Become a leadership mentor and support emerging leaders

Woman in a board meeting talking and raising her hands
Leadership quote from Kings Fund

What does it take to become a mentor and help shape someone’s career?

Experienced and skilled leaders across the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector in North Yorkshire have given their time to help support new and emerging leaders on their career journey.

Interested in becoming a mentor? Do get in touch or call 01904 704177.

As a mentor, you have an important part to play in someone’s career journey.

The success of our Leadership Mentoring relies on experienced and skilled leaders generously giving their time voluntarily to support and grow new and emerging leaders.

Why be a mentor?

In addition to playing an integral part in strengthening our sector across North Yorkshire, there are many positive benefits from being a mentor:

  • Enjoyment and satisfaction from supporting someone who is either new to the sector or looking to develop their career.
  • Professional development – to develop your own mentoring skills and receive training from an experienced professional from Coaching York.
  • Peer support from other mentors in the cohort – we know from other leadership mentors that this is a key part of mentoring, learning from other leaders and expanding your leadership network.
  • Enhancing the sustainability and champion the VCSE sector in North Yorkshire as a desirable career pathway.

The time commitment

We ask our mentors to commit to one hour of online mentoring per month for six months. We recommend 30 minutes preparation and 30 minutes follow up per mentoring session.

The next cohort of mentoring will run from March 2022 to August 2022, but we’d like mentors to come forward to express their interest now.


If you are interested in becoming a mentor, contact or call 01904 704177.

Thank you to all our mentors.

Our team of leadership mentors
Catherine Dearden
Catherine Dearden

Digital Champion Coordinator, Citizen's Online

Catherine is the Digital Champion Coordinator for Citizens Online, and is responsible for coordinating the successful delivery of digital inclusion support services across North Yorkshire. In addition to recruiting and training volunteers, Catherine has a wealth of experience of targeted marketing, maintaining the website and gathering and analysing data.

Read more about Catherine
Chris Hailey-Norris, CEO Selby District AVS
Chris Hailey-Norris

CEO, Selby District AVS

Chris is the Chief Officer of Selby AVS and works to develop the charity’s strategic vision and support the staff, volunteers and trustees that work for and with the charity. In addition he manages an organisation supporting those who have experienced trauma, as well as being a trainer for the Workers Educational Association and a certified life and business coach. He loves to help people realise their aspirations and would love to discuss strategic planning and general problem solving with a mentee in particular.

Read more about Chris
David Marsh chairman Tadcaster Swimming Pool
David Marsh

Chairman, Tadcaster Swimming Pool

The charity that David chairs has over 1,000 volunteers and provides a much loved service to the local community. He is particularly skilled at tracking and reporting KPIs and is keen to support an individual who seeks to make an impact in society.

Read more about David
David Sharp CEO North Yorkshire Youth
David Sharp

CEO, North Yorkshire Youth

David works as the CEO of North Yorkshire Youth which supports young people with a number of provisions including youth clubs and one-to-one sessions. He enjoys the diversity of everyday, and in particular developing the ways he approaches obstacles and generating practical solutions and is looking to support a mentee with general support and guidance.

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David Watson CEO North Yorkshire Sport
David Watson

CEO, North Yorkshire Sport

[add biog]

Read more about David
Elizabeth McPherson
Elizabeth McPherson

CEO, Carers Plus Yorkshire

Elizabeth has worked with Carers Plus Yorkshire since 2002, and currently works as the CEO, managing a team of over forty people and working to ensure the long term sustainability of the charity. She enjoys seeing the team develop, leading with compassion and positivity to encourage staff to reach their full potential (despite stretched resources). She is looking to support a mentee with career planning, achieving worklife balance and general support and guidance.

Read more about Elizabeth
Haydn Moorby Davies Harrogate Skills for Living
Haydn Moorby Davies

CEO, Harrogate Skills for Living

Haydn is the CEO of a Harrogate based charity that works to support people with learning difficulties and autism. He thrives on the breadth of challenges the charity faces in addition to the autonomy he has to resolve them. Having benefitted from mentoring himself, Haydn would love to share his own experiences and give back to someone in a similar position.

Read more about Haydn Moorby
Helen Beevers

CEO, Advocacy Alliance

Helen is the CEO for Advocacy Alliance, managing a team of staff and volunteers in addition to being responsible for gaining funding for the organisation and ensuring the charity delivers their key outputs. She has been working in the sector for many years, and is open to discusing career development, workplace wellbeing and personal development with a mentee.

Read more about Helen
Helen Hunter CEO Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington
Helen Hunter

CEO, Age UK North Yorkshire & Darlington

[add biog]

Read more about Helen
Jan Garrill CEO Two Ridings Community Foundation
Jan Garrill

CEO, Two Ridings Community Foundation

need biog

Read more about Jan
Jane Hustwit
Jane Hustwit

Former Chair York CVS, Vice Chair Involve Yorkshire and Humber

Jane has over 50 years of experience working in the voluntary and public sector in a range of roles, including as a communications strategist and interim director in addition to being a trustee and chair. In addition to having plenty of experiences and general guidance to share, Jane would be happy to help with recruitment.

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Janet Thornton
Janet Thornton

Vice Chair of Community First Yorkshire and ACRE

[biog needed]

Read more about Janet
Kim Bevan CEO The Retreat
Kim Bevan

CEO, The Retreat

Kim is the Chief Officer of a mental health provider supporting people who would benefit from psychological therapy or autism and ADHD diagnoses. She enjoys the variety of the role, and positive impact the organisation has on peoples’ lives in addition to the opportunity to learn something new everyday. Having benefitted from mentoring herself, Kim wants to pass this invaluable experience onto the next generation of voluntary and charity leaders.

