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Our Trustees

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 Simon Grenfelland 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 Behrens

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 frJohn Behrens, one of our trusteesom 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 Martin

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 inTrustee John Martindependently (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.

Graham Yule

Born in Redcar, in what was the North Riding of Yorkshire, Graham studied Electronic Engineering at the University of Sheffield before embarking on a career in Information Technology. He started with a soldering iron in his hand, but now is more familiar with a mouse.

Graham has had a varied career in a number of IT related areas, working for companies large and small culminated in a consultancy extolling the virtues of onGraham Yule - one of our trusteesline procurement to Industry.

In 2012, Graham took early retirement from full-time employment and returned to Yorkshire with his wife Sue, a retired Head Teacher.  Following involvement with a small number of local charities, Graham was delighted to be asked to join CACHD in 2017.

Graham’s other interests include travelling; outdoor activities especially walking, trekking and photography

Denise Willis

Before retirement in 2016, Denise worked for 18 years as a senior leader in education. Her roles were wide ranging but included recruitment, curriculum, pastoral care, appraisal and all other roles associated with running a group of schools.

During this and previous roles she gained many skills which she now offers in a voluntary role. As well as becoming a trustee for Craven and Harrogate Citizens Advice, she has also acted as chair of governors for a local school.

She has lived in Ripon for 20 years and have found it helpful to join the Ripon team meetings, giving me a valuable insight into the many roles of the Citizens Advice.

Christine Miskin
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 Tathum
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

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.