Meet our Trustees

Meet our Board of Trustees, who use their mixture of skills and experiences to lead Girlguiding and shape our future.

Our Trustees make sure we're doing our best for girls in the UK

Val Elliott - Interim Chair

Val Elliott - Interim Chair

Val was a Brownie and Guide, and joined Rangers when she was in boarding school. She's been a Leader for over 20 years across the UK and in the United Arab Emirates as part of British Guides in Foreign Countries. She's currently passionate about promoting Peer Educators in her County.

Val chairs the Nominations and Governance Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

I have a strong belief in the mission of Girlguiding to enable girls and young women to fulfil their potential and to take an active and responsible role in society.

Working life

  • Val has more than 25 years’ experience in finance and operational roles for international organisations in both the commercial and charity sectors.
  • She is a qualified chartered certified accountant.
  • She is the Non-Executive Director of TeenTech CIC, a social enterprise which inspires teenagers to pursue careers in science, technology and engineering.
Sally Illsey

Sally Illsey

Sally was appointed Deputy Chief Guide in June 2016. She is on the Trading Board and chairs the Operational Board.

She has the vital role of ensuring that decisions made by the Trustees are informed by the Countries and Regions, and that Being our Best guides Girlguiding priorities across the UK.

Sally wants ‘even more girls to have life-changing experiences through Girlguiding', so she’ll be encouraging more:

  • international opportunities for members and girls - she has fond memories of her once in a life time camping and canoeing trip to Vassaro in Sweden
  • meaningful social action in our communities – everyone should know what it’s like to ‘make a difference’ to others
  • more girls enjoying a full and active programme in Girlguiding - Sally still enjoys anything that involves tents and fire.
I joined Guides at 10 and loved it instantly. Fantastic leaders, great friends, fun and adventure have kept me involved ever since.

To this day she continues to be a Unit Leader, having worked with Guides or The Senior Section for over 30 years. She is proud to have served in several senior volunteer management roles at Girlguiding, especially taking the Lead for the Centenary Adventures.

Jaki Booth

Jaki Booth

Jaki is an external Trustee. She was an active Brownie, Guide and Ranger as a girl, including being a Patrol Leader. Aged 14 she moved to Birmingham and helped set up a Ranger unit as there was nothing in place. In recent years, she's been drawn back to guiding, impressed by its empowering nature and campaigning spirit, and was a mentor at our Camp CEO event.

Jaki is on the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Girlguiding remains as important as ever. In this complex world, a space where girls can be themselves, pursue and discover activities they love is invaluable. I am proud to be back.

Working life

  • Jaki has worked in chief executive roles for over 25 years.
  • She's currently the Chief Executive of Sheffield Students' Union, which helps students shape their world.
  • She worked briefly as General Manager at mac, one of the Midlands’ leading arts centres.
  • She has held a number of trustee roles within the student movement and the arts.
Robert Cox - Treasurer

Robert Cox - Treasurer

Robert enjoyed being a Scout in his youth. His older daughter was a Brownie and Guide, and his younger daughter is still in Brownies having started in Rainbows.

Robert chairs the Finance Committee and is a director of the Trading Board.

While a Scout, I started to develop my interest in education and helping other people to reach their potential. I hope that as Treasurer for Girlguiding I'll support the charity to do the same for girls and young women across the UK.

Working life

  • Robert has many years of experience as a chartered accountant working in a variety of industries as a finance director, including 10 years at education charity AQA Education.
  • Now he holds a number of volunteer roles including being on the Audit Committee at the University of Huddersfield and is the Treasurer for his local church.
Maya Dibley

Maya Dibley

Maya was a Brownie, Guide and Young Leader in Lancashire. After university and moving to London, she became a Guide Leader, Peer Educator and Marketing and Communications Adviser, and worked towards achieving her Queen's Guide Award before she turned 26.

She now lives in Manchester and is a District Commissioner, Senior Section Leader and Mentor.

Maya sits on the Finance Committee.

Girlguiding allowed a much younger me to believe a shy, sensitive girl could lead and make a difference.

Working life

  • Maya currently works at Media City UK as a business advisor to media and technology start-ups.
  • She previously worked at Hearst Magazines UK, one of the UK's largest magazine publishers, on teen and young women's brands including Sugarscape and Company.
  • She has also worked in marketing and trained as a journalist.
  • Maya is a trustee at a regional theatre in Lancaster and is a non-executive director of a technology company.

As well as being on the Board of Trustees, Maya is on the Planning Performance and Programme sub-committee.

Alex Farrow

Alex Farrow

Alex supports civil society in the UK and around the world, attempting to improve the lives of communities through knowledge, training and expression. Building on his global work with activists and youth movements internationally, Alex is currently working at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations in England, supporting voluntary organisations to strengthen their strategy and evaluate their impact.

Alex is a campaigner – mostly on climate change, child rights and young people – and is active in UK politics. He is a member of the CIVICUS Youth Action Team. 

Alex sits on the Audit and Risk Committee.

Carole Graham

Carole Graham

Carole has been in guiding since she was 11. She was Chief Commissioner with Girlguiding Ulster until her term ended in early 2016. She also enjoys leading Brownies, Guides and The Senior Section unit in her local village.

Carole sits on the Finance Committee.

As a trustee, I hope that I can bring enthusiasm and skill to help shape the direction of the organisation. I passionately believe in providing more opportunities for girls and young women and in extending the offer to girls in hard to reach and rural areas.

Working life

  • Carole worked full-time as Company Secretary and Finance Manager in a cheese making Farmers’ Co-operative until the end of 2014.
  • Since then she has worked part time in the same role, which allows her to spend some more time on her guiding work.
Su Hassall

Su Hassall

Su was a Brownie, Guide, Young Leader and Ranger, and has worked with The Senior Section ever since.

She's also involved with running the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme in Gwent. Previous roles include Guiding Overseas Linked with Development (GOLD) Coordinator and International Commissioner for the UK.

Su will be joining the Nominations and Governance Committee in autumn 2017. 

I wanted to be a Trustee as it is really important to me that guiding continues to be good. It needs to be a strong and quality option for girls and young women now and into the future when I've retired!

Working life

  • Su's a teacher and has worked as a special needs adviser for a large local authority.
Margaret Mackie

Margaret Mackie

Margaret was a Brownie and a Guide, and is now a Guide Leader in Edinburgh. She is excited about the opportunities that being a Trustee can bring.

Margaret sits on the Audit and Risk Committee.

I know that we're in a position where we can positively influence thousands of girls and young women, and I look forward to being able to contribute.

Working life

  • She trained as a chartered accountant working in audit.
  • She is Finance Manager for the Edinburgh International Festival.
Della Salway

Della Salway

Della started out as a Guide and Young Leader. She now leads Guide and Senior Section units in Portishead, near Bristol. She's had a number of national roles – starting as a British Youth Council delegate and later as International Commissioner.

She was a member of the World Board of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) for six years, and also acted as Treasurer.

Della sits on the Finance Committee.

This role broadened my governance experience and gave me amazing opportunities to meet inspiring Guide Leaders from around the world. I saw many different ways of working, which I believe will be of great use to me as a trustee.

Working life

  • Della is a financial services professional.
  • She has a background in advising small and medium sized businesses, process engineering and project management.
  • She currently works in the commercial division of a retail bank.