Our Trustees

Action Together trustees

Action Together has 12 trustees who are committed to the charity's aims and values. Our trustees have the overall legal responsibility for Action Together. We welcome many different skills, experiences and areas of knowledge from our trustees. If you would like to use your skills and expertise to ensure the health and growth of Action Together by becoming a trustee, contact Liz Windsor-Welsh, Chief Executive at Action Together, on Tel: 0161 339 2345 or Email: lizww@actiontogether.org.uk.

Read our trustees' biographies to find out more:

Revd Roger Farnworth has been a member of the trustee board of T3SC / Community and Voluntary Action Tameside and has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Action Together over the past year.

For 16 years, he has worked as a Civil Engineer in Local Government in middle/senior management. In 1997, he left Local Government to train for the Church of England priesthood. He moved to Ashton in 2003. Roger is team Rector of the Parish of the Good Shepherd, Ashton-under-Lyne.

Roger has management and finance skills, good HR experience, he has served on charity boards and as a school governor and has experience both as Chair and as a member.

He has a long-standing commitment to Ashton-under-Lyne / Tameside as his place of ministry.  Roger wants to see our society caring for its weakest members and developing and growing talents and skills. He particularly believes that we should seek to develop people’s own skills so that they can determine their own futures.

Adrian Ball has been a Board member at Voluntary Action Oldham and Action Together for approximately eight years, and is currently Vice Chair of the Action Together Board.

He started at the Manchester Settlement Charity in February 2015 as Chief Executive. Adrian has worked as a senior leader with charities working largely with young people in the fields of complementary education, youth work and youth justice. He has spent 20 years in a variety of roles at Positive Septs Oldham, one year as Chief Executive of Voluntary Action Oldham and one year as Director at Oldham College.

Adrian originally studied for an Economics degree at Manchester Polytechnic before training to become a careers advisor, he completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Voluntary Sector Management in 2014.

He is committed to the role of voluntary sector organisations in creating sustainable change within communities, and equally to the value that highly effective infrastructure support brings to that process.  Adrian is particularly interested in supporting the development of children and young people focussed organisations.

Specific skills you will bring to the Action Together CIO Board:

  • Extensive experience managing in children and young people focussed charities
  • Experience of charity management
  • Long term experience at VAO and Action Together

Camilla Guereca is employed as Chief Executive of Oldham Personal Advocacy Limited (OPAL), a registered charity providing advocacy services and activities for people with learning disabilities. She reports to the Board of Trustees and is responsible for ensuring that the organisation achieves its mission, vision and strategic plan within a sound governance framework.

Our mission: ‘to allow people with learning disabilities the right to be heard loudly and clearly by those who plan and deliver services which impact on their quality of life and to claim the rights and privileges available to all members of society’

Key areas of Camilla's work include:

Qualified competent and motivated staff

  • Line management responsibility for eigth staff including performance management, training, development and all employment issues.

Person centred work

  • Ensuring that OPAL provides somewhere people can feel and sense of belonging and participate in activities and opportunities which meet their needs and aspirations.

Achievement and maintenance of financial stability

  • Development, monitoring and management of a balanced budget
  • Presentation of financial information to the Board with recovery plans as necessary to reflect the changing and challenging financial position.
  • Achievement of financial targets, liaison with external auditors and statutory agencies
  • bid writing to secure future funding

Additionally, she served as a Non Executive Director of Pennine Acute Hospital Trust for eight years.

Karen Lowes has worked in the public and private sectors within the procurement area for over 25 years. She has recently retired as Head of Procurement at Oldham Council and prior to this role held a senior purchasing roles at H. J. Heinz and SSL International.

She is a dynamic and commercially driven individual with a proven track record of developing, implementing and delivering procurement strategies and initiatives. She seeks alternative and unique solutions to barriers and enjoy working with partners to deliver positive outcomes.

Karen has worked closely with the Cabinet Office and other Local Authorities to develop their Social Value Frameworks and embedded this into Oldham Council as part of their Co-operative Agenda.

She would like to support Action Together to achieve its strategic objectives and ambitions and feel that she can add value through her experience of working within a business environment together with her 'can do' approach.

John Mellor currently works at Airbus at Chester as Operational Performance Coordinator, a determined and self-motivated professional who has gained knowledge and experience from working in an international manufacturing environment, demonstrates a professional relationship with all levels within the organisation, customer and suppliers. His role involves managing performance and delivery of the Single Aisle Programme and a control of a £26m budget and 100 staff for the engineering, design and stress of the aircraft.

He previously worked at BAE Systems as Senior Project Engineer on the Nimrod MRA4 project at Woodford. His role involved managing project and the delivery programme and a £50m budget and 50 staff for the structural build of the Aircraft.

He brings bring several years’ experience in working in the voluntary sector. He has been volunteering at Higginshaw ARLFC for 32 years in several roles including 15 years as Secretary and he is company secretary of the charity. John has become more involved with community groups, due to Higginshaw ARLFC purchasing the facility at St Stephens Street, with a view of bringing the facility back into community use. He is currently involved in the funding and development strategy for the development project.

John has been involved in networking with private, voluntary and public sector partners to help strengthen partnerships, i.e. The Children’s Hub, Higginshaw Residents Association, and Physical Activity Network with a view of fully utilising the community facility. He has recently joined the Beever Children’s Centre Advisory Board, representing the Higginshaw Community Group. For six years until 2012, myself and my wife, Linda, have done respite fostering. 

Anne Parkes has been involved in the Voluntary and Community sector in Greater Manchester since 2004 in both paid and voluntary roles. She joined the T3SC Board in 2011 and after playing an active role in the merger with the Volunteer Centre Tameside, Anne became Treasurer of Community and Voluntary Action Tameside.

