Join us and help us make the step change needed to take us to the next level.

Howgill Family Centre is looking for Trustees to work with our existing team of 5 Trustees to support our mission; strategic direction; growth; and to both maintain and develop our charity.  You will be joining an existing team of both new and experienced trustees.

Reasons to Join Us

  1. It’s a rewarding and important role
  2. You would be making a difference in people’s lives
  3. You would be part of small but caring and enthusiastic team

Read/Download How to Join Us

Recruitment of Trustees

Howgill Family Centre works to improve the lives of children, families and their communities in Copeland.

Howgill is a very well established local charity founded in the late 1970’s. It has a strong reputation, with service users, communities and other agencies, for providing excellent services and support. Howgill is governed by unpaid volunteer Trustees. Since losing the Cumbria County Council contract for running Children’s Centres and family services in 2020, the Board have worked tirelessly to ensure Howgill remains at the heart of the community as we move forward with a number of exciting projects and plans. We run 4 Early Years settings in and around Whitehaven and Cleator Moor, provide Emotional Wellbeing services to local primary schools, provide Family Finance support to local families, work in partnership with the Good Enough Start service in Millom and work in partnership with a number of organisations across Cumbria as part of the Cumbria Early Years Communication project. We also work with West Cumbrian partners as part of Sellafield’s Transforming West Cumbria: Family Wellbeing programme. As well as all these developments we have been successful in becoming a Bedrock organisation funded by Sellafield Ltd which means we are looking to appoint a Business Development Officer to help us implement our ambitious development plans.

The support of local funders such as Sellafield Ltd, Copeland Community Foundation Cumbria Community Foundation, Francis C Scott Charitable Trust and Phyliss Harney Trust has been outstanding and has enabled us to maintain and develop our services. Particular skills being sought include, finance, systems management, project management, IT – systems, website and social media management, building maintenance and project development, HR, Social entrepreneurship and fundraising although these are not exclusive. Experience, expertise and enthusiasm are what we are looking for.

The rewards are the satisfaction of overseeing an organisation that is making a positive difference to the lives of thousands of children and families in the area, many of whom are disadvantaged or vulnerable. All Trustees are therefore required to hold an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Certificate that Howgill will arrange.

If you are interested in being considered please apply by submitting your CV and a covering letter outlining your interests and experience:

Brenda Holden,
Chair of Trustees,
Howgill Family Centre,
Birks Road,
Cleator Moor,
Cumbria CA25 5HR

For an informal discussion or more information please ring Brenda Holden on 07730373061 or email or


Download this document (PDF)

Meet Our Trustees

Brenda Holden - Chair of Trustees

My entire career was spent teaching in a number of primary schools in Whitehaven, and as headteacher at Seascale and then in Cleator Moor. Over the years I used many of Howgill’s excellent services to support children and families.

I became a trustee 12 years ago since retiring from primary school headship and became chair in 2015. The organisation expanded during those years as contracts were awarded and then lost and we are now at an exciting stage of regrowth and development.

I look forward to being involved as Howgill moves forward.


Geoff Toogood - Trustee

An experienced senior manager and leader with much involvement in change management, staff appraisals, appointments, team building and governance issues. Passionate about the co-operative business model and the empowerment of local communities.

Gwynneth Everett - Trustee

During my working life I have worked in various areas - mainly community based. My years working in Frizington Nursery School (1988 to 2005) as school secretary, showed me the importance of Early Years Education. As a Governor at the Nursery School since 2005 I continue to be involved and am aware of the daily issues in running such an establishment. My years working for Jamie Reed MP, as caseworker, brought me into contact with the public, helping them with their problems and liaising with various agencies including Government departments. I was elected to Copeland Borough Council in 2015 and again in 2019. I would like to see Howgill Family Centre continue to prosper and continue to provide the valuable service to our young children and their families. As a Trustee I hope I can make a contribution.

Ian Harvie - Trustee

I have lived in Whitehaven with my wife, Sheila, since 1978. We have two children and four grandchildren.

I came to Whitehaven to work for Albright & Wilson (Marchon) as an Industrial Chemist and later as a Research & Development Manager, before taking early retirement in 2002.

My involvement with Howgill began in 1983 when we were based in the centre of Whitehaven in a rundown Georgian building and provided, among many things, playschemes, a youth group and a play bus. I have had various roles and adventures down the years and now remain the longest serving trustee. It has always been an honour and a privilege to be part of a work that is even more essential today than when I first started.

Willie Slavin - Trustee

A retired Primary Headteacher who has been a Trustee of Howgill Family Centre since September 1999. He is a former Chair of the Howgill Board.

Chair of The Whitehaven Foyer, a charity that provides supported housing for homeless young people. Howgill is a founding member of the charity alongside Riverside Housing.

Chair of West Cumbria Child Poverty Forum of which Howgill is a founding member.

Chair of the Steering Group of the Transforming West Cumbria Family Wellbeing Partnership in which Howgill is a partner, working with Cumbria Community Foundation.

Trustee of West Lakes Research Ltd, a charity and not for profit company that supports the work of the University of Central Lancashire's (UCLan) community-based research work in West Cumbria.

Has an acute interest in ensuring that Howgill makes the widest possible contribution to the wider community by promoting collaboration and partnership working with both statutory and third sector bodies.

Awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020. The Investiture, by the Lord Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, was held at Howgill on 10th December 2021.

Join us and help us make the step change needed to take us to the next level.

Howgill Family Centre, Registered Charity no. 519278A company limited by guarantee, incorporated in England under no. 2045632

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