Our Trustees


In September 2017, Terry stepped down as Editor of the East Anglian Daily Times after 21 years in the post. At the time he was the longest-serving regional daily newspaper editor in the country. Terry started his career with the publishers of the paper in 1979 and during his time with them forged a career that was strong on community, campaigning, raising education standards and levels of aspiration among the people of Suffolk.

Terry is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Suffolk, in 2015 took on the role of President of the Suffolk Agricultural Association, organisers of the Suffolk Show and in 2017 became the Chair of the Ipswich Vision board. He brings vast experience and knowledge of Suffolk to the Inspire Board and possibly the best contacts book in the county.


Nigel Smith has been a Trustee of the charity since 2004. As the former director of International accountancy firm KPMG, Nigel’s role on the board provides guidance and advice on all matters relating to business and finance.

In addition, as Chairman of the Finance and Employment committee, Nigel’s considerable expertise helps ensure that Inspire operates in an effective and efficient way, in line with relevant Charities Commission and Companies House regulations.


Julian Herbert is currently the Finance Director of Notcutts Group Ltd, having worked for the previous 11 years in local NHS organisations including the last 3.5 years as Chief Executive of the East and West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Julian brings a combination of business acumen and experience of working with public sector organisations to make a positive difference for local residents.

He is a keen sportsman and passionate about the ability of sport and exercise to improve the health and well-being of everyone.

Harriet Johnson

After completing her degree in International Business Management at the Royal Agricultural University Harriet joined Muntons on a full-time basis as a Graduate Management Trainee in 2017. Now currently residing in the position of Trainee Grain Buyer for the site at Stowmarket.

Harriet joined the Inspire board at the beginning of 2019 bringing experience in procurement, the delivery of diversity and inclusion initiatives and probably most notably the understanding of what young people face when entering the job market and the challenges they may come across throughout the recruitment process.

She is keen to help and support young people find the right opportunities for them in what can be a very challenging environment.

Alan Whittaker

Alan was born in Hull and raised in East Yorkshire. After studying for a Degree in Genetics & Biochemistry at Nottingham University he went on to work in the Health Service as a Scientist. He then retrained and started his teaching career as a Science Teacher in Doncaster. Alan moved to Suffolk in 1997 and has held a number of senior leadership roles in the area and has supported other schools and partnerships. He is member of a number of trusts and has worked as a School Improvement Partner for the Local Authority.

He was Headteacher at Stoke High in Ipswich and led the local partnership of schools and colleges as it developed plans for a new 16-19 centre. The £72m project was delivered on time and under budget and Alan was appointed the first Principal at Suffolk One, a Sixth Form Academy, in 2009. Both Stoke High School and Suffolk One were graded “Outstanding” by Ofsted.

He lives in Suffolk and is married with three children. He enjoys sport and beekeeping.

Derek Bowden

Mr Bowden, who most recently held the post of Chief Executive at Essex County Cricket Club, brings his extensive management, strategic and marketing experience gained throughout his career in the sports industry, higher education and with the renowned international advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.

Derek Bowden said, “I’m delighted to have been asked to join the Trustee Board of Inspire. As we work our way through the pandemic, never has the work undertaken by the charity been more important. I’m looking forward to supporting the Board and Executive team in achieving their ambitions in both the short and the long term”.


Christine Walters retired from Suffolk New College in 2016 having worked in the further education sector for 28 years, both in teaching and management roles, and also had been part-time Ofsted inspector for 2 years.

Shortly after retiring Christine began volunteering at Inspire, supporting management with the development of new education programmes to meet the needs of young adults not in education, employment or training. Christine is also part of our Programmes and Outcomes board committee at Inspire focusing on quality of learning.

She is passionate about education, particularly supporting alternative provision so that all young people can have opportunities to succeed and be included in society.

Jules Shorrock

Jules Shorrock is a well-respected member of the local business community. Between 2017- 2020 she was Chair of Suffolk Chamber of Commerce in Lowestoft and Waveney and is the current vice-Chair of Suffolk Business Women. In 2021 Jules was 1 of 13 women in the UK selected as a role model female entrepreneur in Nat West / Getty Images Inspirational Woman campaign.

Citrus sharp Security Shredding was founded in 2016, by Jules whose career in this highly regulated and specialist sector goes back to 1996. As a result, Jules is one of the most experienced practitioners in the disposal of confidential waste.

Nymone Da Costa Jones

Nymone Da Costa Jones is currently a senior manager at Suffolk County Council within the Education, Skills and Learning team. She enjoys working with school leaders in developing and enhancing the quality of education that they provide for children and young people.

Nymone was born in Lewisham in South-East London and moved to Trinidad when she was 5 years old. Having gone through a different school system, she returned to England at the age of 15 for the next stages of her education. She recognised from an early age a passion for school and has always been committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others. After graduating from Goldsmiths College, University of London, with a degree in Education, she worked as a teacher in various South-East London schools. Nymone relocated to Suffolk in 2008 with her husband and three children. She has had various roles in the Local Authority as well as working in two Suffolk primary schools as a Deputy Headteacher.

Nymone is passionate about sport and plays badminton for Corinthians Badminton Club in Ipswich and has also represented Suffolk in the masters age group.

James Buckle

James brings with him a wealth of experience in Suffolk’s charity sector. He was chair of The Porch Project from its inception until it merged with Inspire in 2023, and was chair of the Suffolk Community Foundation for several years until 2019.  James was also High Sheriff in 2009 and is chair of the Suffolk Youth Project, of which the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk is the Patron. It facilitates communications between organisations, serving the young people of Suffolk, to support collaboration and reduce duplication.

He has considerable business expertise as his company, Heathpatch Limited, owns and runs businesses in the renewable energy, recycling, manufacturing and hospitality sectors. He is also a farmer, and for him community and the sustainable management of land is key.

James lives and works in Suffolk, is married to Heather and has three children, Charlie, Thomas and Emma, all of whom are passionate about Suffolk and rural life.

James is dedicated to supporting young people and providing stable and sustainable employment. He supports the development of apprenticeship schemes in his businesses helping to retain skilled employees in Suffolk.

Jenna Ackerley

Jenna contacted the charity as she wanted to support our work going forward, which eventually saw her become a trustee.

Jenna who is from Felixstowe started her first business aged 24, when she started a recruitment business in Spain for seasonal workers in beach and ski resorts.On selling this start-up, she returned to her native Suffolk, working initially for an Ipswich-based recruitment company and then at Ipswich Hospital in various Operational Management roles. In 2013, aged 33 she conceived and founded Events Under Canvas – an outdoor events business.

In 2017 Jenna took the opportunity to purchase a two-acre derelict farm in Capel St Mary, spending the next two years converting it to an HQ for her business.

Jenna has two children, is a keen skier, and is active in her village community arranging balls, parades and local events and fundraising. She is a member of Helm (owner/founder networking group) and sits on the board of MUTA the national trade body for the marquee industry.


Sally Westwood

After obtaining a degree in pharmacy Sally worked as a pharmacist in various positions in both hospital and retail throughout Suffolk. Sally is now a director of an agricultural consultancy business based near Stowmarket and is a partner in an arable farming business near Hadleigh.

Sally has also been a school governor and treasurer for various local clubs and enterprises and is now church warden of Shelley church.

Sally was a trustee of the Porch Project until it merged with Inspire in 2023, and she values the importance of realising potential within young people.  Sally has lived and worked in Suffolk for most of her life, and she is keen to support young people to help them gain access to the many opportunities Suffolk has to offer.