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Meet the Leadership and Management Team

 

Laura Thomas – Chief Executive

Prior to coming to Citizens Advice as a CEO in 2015, my career had been in adult social care, working in the charity sector in senior management, providing services to adults with learning disabilities, acquired brain injury and Autism Spectrum Conditions.

In 2013, I lived in Transylvania, Romania, for 2.5 years as Development Director for a UK based charity, working in institutions for people with mental health issues, dealing with human rights abuses and liaising with NGO’s across Europe and Amnesty International.

I love being part of our Citizens Advice team as we help support thousands of people a year across Dudley Borough and the City of Wolverhampton to deal with complex and challenging situations affecting their day to day quality of life that some of us can take for granted, often affecting some of the most vulnerable in our communities.

To unwind and relax I love being outdoors, having meals out with friends and visiting my family who still live in my homeland of South Wales.

 

Nikki Saunders – Director of Services

I started volunteering at Citizens Advice as a volunteer in 2006 and soon became a paid employee in 2007. I fell in love with the organisation and what it stands for, supporting individuals and giving them a voice to improve the legislation and practices impacting them through our campaigning work.

I have over 14 years’ experience in the voluntary sector, developing the capabilities of our organisation to engage the workforce, clients and our partners to co-produce inclusive transformation. Inclusion and fairness have been an important part of my upbringing and I strongly believe that solving many of societies complex problems can only happen by involving the people and communities that experience them!

Outside of work  I like reading, spending time with my granddaughter and holidays!

 

Liz Jones – Director of Dudley Empowerment Partnership

My early career was spent working for Barclays Bank, but after 18 years I knew the time had come to do something different. I started volunteering at Citizens Advice in 2004 when my children were young, as I wanted to give something back to the community.

My first paid role was in 2006 as a Money Advice Caseworker. Straight away I knew that I had found my perfect job. Over the last 15 years I have worked my way up through supervisor and manager roles to my current role as Operations Director, with responsibility for all Money Advice Services across our organisation.

I am so proud of what I do, our organisation does such amazing work and makes a real, tangible difference to people’s lives.

When I am not at work I am a complete history buff, so give me a battlefield or a castle and I am in my element!

 

Nicky Wooldridge – Director of Finance

I started my career in finance in the private sector, working my way from trainee to qualified accountant, spending a total of 18 years in the manufacturing industry.

Having taken a career break with my young family I realised I no longer wanted to count ‘nuts and bolts’ but move into the voluntary sector where I could use my skills to indirectly help other people.

Having worked for a Mind charity for 3 years, I joined Citizens Advice in 2016 as Finance Manager progressing to Finance Director. I feel that our organisation provides an undervalued service, that has the scope to reach so many people and improve lives.

In my personal life apart from spending time with family, I love reading, gardening and keeping fit.

 

Steph Garbett – Head of Business Support

I am thrilled to have joined Citizens Advice Dudley and Wolverhampton and I look forward to supporting and strengthening the vital service we provide to those in need.

My career started working for HM Courts and Tribunal Service, during my 12 years in post I completed a variety of roles.  I have spent the last 6 years working in Education as an Executive Personal Assistant and HR Officer for a Multi Academy Trust. The skills and experience I have gained in these roles will serve me well in supporting our organisation to continue to provide the required level of support to our clients, in an efficient and timely manner, whilst championing change to make life easier for all.

I have a passion for all things health and wellbeing and I adore the great outdoors, gorge walking, abseiling, mountain climbing, you name it! I am a bit of a foodie, and enjoy a food festival and meals out with family and friends.

 

Clare Roberts-Molloy – Head of Business Development and Partnerships

Prior to joining Citizens Advice I’ve worked in Business Development roles for over 20 years across both the private and charity sector, securing multiple 6 and 7 figures grants, and contracts to fund the delivery of services, projects and programmes directly supporting vulnerable individuals and communities.  I have also been a Magistrate for 15 years working in both Adult and Family Court and in 2018 founded a period poverty charity supporting women and girls in Wolverhampton.

I joined Citizen’s Advice as it closely aligns with my values and because it delivers a service that I strongly believe in. The service supports thousands of individuals every year to improve their quality of life after finding themselves in challenging situations, and who wouldn’t want to be part of that?!

