Simon Grenfell (Chair)
Simon is a civil and commercial mediator, following a career as a barrister and senior civil judge in Yorkshire and the North East. He also works as a community mediator with ARCH Resolution in Harrogate and as a Restorative Justice facilitator in the Leeds and West Yorkshire area.
Based in Ripon he is a passionate supporter of Citizens Advice, seeing it as a key resource to the communities within the Craven and Harrogate Districts
John is 69 years old. He has lived in the Harrogate area for 42 years. He practised as a barrister in Leeds for 22 years specialising in property, trust, landlord and tenant, insolvency and other commercial disputes. He was the Specialist Chancery Circuit Judge in Leeds and Newcastle from 1996 to 2006 dealing, amongst other areas, with similar matters to those he had dealt with when in practice as a barrister.
He retired as a full time judge in November 2016 and has been a trustee of Harrogate Citizens Advice since the middle of 2017. He is married with two grown up children.
John is a retired corporate director with extensive business and people management experience in the chemical and market research industries. His previous trustee roles in the voluntary sector include Emmaus and Hamara in Leeds, The Mustard Tree in Hurworth and Abbeyfield Housing in Ripon.
John’s wife, Adele, is a priest in the Church of England with Advisor experience in Citizens Advice as well as counsellor experience with Relate. Together they are classic representatives of the sandwich generation with two children; John a GP in Lancashire and Claire a wine expert living in Kent with children of their own and Del’s parents who are both over 90 live independently (just) on the south coast near Chichester.
They are a sporty family – increasingly more watching than playing – who travel a lot and enjoy the arts.
John looks forward to helping Citizens Advice in Harrogate, Ripon and Skipton secure and improve their role in the wider community for many years to come.
Christine qualified with a law degree and information qualifications. She spent her early career in legal information work and then founded and ran a legal information publishing company. She qualified as a generalist CA adviser 15 years ago, whilst still working, and volunteered in this capacity at the Skipton Office for over 14 years.
After retiring from “the front line” in March 2018 she wished to continue her involvement in the organisation and was delighted to be accepted on to the Board in July.
Karen is currently studying for a PhD in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, considering how inequalities could reduce from effective vocational education routes. She returned to study after a career in educational leadership in schools in areas of high deprivation with performance challenges, to develop her research skills in evidence based policy.
She brings strategic planning skills, knowledge of multi agency working and her current academic work to support the ongoing development, sustainability and impact of Citizens Advice Craven and Harrogate Districts, helping to ensure that inequality is reduced in our area by our actions.
Nanci Downey (Treasurer)
Following graduation from York University Nanci’s working life started as a Personnel Officer with the Post Office and in 2005 she became a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. Her long-term interest in justice within employment began whilst working at an Industrial Training Board. In 1988 she was appointed to the Leeds Employment Tribunal where she still sits as a lay member. For 30 years she was Managing Partner of a leading consultancy specialising in the development of occupational standards, qualifications and accreditation systems for technical, vocational and professional occupations which took her all over the world.
She has always admired the work of the Citizens Advice movement and is very interested in governance and strategy, both of which are very challenging in the current economic climate.
Tim retired from his job as a product manager of a software company in 2008. He is an ex electronics engineer and accountant. He has always been a firm believer in the importance of the role of Citizens Advice of empowering people through making them aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Since retiring he has been a founder member of Boroughbridge Allotment Society, helping to draw up the constitution, obtain grants and supervise the land works, Vice-Chair of NYP Triathlon Club, and joint organiser of ‘Tapas and Tales’ story telling evenings in Ripon. He was a volunteer adviser for Harrogate and Northallerton Citizens Advice for 10 years to 2018.
Owen brings a wealth of experience gained as a leader in the fire service, particularly in respect of change management, efficiency programmes, governance issues and organisational design which will prove valuable to the board and CEO in these challenging financial times.
Over the last couple of months he has witnessed first-hand the work of staff and volunteers, and the invaluable help they provide to people. He is keen to play his part in assisting those in need and intends to be an active member of the board, assisting wherever he can add value.