Meet the Trustees

Tony Vardy chairs the Board of Trustees of CB Plus.

He has introduced our new monthly feature in the Newsletter, profiling each Trustee in turn. 

This month’s conversation is with Sharon Rutter. 


Tony Vardy (TV):   Thanks for talking today, Sharon.  Can you tell us a little about your work and family life outside CB Plus? 

Sharon Rutter (SR):   Since I retired as a solicitor, I have taken on two voluntary roles, in addition to CB Plus. The first as that I am a mentor for young refugees, usually aged between 18 and 25, who are recovering from the trauma of the homeland from which they were escaping and the journey they had to undertake to get to the UK. I try to help improve their confidence, and to find access to the support services they need. 

The other role is more like manual labour. I help out at Food Bank Aid which serves 23 foodbanks.  We collect contributions, sort them into packages and then distribute them as needed. 

In my personal life we have 2 children who are now grown up and living independently; one is still local and the other lives in Nottingham. I spend some time with my father who is nearly 98 and lives in Suffolk.  And when I have time for hobbies they include an Italian language conversation group, walking, and following politics. 

Becoming A Trustee

TV:   Tell me about how you first became a Trustee with CB Plus. 

SR:  Around the time I retired, and was interested taking on voluntary work, someone mentioned to me that Julie Pal [CEO of CB Plus] might be able to point me in the right direction.  As it turned out, when Julie saw my legal background, she felt I could make a valuable contribution as a Trustee of CB Plus, and I was very pleased when this was the outcome and I joined the Board in 2020. 

Current Role

TV:  What is your current role as a Trustee? 

SR:   My primary role as a Trustee is as a member of the Risk and Compliance Committee. I like this committee because it gives the charity an excellent overview of the governance of the organisation, assesses the risks we face, and maintains a comprehensive risk register.  

Also, I find I am consulted on many of the legalistic aspects of our governance procedures, such as how the proceedings of the AGM should be conducted, and any planned changes to our Memorandum and Articles of Association. These are areas where I’m pleased to be able to contribute, using my professional experience. 

Trustee Experience

TV:   How would you describe your experience as a Trustee – are there any particularly memorable points? 

SR:   What I have enjoyed most is when our partner organisations present at our meetings or at the AGM, or when our own staff update us on the projects they are running.  I find this really brings our work to life, and shows the vital importance of the areas in which we contribute. 

 The other aspect of the role which I enjoy is to see the benefit we get from the wealth of varied backgrounds and experiences of our Trustees.  It leads to very lively and constructive conversations and discussions about all the topics we handle. 

Future Challenges

TV:   Finally, what do you see as the biggest challenge for CB Plus looking to the future? 

SR:   It’s clear that there is a growing challenge in getting appropriate funding for our projects, especially from the local authorities which are so pressed for resources these days. I don’t think that situation is going to improve, so we need to ensure there are other ways to fund our activities where possible. 

More widely, I can see many problems in the communities around us, in areas such as child poverty and adult illiteracy. I also feel it’s a great shame that so many youth clubs have closed.  All of these are areas where I hope we can find a way to contribute in the future. 

TV:  Many thanks, Sharon. 



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