Anne was on the Shadow Board overseeing the merger with Voluntary Action Oldham, and is now Treasurer of Action Together CIO chairing the Finance Sub Group.

She has significant senior management experience in the sector, gained through seven years as Operations Director at Groundwork Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Tameside and Trafford. She also brings experience from the private sector with Unilever, and two years working in the public sector with the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities.

Anne is committed to seeing Action Together CIO thrive in a period of change, building on the strong track record of both Voluntary Action Oldham and Community and Voluntary Action Tameside. She is Chair of her daughter’s school’s Parent Teacher Association, and has been Reading Volunteer with Beanstalk in Manchester for two years. She is an avid cyclist.

Jonathan Yates has enjoyed being a board member of Voluntary Action Oldham since 2007 and has worked in and as a representative of the voluntary sector of Oldham since 2001. He is currently the CEO of Pennine West Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) which includes Oldham CAB and Rochdale CAB, with Trafford CAB joining us soon. He is currently Chair of Oldham’s Voluntary, Community, Faith Partnership (VCFP).

He was part of the working group that guided the creation of Action Together and he has a keen interest in being part of its future development. He brings a broad spectrum of skills and experience to the board including HR, Finance (Voluntary Action Oldham Treasurer for a number of years), mergers, and business development. 

Caroline Gregory


  • Considerable work with the voluntary and community sector in several roles within Tameside Council including that of Principal Neighbourhood Renewal officer.
  • I was involved in the development of Hyde Community Action (now Diversity Matters NW) as an independent charity and subsequently as a trustee and Chair
  • Represent Diversity Matters at network meetings including the Partnership Engagement Network and Equality and Diversity group
  • Active member and previous Chair of Tameside Voices 
  • Member of the Association of Chairs

Interests and Aspirations

  • I play and teach Bridge
  • I share an allotment 
  • I am in a reader’s group 
  • I am a member of U3A and attend an art group
  • I want to see the voluntary and community sector in Tameside thrive and grow to serve local needs

Specific Skills

  • Problem solving with a solution focussed approach 
  • Mediation and negotiation
  • Experience of applying for funding and managing budgets
  • Knowledge of Tameside and its diverse communities
  • Experience of setting up and running a charity and all this involves 
  • Policy development
  • Experience of marketing
  • Experience of setting up and implementing monitoring systems as required by funders
  • Qualified ESOL teacher
  • During my time as Chair I have had to make difficult decisions and resolve conflicts whilst retaining the confidence of staff

Rehna Yaseen

I am a youth and community worker within Ashton-under-Lyne and have been doing this for 6 years now. I work with young people and families who primarily come from deprived backgrounds, giving them experiences and opportunities that they wouldn’t usually come across. I incorporate outdoor education within my youth work as I believe this is a huge tool for engagement and creating a difference. Coming from a Pakistani British background I understand the cultural barriers that are experienced from most the young people and families I work with which makes me better able to empathise understand and communicate with them.

 I am particularly interested in the outdoors and love to walk, climb and take part in other adventurous activities. I love to help people and make a difference in lives of those who are less fortunate.

 I will bring a great level of enthusiasm, communication and understanding to Action Together’s CIO Board. I will bring a whole other perspective which has been shaped by my culture, experiences and passions.

Javed ​Rehman

  • I have been involved in the Voluntary Community Sector since 2003, where I have held various honorary roles – Vice Chair, Treasurer …
  • In January 2018 I set up my own Community group in order to assist and collaborate with smaller groups to develop and become structurally sound by assisting them with my skills and knowledge of the VCSE sector
  • Currently I have been a school governor for a local primary school for 3 years, and holdthe role of co-vice chair. I do not have any children, this role was taken to assist the school from a poor rating and also expand my skill sets around the education sector. 
  • I have over 10 years experience in the Asylum and Refugee sector
  • Currently I am involved at GM level in regards to NHS devolution 
  • I see Action Together to be an upcoming and thriving third sector organization that helps grass root level groups and has impact on policy change on a local level – this alignswith my personal values. I would like to contribute my skill sets and also learn from Action Together 

Mohammed ​Sawar

  • 30yrs community experience in the voluntary sector and delivery in arts and health and wellbeing project across Greater Manchester
  • Develop Business plans
  • Fundraising experience over the same period, having successfully applied from multiple national and local funders
  • Partnership working with education, health and social services 
  • Organising community engagement events across Greater Manchester and UK
  • Board Rep on Strategic Boards for Link4life, Gtr Mcr and Eastern Cheshire Strategic Clinical Networks, Dementia United, Rochdale Dementia Partnership Board, Ageing Well Partnership

Interests and Aspirations

  • Committed to Community Development over 30 years
  • Working with mainstream organisations
  • To make Rochdale borough a better place to live where opportunities and community cohesion are celebrated

Andrew ​Wiggans

All my working life has been spent supporting and developing work within the voluntary and community sector.

  • as a resident community development worker. 
  • managing a national research project exploring the issue of young homelessness from a youth work perspective.
  • managing several UK wide community education programmes for the Open University
  • employed by Rochdale MBC, ultimately as Director and Executive Director responsible for community-based services: support of the voluntary/community sector and corporate responsibility for equalities and community cohesion. 
  • as a consultant advising local authorities on their participation/area governance arrangements.
  • As a Trustee of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust. I chaired the Board for 7 years and am very aware of the duties and responsibilities of Trustees.
  •  I have worked closely with elected Members and senior Executives; developed strategic policy; and managed significant resources - financial, staff and services.
  •  I can bring all this experience to Action Together, as well as a knowledge of and a commitment to strengthening its work in Rochdale Borough in particular.