Our Trustees

Trustee Board of Women’s Community Matters for 2024-5

Rhona Teale

Rhona, the chair is a Former Local Government worker and IT support at Newbarns Primary School,  retired in 2010.  Volunteered at Womens Community Matters since opening in 2014  as Funding Co-ordinator applying for Small grants from local organisations, doing gift aid returns and local fundraising.  Rhona has  50 years long service to Girlguiding being Guide Leader to St. Marys Walney for 25 years and latterly at St. Pauls currently supporting young women aged 10 to 14 years as well as being involved in the Brownie section.  She was County Commissiorer for Cumbria South from 2004 to 2009 supporting Girls and Young Women as well as Adults in the County. She was previously County Chair of Finance.  Rhona is currently  Vice President of Furness Lions raising funds and supporting the local people. She is also a Trustee and runs the Barrow Centre for Boxes of Hope Cumbria sending some 9,000 shoe boxes from the County to Children in abject poverty in Romania and those displaced from the Ukraine.  She is also a Church Warden and Safeguarding officer on the PCC of St. Marys Walney.  Rhona is passionate about helping other people less fortunate than herself with care and compassion. Her family is really important and plays a big part in her life. Rhona was also lucky enough and honoured to represent Womens Community Matters at a Buckingham Palace Garden Party in the Summer in recognition of the Centres Queens Award for Volunteers.

Ann Thomson

Ann Thomson is the Leader of the local Borough Council and was Mayor of Barrow for 2015-16. Long standing campaigner around issues of domestic violence and rights of women. Strong commitment to the ethos of the organisation. Extensive local networks and knowledge of and links with grassroots community groups.

Anne Burns

Anne is the lead member for children services at Cumbria County Council.

Anne Burns, Vice Chair is a local County and Borough Councillor with strong links to the many networks and organisations across the County. Links with Senior Managers within the public sector, a well-respected member of the community, awarded Ambassador of the Year at the Love Barrow Awards by her peers within the community in 2014. A long history of championing and campaigning for the rights of women and families, particularly around issues of domestic abuse. Anne is currently the lead member for children services at Cumbria County Council.

Jayne Douglas

Jayne Douglas – is a retired Police Officer who served 30 years with Cumbria Constabulary and was mainly based in Barrow and Ulverston. She worked in The Child and Adult Protection Team for many years and spent most of her career supporting persons at risk. Jayne is now our lead Safeguarding Trustee and a volunteer at the centre. She is part of the team who recently were awarded, ‘The Queens Award for volunteering’. Jayne thrives on her role as she is passionate about helping others.

Liz Williams

Liz Williams joined the board in October 2013 and has a background in Education and used to be Head of Humanities and PSHE. I worked closely with the Police, the NSPCC and Cumbria Educational Services. As a former Programme Action Officer for S.I Barrow in Furness I have also organised campaigns to raise awareness of trafficking, domestic violence and the need for prison reform.

Lucy Allonby

Lucy Allonby – is an accountant at TI Accountancy and provides bookkeeping services to WCM through her employment.

Margaret Burrow

Margaret Burrow – (Hon) chief Executive Officer of the Barrow & District Disability Association with 35 years constant service and experience of the voluntary, private and public sectors. Margaret was awarded an MBE in 2002 and an Order of Mercy medal for outstanding contribution to disabled people and the voluntary community in 2006. Other interests include running and collecting local art.

Pamela Dilks

Pamela Dilks – Pam is a retired District nurse & Macmillan nurse having worked in the Barrow area for all her nursing career. A volunteer at the Centre followed by Trustee role with particular interest in health & well-being issues to improve lives of women & children in our community.

Pat Davey

Pat Davey – is semi-retired from teaching, having taught maths for nearly 40 years in London, Hertford and Barrow, finishing as Head of Upper School at ST Bernard’s, being responsible for both the Academic and Pastoral success of the students. She has been involved with numerous agencies, including Educational Welfare, Children’s Services, Police, Probation Services and Health Agencies. Leaving teaching for seven years, she worked as Education Business Manager for Cumbria TEC (now Learning and Skills Council ). She was accountable to Central Government, Audit Commission, Government Office North West, European Social Funding Unit, CCC, LEA, Careers Service, TEC Board of Directors, UBI Teacher Placement and SATRO, co-writing the Strategic Education /Business Development Plans to take forward the National Education and Training Targets, through Strategic Planning and Analysis, Teacher Placement, successful bids for funding, target setting, monitoring, data gathering, reporting etc, both verbally and in writing to her numerous bosses. It was an enormous and complex task, but future funding depended upon success. She has been, until recently on the NHS Governing Body representing Furness/South Lakes, NSPCC Committee, Young Enterprise, 2 School Governing Bodies and other groups. The thread throughout Pat’s work, has, and is Mental Health Well-being of each individual, and she is always ready to provide opportunities for all to recognise their potential, to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to be less confused, undecided and know their worth.

Tracy Irwin, Treasurer

Tracy Irwin, Treasurer – owner of Payroll and Accounting firm. Knowledge of running and growing a business and all that entails including recruitment and management of staff, developing and maintaining effective policies and procedures, managing growth and change, working with a variety of other businesses, networking, marketing and creating and exploiting opportunities.  Extensive links to other business and networks.

Helen Khan


David Khan

David has operated his own businesses for over 40 years . He has good hands on experience of developing community owned businesses in North Manchester where he was the General Manager of a large development trust. He has worked with young people in many part time and voluntary roles along with Helen his wife they have fostered for over 15 years specialising in looking after young offenders. David has considerable experience in property development and operating community owned businesses such as  Catering, building, security and groundworks  companies. He is passionate about equality in society and believes that everyone should be given a chance to develop their potential .

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