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Alistair Jeffs, Local Council

Alistair has over 25 years’ experience working in local government including 15 years at Director level within Cheshire. He is Director for People Commissioning and oversees the recommissioning and redesign of all people related commissioned services within the council.

David Bull, CVA chair

David is a retired local government officer who has been active for many years in the local voluntary sector as well as nationally and internationally. Currently he is Chair of CVA, a member of the Council of Governors of Cheshire and Wirral NHS Foundation Trust and a trustee of Scout Movement charities.

Debi Whittaker, Live Cheshire

Debi has over 20 years of experience working with young people and the community. For the past 3 years she has been Senior Coordinator at Live! a charity in Chester working with children, young People and adults with disabilities. "I love my job. No two days are ever the same!"

Dan Batten, volunteer

Formerly a feature writer for Disability Now for 6 years and currently employs his wordsmithery as a volunteer for CVA and Chester Aid to the Homeless, as well as on a long overdue first novel. When not tethered to a keyboard, Dan lives in Chester with long suffering wife Becky and two crotchety felines.

Tony Chester, blogger

Tweeting since 2013 as @ShitChester, covering all the ups and downs of Chester life. He is also the creator of the Chester in Lego display in the market, raising funds for the Samaritans. Tony is a prolific blogger at, and a regular contributor to Flipside radio.

Mairead Smyth, BBC radio

Mairead is a producer and reporter at BBC Radio Merseyside and does additional work as a reporter for BBC North West Tonight. With over 15 years’ experience as a broadcast journalist she is passionate about covering stories from diverse communities and to celebrate the work of local charities/voluntary groups.

Brian Gelling, G3 Insure

Brian heads up G3 Insure who are a specialist commercial and charity insurance broker based in Tattenhall, Chester. Brian has worked with the charity sector for several years, volunteering his time speaking at many events and workshops in addition to providing free help and advice through our SkillShare project.