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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.


Mandy Watters - Trustee

I am a chartered HR Professional, having spent over 20 years in HR roles covering all aspects of People Management to support the business.  For the last few years I was a Business Relationship Manager in IT, where I developed the ICT Strategy and supported key areas of the business on their journey to digital transformation.  I have recently taken on a new role of Business Improvements Leader where I am supporting the Executive Team with their improvement initiatives to enable more efficient and effective delivery of priority work.  Throughout my career I have relied heavily on childcare providers to allow me to go to work, with the peace of mind that my children are being well cared for. I therefore recognise and respect the value that Howgill Family Centre brings to the local community, by providing vital support and childcare services for families across West Cumbria.  As a newly appointed trustee I am excited to be part of Howgill’s transformation journey and I am looking to support this wherever I can.

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.

Lesley Sewell - Trustee

I have spent most of my career in both commercial and operational roles, initially in West Cumbria’s chemical industry then moving into Nuclear where I have spent time working at a number of locations across the country (including a period on the Board of Directors at the Dounreay site at the very top of Scotland).  I am really looking forward to supporting Howgill as the team move the business forward into the next stage of its development and growth and will hopefully be able to bring my facilities and business management experience to bear in support of its mission.

Emma McCarthy - Trustee

Majority of my working life has been working in HR within a number of different industries, from retail to real estate, manufacturing and education. In my current role as Social Value Manager, I work to support the development and implementation of social impact activities in response to social value needs within the local area, including education, employment and skills development.


During this time I have developed a wealth of business, community and public relations knowledge and experience and I look forward to sharing my skillset on the Howgill Trustee Board during this period of digital transformation and growth. I thrive on helping businesses grow through recruitment, community sponsorships and positive client interactions.

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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