involved in a variety of roles including government petitions as well as promotional work to help spread the word. In particular she was involved with taking petitions down to Westminster to gain the attention for the need to increase carers’ allowance and also helping to promote the charity with the public by standing in supermarkets with her husband, who had various conditions, to draw attention to the needs of carers and their loved ones. Between, 2007-2015 Elsie was also a Board member for the Alzheimer’s Society in Gateshead and was area forum representative. During her time in both these roles she was involved in high profile media events on national and regional TV and radio. Elsie has re-joined the Board of Trustees now that her caring role for her beloved husband has sadly finished and feels that she can make a valuable contribution to the charity, as she has a lot of experience in all areas when it comes to caring and “I feel I could make a real difference”.