“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 six elected or selected part-time student trustees.
- Community Trustee – up to six trustees who have been selected by the Union to sit on the Board due to their skills, experience and knowledge.
- University Trustee – a trustee recommended to the Union by the University to sit on the Board.
Dan Bichener, Students' Union President - Sabbatical Trustee
Dan joined Christ Church in 2018, and studied Multimedia Journalism, in which he graduated with a first in 2021.
Throughout his time at the University he was Sports Editor, and later Editor-in-Chief, of Christ Church's student media website UNIfied. Dan was also part of the Men's Tennis team, competing at Varsity and BUCS, and became a men's captain in his final year.
He was elected as Christ Church Students' Union President in 2021 and is looking forward to his first year as a trustee.
Beth Elwood, President (Campaigns & Societies) - Sabbatical Trustee
Beth started at the University in 2016, studying a BA in Archaeology. She is currently completing her MSc in Tourism and Events Management.
As a student, Beth was passionate about societies, joining Musical Theatre and Show Choir. She became Vice-President and later President of Show Choir, before running to be President (Development) 2020/21. Beth was also a course representative whilst an undergraduate, and sat on the Union Societies Executive Committee. Beth is passionate about inclusion and representation, running multiple campaigns during the previous academic year. Beth is looking forward to an exciting second year, taking on the new role of President (Campaigns & Societies), with a particular focus on running campaigns to support the wellbeing of students and empower the student voice.
Frankie McGregor, President (Community, Diversity, and Inclusion) - Sabbatical Trustee
Frankie joined the University in 2016 studying her Undergraduate degree in Film, Radio, and Television Studies with Applied Criminology. She is currently finishing her part-time Masters degree in Tourism and Events Management.
In 3rd year Frankie joined Badminton and she enjoyed it so much that she wanted to make sure she got more involved with the Union. In her time as a student she took on the roles of Social Secretary and Vice-President of Badminton and Social Secretary of Show Choir. She was then selected to join the Union Societies Executive Committee, and became the Societies Representative on the Union Council.
Frankie is really looking forward to the year ahead of her and looking forward to all the new aspects of being a trustee.
Maddy Young, President (Engagement & Sports) - Sabbatical Trustee
Bio coming soon!
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Oliver King - Selected Student Trustee
Oliver is a 2nd Year MEng (Hons) Chemical Engineering student at Canterbury Christ Church University. He is the founding president of the ETD Society at the student’s union, as well as the school representative of engineering, technology, and design within the university.
Oliver has been involved within the union throughout his time at Christ Church, has been the continual school representative since its founding, and having previously sat on the SAR committee with the Union President to discuss support mechanisms for student representatives.
He is passionate about charitable causes and has been involved in leading several campaigns, such as that of the Movember Campaign at CCCU. Apart from this, he has several years of experience in various leadership roles and utilises this experience in his role as a trustee to aid in decision-making within the board. He is currently working with the outreach ambassador program within the university as a receiver of the partner school award grant, and as a GCSE Mentor.
Chris Connelly - Selected Student Trustee
Chris is a PGR student in the school of Psychology and Life sciences conducting his PhD researching the role of cognitive executive functions in individuals with anomalistic abilities.
Away from the University, Chris has spent over thirty years in the engineering industry leading the technical development of products for use in aviation and the payload design and development in space earth-observation and telecommunications missions, and more recently involved in the development of flight software for various space missions. Chris has held Chartered Engineer status and is currently a Chartered Manager with the Chartered Management Institute.
Chris is a member of the British Psychological Society, Male Psychology Section, and a registered psychotherapist, occasionally sees clients seeking to improve their mental health.
John Adams - Community Trustee and Deputy Chair
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 is the Deputy Director (HR and Service 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.
Following an Industrial Engineering apprenticeship in the Midlands he began his initial career in Work Study and Organisation & Methods. 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, Multi Academy Trusts and Awarding Body governance roles along with NED and Trustee roles with Housing Associations, University Students' 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 OBE, Deputy Vice-Chancellor - University Trustee
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 September 2021.
- One Trustee is a 'trustee, director, or shareholder' at Marjon Students' Union.
- One Trustee is a 'trustee, director, or shareholder' at Plymouth CAST MAT.
- One Trustee is a 'trustee, director, or shareholder' at Dartmoor MAT.
- One Trustee is a 'trustee, director, or shareholder' at St. Christopher's MAT.
- One Trustee is a 'trustee, director, or shareholder' at Heart MAT.
- One Trustee is a 'trustee, director, or shareholder' in MEDCo.
- One Trustee is a 'trustee, director, or shareholder' at Wonkhe.
- 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 'trustee, director, or shareholder' at Inspira Academy Trust.
No trustees or directors have made any other relevant disclosure expected under the 7 Principles of Public Life.