Board of Trustees

The Elders Council Board of Trustees is responsible for overseeing the work of the organisation.

The Board is made up of 8 trustees who are elected by the membership at the Annual General meeting.The Board meets monthly. In addition to receiving reports from co-ordinators on the project work, the Board ensures that the Elders Council is represented at key meetings in the city, such as the Age Friendly City Group. Board members also participate in a range of meetings such as Policy Cabinets hosted by Newcastle City Council and an annual meeting with the City Treasurer to discuss the Budget proposals.

If you are interested in becoming a Board member, contact [email protected] or call 208 2701.


Pen Portraits of our Trustees

Anne Raffle (Chair)

I have been a member of the Elders Council for just under 5 years and during this time I have been actively involved in the work of the organisation.


My working background was in public service and in the NHS. In my retirement, I have carried out a number of other voluntary activities including being an active contributor to VOICE.


I am currently one of the editors of EC Fortnightly.


Nick Lambert (Treasurer)

I am a recently retired chartered accountant with a degree in Law. I spent the first half of my working life in practice, becoming a partner in Grant Thornton. For the second half, I spent twenty-five years with Newcastle-based Orchard Information Systems as Finance Director. I am a past President of the Northern Society of Chartered Accountants. I joined the Board of the Elders Council earlier this year.

Esther Salamon

I have long experience managing multi-disciplinary projects across voluntary, public and private sectors. Areas of expertise include interim management, governance, project and organisational development, fundraising, and strategic planning and review.

I am developing a housing initiative for older artists and other creative professionals who wish to move into a smaller home, maintain their independence and creative production in a safe, stimulating and creative environment, while contributing their skills and knowledge to the vitality of the region.

Violet Rook 

I have been a member of the Elders Council for five years; I was elected a trustee in 2015. I am involved in the Transport Group and the Communication Group. A retired nurse and midwife and a tutor in local colleges.

My ability in organisation and helping older people is shown via my activity in the community, being a governor in school, college and the ambulance service. I’m also a Parish Councillor, connecting the generations.

John Telfer

After training and working as a lawyer, I have spent many years working with and for people with disabilities. I became increasingly aware that barriers faced by older people are often similar ̶ although distinct. I am proud to be a trustee of the Elders Council, which has allowed me to push for joint working, so promoting the important requirements of older people whilst maintaining our independence.

Alan Gowers

I have been a trustee since 2016.

My career was spent in consulting and project management in the UK and overseas. I have gained insight on most aspects of Elders Council work through its working groups and as member of the Strategy and Finance Task Force. My areas of current special interest are housing, health/care services, funding plus research and inclusion projects.

I represent the Elders Council as a Housing Champion (a national housing forum) and on Future Homes Alliance.

Mary Nicholls

I re-joined the Board at the AGM in July 2019 and have taken on the role of Communications lead.  This means that I am now responsible for editing 'The Echo' (our Magazine) and I am contuining as one of the editors of EC Fortnightly.  I also oversee all the other EC communications and continue to be part of the team for the Mile Castle sessions.

Taj Khan

Taj comes from a background in childcare. She joined the Elders Council because she loves Newcastle and wants to preserve its excellence as a good place to grow old in. Over the last 2 years, Taj has volunteered at Newcastle Central Mosque and has become involved in the work of Tyne and Wear Citizens. Through this she has further developed her skills in organisational management and public involvement.