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Meet the Trustees

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Photo of Angela Hawkes

Angela Hawkes


Angela has been a trustee with DCA since September 2021.

Trained in accountancy, followed by academic studies/research in languages, literature and philosophy, she worked in Eastern Europe for UNESCO and VSO. She enjoyed 25 years in the NHS, an Executive Director then Chief Executive of Health Authorities, Mental Health and Primary and Community Care Trusts.

A strong advocate for the VCS and service user engagement, Angela is Vice Chair of Stanhope Parish Council, a Weardale AAP Board Member and is an Executive Committee member of CDALC.

Photo of Clarice Smith

Clarice Smith


Clarice has been an active supporter of DCA over many years, both as a member, and more recently as a Trustee since October 2010.

Clarice was involved with Witton-le-Wear Community Association for fifty years and was a member of several community panels and partnerships. She continues to be actively involved with Learning Disabilities Clubs and her Church.

Photo of Elaine Kilgannon MBE

Elaine Kilgannon MBE


Elaine joined DCA as a Trustee in September 2021.

She has enjoyed a career in the NHS as a dietitian, a manager of cancer services and on the governing body of an NHS Trust. In 2006 she was awarded an MBE for service to the NHS. 

She is an active member of an Anglican Parochial Church Council (PCC) in Durham, focussing on governance, grant funding and community outreach. 

Photo of Jan Worters MBE

Jan Worters MBE

Trustee - Chair

Jan has been Chair of DCA's Board of Trustees since October 2012, having been a Trustee since February 2010.  She is also lay chair of St Cuthbert’s PCC and chair of St Cuthbert’s Hall in Shotley Bridge.

Jan has considerable experience in voluntary sector management and is a strong believer in partnership working at all levels, recognising the strengths that all partners can bring.


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John Robinson


John has been a Trustee for DCA for many years.

He is the current clerk of Chilton Town Council and has previously served as a County Councillor and Chairman of Durham County Council.  

He is also a trustee of Sedgefield Arts Recreation and Community Association. 

Photo of Linda Bird

Linda Bird


Linda has been a Trustee with DCA sine November 2020.

She has a long-standing passion for Social Housing, joining the newly formed Teesdale Housing Association as a Trustee in 2006, and more recently North Star Housing Group.

She is the Chair of Abbeyfield Barnard Castle Society, Chair of Teesdale Action Partnership and a Dementia Champion with the Barnard Castle Dementia Friends Community Group.

Photo of Mike Litchfield

Mike Litchfield


Mike joined DCA as a Trustee in July 2020.

As an Architect and Project Manager, Mike co-founded a Durham-based national practice working primarily in the education, health and leisure sectors.

He was the Editor of Northern Architect and a former Chair of Consett Round Table. He is an active member of the Derwent Valley Protection Society, a Board member and Trustee of United Learning and the Molitor Charitable Trust, and a member of Hamsterley Mill Residents Association Executive.

Photo of Patricia Buckley-Atkins

Patricia Buckley-Atkins

Trustee - Treasurer

Patricia has been a Trustee with DCA since November 2018 and is our Treasurer.

Patricia worked in Local Government for much of her career and was Head of Policy for Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.

Since retiring, Patricia has been a board member of Endeavour Housing Association and a member of the Group Board and Audit Committee of North Star Housing Group.  She is a Trustee of Sedgefield Community Association.


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Professor Fred Robinson


Fred has been a Trustee of DCA since September 2021.

Fred is a Professorial Fellow at St Chad's College, Durham University. His academic research has primarily been about economic and social change in the North East and the impacts of public policy.

Fred is also Chair of the Trustees at Waddington Street Centre, a mental health resource centre in Durham City. 

Photo of Professor Sarah Banks

Professor Sarah Banks


Sarah has been a Trustee of DCA for many years.

Sarah is a founding co-director of the Centre for Social Justice and Community Action and a Professor at Durham University.

She has a particular interest in community-based research in partnership with community organisations on issues related to poverty, debt and social justice. She previously worked in the voluntary sector and local authority social service.