Read more about Kim
Leah Swain CEO Sirius Minerals Foundation
Leah Swain

Leah Swain, CEO, Sirius Minerals Foundation

Create biog

Read more about Leah
Leisa Burniston Next Steps Mental Health Resource Centre
Leisa Burniston

Service Manager, Next Steps Mental Health Resource Centre

Leisa manages multiple mental health resource and drop in centres that aim to prevent loneliness and isolation. She is excited to mentor someone working in a similar field, providing guidance about workplace wellbeing, building a network in addition to general support and guidance.

Read more about Leisa
Liz Lockey, Hambleton Community Action
Liz Lockey

Chief Officer, Hambleton Community Action

In addition to being the Chief Officer of Hambleton Community Action, Liz represents the sector on two safeguarding subcommittees, chairs the the Hambleton and Richmondshire Rural Transport and Access Partnership and is working to help set up a Community Mental Health Transformation Steering Group for the area. She is looking for a mentee who is open to being challenged and may benefit from hearing from a mentor with a unorthodox leadership style.

Read more about Liz
Liz Wilson Welfare Benefits Unit
Liz Wilson

Chief Executive, Welfare Benefits Unit

Liz is the Chief Executive for the Welfare Benefits Unit that offers specialist advice to support those who work with North Yorkshire and York based residents. Recognising the challenging tasks Charity Leaders have of managing strategic planning, financial management and governance (among others!), Liz reflects that her own experience of peer support and leaders groups have been invaluable in helping her navigate the steep learning curve. She is looking forward to supporting another new leader develop.

Read more about Liz
Lucy Downes


Lucy has worked as a CEO at a Housing Association for young people for the past five years, and previously worked in several large and small VCS organisations. While she does a bit of everything in her role, she would particularly like to support an individual interested in fundraising and is also interested in mental health.

Read more about Lucy
Max May Rural Arts
Max May

CEO, Rural Arts

Max enjoys the diversity of his work as the director and CEO of a charity delivering over 400 events and 70 professional performances which work to enrich lives and connect communities. He is looking to support an ambitious leader in the beginning of their career who themselves works in a creative field or is committed to making a real impact in peoples’ lives.

Read more about Max
Michelle Hayes CEO Resurrected Bites
Michelle Hayes

CEO, Resurrected Bites

biog needed

Read more about Michelle
Paul McCay

Chief Officer, The Wilf Ward Family Trust

Paul is responsible for the operational and strategic leadership of a regional charity providing care to adults with learning disabilities and complex needs. He is most interested in personal and professional development in addition to workplace wellbeing.

Read more about Paul
Phil Bramhall Community Business Manager Chopsticks
Phil Bramhall

Community Business Manager, Chopsticks

Phil works as the Community Business Manager of a charity, and enjoys seeing his team helping clients with learning disabilities grow in self confidence and flourish in a supportive environment that provides them with meaning and personal achievement. As part of his role, Phil helps co-create innovative and enterprising projects with new partner organisations, and would love to discuss this with a mentee in addition to the environmental initiatives organisations can get involved with to benefit local communities and the planet.

Read more about Phil
Philippa Robson CEO SASH
Philippa Robson


Philippa is the Chief Executive of a youth homeless charity operating in North Yorkshire, York and East Riding that works to break the cycle of homelessness for young people in the region. Philippa benefitted from a great mentor previously in addition to other leadership development opportunities and feels she point in her career where she can share her learning experiences with an emerging leader in the sector.

Read more about Philippa
Rebecca Buckley Trustee Community First Yorkshire
Rebecca Buckley

Trustee, Community First Yorkshire

Rebecca has enjoyed being a mentor in the private sector for many years, and is looking to share her experience with other VCSE leaders. In addition to being able to provide general workplace support and guidance, she is particularly passionate about energy transition and how this can help achieve net zero.

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Richard Holmes Citizens Online
Richard Holmes

Project Manager and Volunteer Digital Champion, Citizens Online

When he’s not researching the development of diamond based microelectronics, Richard volunteers with Citizens Online to facilitate and support digital inclusion. He enjoys making a difference, and is willing to support a mentee with general wellbeing in addition to personal and professional development.

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Robert Ling, Assistant Director of Technology and Change at North Yorkshire County Council
Robert Ling

Head of Digital, North Yorkshire County Council

Robert is the Assistant Director Technology and Change at North Yorkshire County Council, covering everything from customer service and data and technology, as well leading the overall transformation team for the council. He enjoys the challenge of the role, and is looking to support a mentee on personal development and building a network.

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Sam Alexander CEO Better Connect
Sam Alexander

CEO, Better Connect

biog needed

Read more about Sam
Simon Cross CEO Northdale Horticulture
Simon Cross

CEO, Northdale Horticulture

Simon is the Service Manager for a charity that provides a work based day service for adults with le arning disabilities and or physical disabilities, in addition to delivering leisure and out of hours services and further education for young people aged 19-25 years. He enjoys identifying new opportunities and shaping the organisation as it moves forward, and is particularly interested in assisting a mentee with any fundraising queries or concerns they may have.

Read more about Simon
Tom Doyle
Tom Doyle

CEO, Yorkshire Mesmac

biog needed

Read more about Tom