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Meet our lovely trustees

“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.” – Charities 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, up to 5 of which are not students at Christ Church;

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

Phil Kloppenborg, President - Sabbatical Trustee and Chair


Having graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with a BSc in Sport and Leisure Management, Philip’s main aims as President of the Students’ Union are to provide effective leadership and to embed and take forward the mental health and wellbeing agenda. He has also worked on updating the Course Rep system. He is keen to ensure that the student experience is the key focus of both the Students’ Union and the University, and this includes developments such as the new Medical School.

In his spare time, Philip’s interests include sport (participating and spectating), football in particular.


Jamie Harris, President (Wellbeing) - Sabbatical Trustee

Jamie studied Primary Education before starting his role as President (Wellbeing) at Christ Church Students' Union. He grew up in Kent and came to Christ Church due to the range of sporting opportunities offered and the quality of the teaching education courses. He really enjoyed his time here, and becoming involved in the Students' Union has positively impacted his student experience and encouraged him to get involved with this presidential position.  Whilst at University he was heavily involved in the Men's Cricket team, being committee for two years, acting as a captain and treasurer during his time.  During the 3rd year, he was selected for the Sports Executive Committee to help improve the sporting experience and improve engagement within the University. He also now plays in the Hockey team.

Becky Thomson, President (Development) - Sabbatical Trustee

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.

Chloe Woolaway, President (Sports & Engagement) - Sabbatical Trustee

Chloe is originally from Essex and was a student at Christ Church for four years before being elected.  She graduated in Film, Radio and TV, whilst also engaging in extra-curricular activity which involved being the 1st team captain of Women's Football, President of Women's Cricket, and also on the Team Christ Church Executive Committee.  Chloe believed that becoming more involved within the Union during her time as a student really enhanced her student experience and opened up opportunities that otherwise wouldn't have been available. 

Chloe West - Elected Student Trustee

I am going into my second year studying Policing with Critical Incidents at Christ Church and start training with Kent Police as a special constable in Autumn 2019. I am from North Devon and chose to study at Christ Church as it showed a wide range of opportunities to support academic learning and professional development. I support the university promoting the university courses and my experience to perspective students. Through the Union, I hope I can help enhance student experience and opportunities and also give me an insight into different levels of decision making and thought process within an organisation for my future career.

VACANT - Elected Student Trustee

Will be filled at the next elections in October.

VACANT - Selected Student Trustee


Emy Ball - Selected Student Trustee

Emy is going into her second year studying Psychology at Christ Church. She has been involved with the SU since her first year at university. She was Vice President of PsySoc in 2018/19 and she is now the President for 2019/20. She decided to get more involved with the SU as she felt so welcome with her experience she wanted to make sure that all other students have the same experience as she did.

John Adams - Community Trustee and Deputy Chair

John Adams

John is a successful and experienced Finance Director that has worked within the Housing Sector for over 17 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 and non-financial roles – the last 8 years at Director Level, and has recently started his own finance consultancy business.

John has held Directorship roles on other Housing and Education organisations; including Board Member, Treasurer and Chair of Audit Committee.

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.

VACANT - Community Trustee

Currently recruiting

Professor Helen James, Senior PVC Education, Enhancement, and Student Experience - University Trustee

Helen James

Helen James is Senior Pro Vice Chancellor (Education, Enhancement & Student Experience) at Canterbury Christ Church University, having taken up this post in September 2014. Helen joined the University from Glyndwr University where as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) she had a broad portfolio including responsibilities for student experience and success, academic portfolio, learning and teaching, employability and had Institutional lead for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and economic development.

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.  The most recent review of these was in September 2018.

  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder in I & J Advisory Services Ltd.
  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder in the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder in MEDCo.
  • One Trustee is a trustee, director, or shareholder in EWhile Will 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 Turner Free School.
  • One Trustee is in a 'senior management position' at Deeside Enterprise Zone.
  • 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.

No trustees or directors have declared any other significant interests.

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


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