The Almshouse Association Trustee Board

The Almshouse Association Board is responsible for guiding the charity and developing and overseeing the delivery of the strategy. In doing so, the Board employs and manages the Chief Executive Officer, monitors the finances and acts as champion for the Association and the almshouse movement. Crucially, the Board ensures that the vision of our founders, laid down in 1946, continues to be delivered today; to support our members, to raise the profile of the almshouse model and to help preserve the buildings and the spirit of almshouses.

The objects of The Almshouse Association are to:

  • promote the establishment, continuation, efficiency and effectiveness of almshouse foundations
  • promote the provision, improvement, upkeep and maintenance of almshouses and associated services and facilities
  • support our members to protect, develop and deliver homes for people in need of housing.

Meet the Association’s Board and Advisory Body

Willie Hartley Russell, Chairman

Willie Hartley Russell | Chairman of the Board

Willie Hartley Russell became Chairman of the Board of The Almshouse Association in June 2023.

Willie is currently a Client Investments Director at CCLA.  He has a wealth of experience in the charity sector, having begun his investment management career at Mercury Asset Management (now BlackRock) in 1996 where he was a senior director on the charities team.

Willie is Chairman of the Hartley Trust, the oldest almshouse charity in Berkshire, founded in 1393. The Charity has 72 almshouses located over 6 sites in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.

He holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and is an Associate of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (ACSI). He also holds the Certified Diploma in Accounting and Finance (C Dip AF) from the Association of Certified Accountants. He was appointed a Member of the Royal Victorian Order (MVO) in 2011 and was High Sheriff of Berkshire in 2021/2022. He  is a Deputy Lieutenant of Berkshire.

Elizabeth Fathi | Trustee of the Board

Elizabeth has been a trustee of The Almshouse Association since 2012 and Chair between 2017 and 2023.  A career that started in planning and development led to almshouses and after becoming a trustee of Tiverton Almshouse Trust in 2003 she became their Chief Executive for 15 years.

Elizabeth is a Director of The Trust Partnership providing governance and compliance services to a variety of charities whilst overseeing management and consultancy to a number of almshouses across the UK.  She has been trustee of a variety of organisations and family trusts.

Tricia Scouller

Tricia Scouller | Trustee of the Board and Chair of the Leonard Hackett Memorial Trust

Tricia has been involved in the almshouse movement for 25 years.

She manages the Thomas Christie Almshouse Charity in Bedford and is an Almshouse Association trustee, serving on three sub committees.

In her spare time she enjoys travel, golf and walking her dog.

Married to James with three adult children and a grandson.

Rob Douglas

Rob Douglas CBE DL | Trustee of the Board

Rob combines being a business consultant with wide experience as a non-executive director in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Prior to his consultancy and non-executive roles, Rob worked for Royal Dutch Shell where he held a number of senior executive positions. Rob has been a Trustee and Director of The Almshouse Association since 2016 and is also on the Board of the Leonard Hackett Memorial Trust. He was a Trustee of the Walton Charity, a large almshouse charity in Walton-on-Thames until 2020.

He was High Sheriff of Surrey in 2010/11 and has been a Deputy Lieutenant in Surrey since 2012.

Margaret Stewart

Margaret Stewart | Trustee of the Board

Margaret has been a trustee and clerk to Frances Darlington Charity since 1990 and is on the Board of Trustees for The Almshouse Association. A PCC secretary and parish administrator, Margaret is associated with her local church and community, supporting families at times of baptisms, weddings and funerals. She is also a member of the Diocesan Synod. She enjoys supporting charities and in 2021 took on the role of Regional Champion for Lancashire.

David Healey

David Healey | Trustee of the Board

David has been a Trustee at the Association for over 4 years and is currently CEO of Sir Josiah Mason Trust (SJMT), a family of 7 charities providing housing and care to older adults and support to young people. 

David has worked in the third sector for over 25 years, 20 of these at an Executive level.  Before joining SJMT, David worked for the mental health charity Mind for 16 years, and before this, Age UK for 5 years.  He has a particular interest in strategy and service design and development.  David is passionate about the great benefits that almshouses provide to people in need of homes, but also the role they play in providing a sense of belonging and community. 

