Our board and trustees

The board of Realise charity consists of members of the community and business leaders from across Staffordshire. The role of our experienced board is to provide strategic direction for the charity and ensure we deliver on our values and vision.


Wendy Dean, Chair

Wendy joined the Realise charity board in February 2019. She is the Managing Director and founder of the Strategi Solutions Group, offering culture change to organisations, along with HR outsourcing, Learning and Development, PR, Marketing and Design and Health and Safety.  Wendy was a finalist at the Forward Ladies Business of the Year Award in 2016, won a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018, and has led Strategi Solutions Group to be a finalist in the National Business Awards, Personnel Today Awards and the Staffordshire Chamber Awards.



Sinéad Butters MBE, Group Chief Executive, Aspire Housing

Sinéad has been Chief Executive of Staffordshire-based Aspire Housing since 2006. Under her leadership the Aspire Housing Group has grown and broadened its services via the acquisition of Staffordshire’s largest apprenticeship provider, PM Training. In October 2015 Sinéad become Chair of PlaceShapers, the national network of over 100 community-based housing associations, with a collective goal to achieve real and lasting improvements in the communities they serve. In the 2016 New Year Honours list, Sinéad was awarded an MBE for her services to housing.


Gillian Heesom Head Shot

Cllr Gill Heesom

Gill has been a Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Councillor since 2010, was Deputy Mayor and then Mayor from 2017-2019 and has held various roles on council committees during that time. She has worked for over 35 years in the public and voluntary sector working with vulnerable people in the community. Gill has 34 years military service (now retired) including operational service, currently works for NHS and is involved  in organising the annual Newcastle carnival event.

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Christina Holdcroft, Patron

Tina is a director at Holdcroft Heating and Gas Fitting. She previously held a senior role at Welcome Break. Holdcroft Heating won the Training Excellence Award at the Sentinel Business Awards in March 2014. Following a key role being the chair of Realise charity, Tina now continues her role as Patron of the charity.

Who we help