The Board of Trustees acts on behalf of the Students’ Union with the ultimate responsibility for the strategic direction, financial well-being and reputation management of the organisation.

“Trustees have and must accept ultimate responsibility for directing the affairs of a charity, and ensuring it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the charitable outcomes for the benefit of the public for which it has been set up.” – Charity Commission

In short, the Board of Trustees accept ultimate liability for the affairs and the operations of Christ Church Students’ Union and, as such, must ensure that their level of influence and control is appropriate and sufficient to ensure that this duty is discharged.   The Board is made up of 4 different types of Trustee:

  • Sabbatical Trustee – the four full-time elected officers 
  • Student Trustee – up to two elected and two selected part-time student trustees
  • Community Trustee – four trustees who have been selected by the Union to sit on the Board due to their skills, experience and knowledge 
  • University Trustee – a trustee appointed to sit on the Board by the University, usually the PVC Education & Student Experience post-holder 

Becky Thomson, Students' Union President - Sabbatical Trustee and Chair

Becky is a mature student and graduated from Bsc Psychology at Christ Church in 2018. She is currently studying for her Masters degree in Forensic and Investigative Psychology and is due to complete in September 2019. Whilst at University Becky has been involved with the union in various ways; President of Psychology society, sitting on the Union Society Executive Committee and Student Academic Representation committee. As a postgraduate, mature student with a small child, Becky believes that she will bring a new perspective to the board, drawing on her experience in retail and events management in a variety of environments.

Nathan Baker, President (Wellbeing) - Sabbatical Trustee

Bio coming soon!

Beth Elwood, President (Development) - Sabbatical Trustee

Bio coming soon!

Maddy Young, President (Sports & Engagement) - Sabbatical Trustee

Bio coming soon!

VACANT - Elected Student Trustee

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VACANT - Elected Student Trustee

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VACANT - Selected Student Trustee

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Jake Forecast - Selected Student Trustee

Jake is in his third and final year at Christ Church studying BA (Hons) Primary Education. This is his second year as a student selected trustee. Jake is passionate about education. He became the Students’ Placement Officer (Education) in 2018 and was elected as a National Union of Students (NUS) Delegate in March 2020.

Jake has a drive for making a positive contribution to educational experiences, both in primary schools and in higher education. He has been Students’ Union President at a Further Education provider prior to Christ Church and as such, has governance experience in his remit. He joined the board of trustees to gain a wider knowledge as to how a student-initiated students’ union is run and wants other students to get involved to get the best university student experience. Aside from his university commitments, Jake is also a member of the Show Choir Society and enjoys singing in showcases, playing piano and being a part of an amazing team. Jake also loves reading, gaming and everything involving music.

John Adams - Community Trustee and Deputy Chair

John Adams

John is a successful and experienced Finance Director that has worked within the Housing and Education Sectors for over 20 years.  After Qualifying in South Africa he continued in Public Practice for 10 years, specialising in Local Government, Housing, Health and Treasury.

He has been involved in a range of financial roles to Director level throughout his career and also started up his own finance consultancy business in 2015.

John has held non-executive directorship roles on other Housing and Education organisations; including Board Member, Treasurer and Chair of Audit, Finance and Risk Committees.

Joe Cooper - Community Trustee

Joe Cooper

Joe Cooper is the Head of Operational Partnerships and Transformation at Imperial College London.  He was previously Managing Director of Imperial College Union and worked in the Students Union sector for 15 years, in a number of elected and appointed roles. He has also undertaken a number of voluntary roles, including as a Trustee of a local mental health charity and community centre, and as a founding Director of Canterbury Youth and Student Media Limited.

Joe originally studied Film, Radio and Television at Canterbury Christ Church University and served as its Students’ Union President in 2001/02.  Joe lives in Canterbury with his wife Caroline and two daughters, Annabelle and Emmeline.

Michael Wigg - Community Trustee

Michael is the current CEO at the University of Westminster Students’ Union and has worked in the Students’ Union sector for over 16 years in a variety of different Unions alongside working on a national level through the National Union Of Students (NUS). He is an alumnus of Canterbury Christ Church University having studied Sports Science and Geography and was Vice President Welfare and Education of the Students’ Union for two years from 2004 to 2006. Michael has a particular interest in developing student communities, leadership development and the development and the implementation of digital engagement strategies. Michael helped develop the current governance code for Students’ Union boards which has been adapted from the National Charity Governance Code developed by a cross-sector collaboration project.

Graham Briscoe - Community Trustee

Graham is a Chartered Engineer, a Chartered Information Technology Professional, a Certified Management Consultant; a Fellow of the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management and the Institute of Administrative Management; and a medallist of the World Productivity Congress. He has worked in many management services roles throughout his thirty-five year career with Royal Sun Alliance in Bristol, London, Horsham and Liverpool, along with positions in the USA, Mexico and South Africa, encompassing many roles – project and change management, information technology, quality and customer service management, HR and Talent Management, facilities management, continuous improvement, transformational change, due diligence and office relocations associated with company mergers and acquisitions. Since retirement he has built up a portfolio of University, Further Education and Awarding Body Governorships along with NED and Trustee roles with Housing Associations, University Student`s Unions and various Charities. Graham also covers Change Management and Facilities Management pro-bono support to Charity, voluntary and not-for-profit organisations in South-West England and South-East Wales.

Professor Helen James, Deputy Vice-Chancellor - University Trustee

Helen James

Helen James is the DVC at Canterbury Christ Church University, having taken up this post in January 2020. 

Professor James started work as a mechanical engineering apprentice in the shipbuilding industry before graduating from the University of Leicester with a BSc (Hons) in Engineering. She became a design engineer in the space industry before lecturing in Mechanical Engineering. She later obtained a Masters Degree in Education from the University of Sussex.

In 1999 she was the founding Head of Business Services at the University of Brighton and in 2001 joined Glyndwr University, obtaining a Doctorate of Business Administration in Higher Education Management from the University of Bath in 2010. Professor James holds a number of national roles in professional bodies related to both higher education as well as engineering. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and in 2005 was named Woman of Year for Science and Technology in Wales.

Register of Trustees and Directors Interests

Under the Bye-Laws of Christ Church Students' Union, the Union is required to maintain a register of interests and significant holdings for the Trustees and the Directors.  This Register was last updated in July 2020.

  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder at Marjon Students' Union.
  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder at CXK Ashford.
  • One Trustee is a governor at AECC College Bournemouth.
  • One Trustee is the Chair of the National Student Fundraising Association.
  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder in MEDCo.
  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder at Turner Schools Multi Academy Trust.
  • One Trustee is in a 'senior management position' at Saxon Weald Housing.
  • One Trustee is in a 'senior management position' at Seedlings Montessori Pre-school.
  • One Trustee is in a 'senior management position' at the University of Westminster Students' Union.
  • One Trustee is in a 'senior management position' at Imperial College, London.
  • Two trustees are in a 'senior management position' at Canterbury Christ Church University.
  • One Director is in a 'senior management position' at St. Stephen's Infant School, Canterbury.
  • One Director is also a student of Canterbuty Christ Church University.
  • One Trustee also works for Canterbuty Christ Church University as an PGR academic.
  • One Trustee also works for Canterbuty Christ Church University as an Outreach Ambassador.

No trustees or directors have made any other relevant disclosure expected under the 7 Principles of Public Life. 


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