He has been the Regional Peer Supporter for members of the Association for a few years and enjoys providing a listening ear to fellow members and championing the value of Almshouses to our local communities.

Paul Mullis

Paul Mullis | Trustee of the Board | Chair of the Nominations Committee

“I have worked in housing for most of my career, latterly as Chief Executive of DAMHA, the largest almshouse charity in the UK.  I am passionate about making sure good quality, comfortable homes are available for anyone who needs one.  A good home is a foundation for all that makes life worthwhile: family life, health, employment, and wellbeing.  The Association is key in helping with this, so I am very proud to be involved as we face ever-increasing challenges of housing our growing and ageing population in the 21st century.  Governments come and go, but almshouses have stood for over 1000 years as a monument to the goodwill of people looking after folks who need help, and long may they continue!  Values like care, compassion and integrity have never gone out of fashion, and it is wonderful to be part of something that helps to make sure they never will!”

John Broughton JP

John Broughton JP | Trustee of the Board

During his professional career, John progressed from trade apprentice to executive management, mainly in local government, leading teams building, maintaining and managing an extensive range of properties. He also served as a magistrate, a bench chairman in the adult and youth court and a Crown Court Magistrate.

In 1992 he became a trustee of Hull United Charities and a board member for The Almshouse Association in 2013. He is also a board member and chairman of a small local housing association.

Clive Cook

Clive Cook | Trustee of the Board

For 9 years Clive Cook has been the Chief Executive of St John’s Winchester (part of the almshouse movement) and a social care innovator.  

Before that he had a career in the law; a corporate partner at global law firm, Baker & McKenzie in SE Asia, he has spent quite a bit of his career outside the UK, living and working in Hong Kong, Singapore, New York and Hungary.

Clive relishes working with others and is proud to be part of The Almshouse Association team.  His role at St Johns has made him passionate about supporting older people, especially with good housing and care. Clive (tries) to keep fit by hiking and cycling.  He loves street photography, the cinema,  travelling with his family and mates and following his favourite football club which plays in light blue in rainy Manchester from where he hails originally.

Quentin Elston

Quentin Elston | Trustee of the Board

Quentin Elston has been involved working in, for, and with almshouses for over thirty years. He has fulfilled a variety of roles as a lawyer, a clerk & CEO of an almshouse, a contributing author to the Standards of Almshouse Management and a book on the history of an almshouse. He has also been a trainer, speaker and seminar leader to almshouses. Quentin has also led the development of a Patron’s Award winning new almshouse.

Currently a consultant with a nationwide practice advising and supporting almshouse boards, their clerks and CEOs, Quentin is a Trustee and Board Member for the Association and sits on the committee which supports the Board’s governance and recruitment of board members. 

Andrew Barnes

Andrew Barnes | Trustee of the Board

Andrew Barnes is a solicitor, now non-practising

After a career as a partner in a regional law firm he was the chief executive of an almshouse in Norwich providing sheltered housing and domiciliary care.

Andrew Barnes is the Chair of The Almshouse Association Finance and General Purposes Subcommittee.

Adam Sedgwick

Adam Sedgwick | Trustee of the Board

I spent 26 years in the coal industry, with senior roles in Purchasing and Stores, Coal Products and HR.   Then followed 22 years as a self-employed management consultant, working on Board and Government-level issues, first in Poland and Russia restructuring their coal industries, then in British Rail on pay and working arrangements restructuring, then in British and EU railways on safety.

I now occupy myself with church, Parish Council, amenity society, Mercers Company and almshouses local and national.  On almshouses, I am progressing remodelling of Jacobean almshouses in my own village and new almshouses on a greenfield site in a neighbouring village, with consequent keen interest in the national issues of the recognition and status of almshouses, financing of affordable housing and just what makes almshouses different.