Outside of work you’ll finding me taking relaxing morning walks, exploring new places or with my head in a book.

 

Harjinder (Gin) Doran – Head of Health and Inclusion

My purpose and passion is addressing health inequalities. Prior to joining Citizens Advice, I initiated and managed ‘Tandrusti’ a physical activity and health education programme for 21 years. I have over 35 years’ experience of asset-based community development, with the past 25 years spent working exclusively with marginalised communities across Dudley Borough. 

In a specialist consultancy role, I support and train national, regional and local statutory and voluntary sector organisations to address and action minority ethnic health inequalities. I have strong strategic links with a range of key stakeholders across the sector and serve on various steering groups ensuring a joined-up approach to community health and wellbeing is achieved. 

I am excited to join Citizens Advice and look forward to sharing my public health skills and expertise. Through coproduction and empowerment, I relish the opportunity to address the avoidable, unfair and systematic disparities in health between communities and improve health outcomes for residents. 

I play netball and enjoy reading to relax.

 

Hannah Knowles – Head of Finance 

I have always been in a financial role throughout my career, working firstly in the private sector which is where I gained my AAT qualification back in 2008. Prior to joining Citizens Advice, I have spent seven years working within the education sector in primary schools as a School Business Manager. 

Over this time, I have helped and supported a number of families within the local school communities and by joining Citizens Advice Dudley & Wolverhampton I hope to be able to indirectly help  Dudley Borough and City of Wolverhampton communities on a larger scale and be part of making a difference to people’s lives. 

Outside of work I love to spend quality time with my family and friends and seeing West End shows. 

 

Siobhan Giddins – Head of Services

I started out my career in giving money advice to students, helping them educate themselves on preparing for life after University. Helping people with something practical gave me a sense of accomplishment, and being able to continue that but within the charity sector, really enhanced that.

I have loved my time with Citizens Advice and starting as a Money Advice Caseworker, helping to empower the community and give a voice back to those who were struggling, has made me thankful to be a part of this incredible organisation. I have worked my way up from caseworker, through supervisor, advice services manager, to my current leadership and management role and continue to use my influence and experience to break down the barriers for our community.

In my free time, I love being outdoors, with friends and family or curling up in front of my favourite film.

 

Ranu Mall – Head of Services

My early career was spent working for the John Lewis Partnership in which I held a number of positions at senior Management level which provided me with a wealth of experience in leadership, management and HR skills. I have always been passionate about developing people through training and providing them with knowledge and skills that will help them to grow.

After 20 years with the John Lewis Partnership, I decided it was time to follow my passion and was successful in obtaining the role as Advice Services and recently promoted to Head of Services, managing numerous contracts involving teams of generalist caseworkers, generalist advisors and volunteers.

I really enjoy my role and can see the positive changes we make to people’s lives and I am excited about the future of our organisation.

Outside of work, I love spending time with my family, going for walks and visiting new places.

 

Claire Prosser – Head of Services

Prior to coming to Citizens Advice, I worked in adult social care for 12 years, providing services to adults with learning disabilities, mental health conditions and physical disabilities.  I started my career in this field as a support worker whilst at university and then ended my career in this sector as a team leader, where I managed multiple different supported living homes in various locations across the West Midlands.

I love being part of the team at Citizens Advice Dudley & Wolverhampton.  Everyone is always welcoming and as an organisation we support both our clients and each other on a daily basis.  I feel proud to be part of an organisation who help and support thousands of people a year across the areas of Dudley and Wolverhampton.  We are all helping those who need it to improve their day to day lives and enabling them to gain the coping mechanisms needed in the difficult situations they find themselves in.

Outside of work, my main hobby is spending time with my children either going on trips with them to exciting places or playing games– hide & seek in the dark and the “floor is lava” are firm favourites in our house!

Are you a Dudley resident and need immediate help with the cost of living?

If you are struggling and need help, our DMBC and ICB funded Dudley Cost of Living Support Hubs may be right for you. Please click on the following link for more information

Dudley Cost of Living Hubs Information

If you live in Wolverhampton watch this space but for now, please use this website to access our services