Simon Ling | Honorary Treasurer

Simon is a retired Chartered Accountant who trained with (now) Ernst and Young in London. After qualifying he specialised in computer audit techniques in the early days of office computing, then later left to take over a small accountancy practice in Wallington in the London Borough of Sutton which he ran for the best part of 25 years. On retiring, he took a part time position as Accountant at The Almshouse Association, progressing to Treasurer. He was a local Independent District Councillor for 8 years and, for a time, on the joint Charity Commission and Scottish Charity Commission Committee responsible for publishing the Statement of Recommended Practice for Charity Accounts. He is also Treasurer of his local almshouse charity.
He lives in Ashtead in Surrey with his wife Cynthia and has two children and six grandchildren. When not on almshouse duties, he spends time playing croquet, orienteering, painting in watercolour, and walking in the Surrey countryside and elsewhere.

Francesca Quint | Advisory Body

Francesca Quint has been a member of the Association’s Advisory Body since 1989.

She is a barrister practising in the field of charity law based at Radcliffe Chambers, Lincoln’s Inn, and was previously a senior lawyer at the Charity Commission. She remembers meeting and corresponding with Leonard Hackett and Christopher Boothby and all the Association’s Directors and other senior staff since their time.

Cameron Swift | Advisory Body

Cameron Swift is a physician and gerontologist, Emeritus Professor of Health Care of the Elderly at King’s College London (KCL), and a past President of the British Geriatrics Society (a charity sharing the same Royal Patron as the Almshouse Association).  Before his appointment at King’s, he held NHS consultant appointments in North Humberside and Cardiff and prior training and research posts in General Medicine and Medical Gerontology in Plymouth, North London, Bristol and Dundee. He co-developed the KCL Institute of Gerontology with colleagues in the Social Sciences (notably the late Baroness Sally Greengross and Prof Anthea Tinker) , with defined and ongoing foci on housing as well as the health and social care of the older population.  Combating “ageism” with evidence and education, and promoting genuinely “joined-up” provision of efficient services for older people across the spectrum of personal, family, neighbourhood, housing, social and health need remain professional priorities.

Ed Christian | Finance and General Purposes Sub Committee

Ed is a Client Investment Director at CCLA Investment Management, where he has responsibility for assisting a diverse range of charitable and not-for-profit organisations to meet their objectives through access to suitable investments. Ed has an in-depth knowledge of investment markets and differing clients’ requirements having worked in the investment management sector for the past 17 years, previously at JM Finn & Co.

He is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (Chartered FCSI), and holds a BA (Hons) in Politics from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The Almshouse Association CEO and Senior Leadership Team

Nick Phillips, CEO

Appointed as CEO of The Almshouse Association in 2018, Nick is committed to seeing almshouses recognised as the exemplar form of community housing. Nick is leading the team delivering a long term strategy to protect the almshouse charity structure, its wonderful buildings and the spirit of the movement while building awareness of the value of the almshouse model, supporting and raising standards of governance and seeing new charities established.

A Chartered Surveyor in the charity sector for the last 20 years Nick has held senior roles with the National Trust, leading and evaluating European grant programmes for DEFRA, and having Group CEO position in an infrastructure charity before joining The Almshouse Association.

Outside work Nick learns Arabic, plays in a local folk band and any spare time is spent walking in Exmoor.

Mike Drake, Head of Finance

Mike is a Chartered Accountant and during a career of over 40 years he has worked in practice and, also in industry for listed public companies and for smaller organisations in a variety of Group Controlling and Finance Director roles.

Mike is also currently a Trustee and Treasurer at Citizens Advice Wokingham and also is the Independent member of the Wokingham Borough Audit Committee.

Julian Marczak, Head of Member Services

Julian was previously Public Relations Officer of Coutts Bank and then managed his family’s equestrian business for a number of years. Initially he joined the Association on a part-time basis to undertake a fundraising campaign and subsequently was appointed as the charity’s Deputy Director.

Today Julian is Head of The Almshouse Association’s Member Services, a role to which he brings many years of experience gained within the almshouse movement. Supporting almshouse charities gives Julian great satisfaction, especially the wide range of issues that member charities present day-to-day.

Outside the Association, Julian is President of The Association of British Riding Schools. His other passion is music and a number of his compositions have been given public performances. In 2021 Julian was awarded a Fellowship of The Royal Society of Arts.