Board of Trustees

Nidderdale Plus is a registered charity. We are managed by a board of trustees who meet every two months to discuss and decide strategy and ensure that priorities are being delivered in accordance with our agreed strategy, aims and vision.

Our Aims

To maintain, improve and develop local services and improve access to existing and new community services, activities and events; to increase social inclusion through volunteering. We have identified that many residents in a rural location can feel isolated and vulnerable and we strive to provide assistance and support by offering a range of support services.

Our Vision

We aim to expand the range of services we offer and to provide more practical support by extending the areas we cover to include all of the Nidderdale AONB.

Our current Board of Trustees is comprised of the following members

Richard Bruce

Richard has lived in Nidderdale for over 25 years and has had over 45 years’ experience in various senior roles in the insurance industry with a global insurer and more recently as a compliance consultant. He has a wealth of experience in areas of governance and corporate sales. An ex Round Tabler, he is currently Treasurer of Nidderdale 41 Club.

Helen Flynn

Executive Co Chair

Helen is a former Harrogate Borough Councillor, serving residents of Nidd Valley ward (2012-2016), and is a former entrepreneur and businesswoman.  She has been a trustee, board director and governor for various organisations across all sectors—public, private and third sector—for over 17 years.  She lives on an active smallholding in Darley and very much enjoys living in and serving the larger community of Nidderdale.

Colin Ions

Colin is a former Group HR Director in the Brewing Industry. He has been on the Governing Body of Leeds University and Vice Chair of the Leeds University Students Union and on the Board and Chair of a large Yorkshire-based charity supporting homeless and socially disadvantaged customers.  He has spent 20 years as a Business and Organisation Development Consultant including some time spent in heading up a Change Consultancy in a leading law firm.  He now lives in Blazefield.

Sue Lyon

Born and raised in Yorkshire, Sue trained to teach, a profession she thoroughly enjoyed. She taught in various parts of the country, and indeed, Europe before coming to work in Nidderdale twenty years ago. Sue took a part time contract which developed into a full time one later with promotion to key Stage 3 Coordinator at the local secondary school. Throughout her years in Nidderdale Sue has supported a range of local, national and international organisations, charities and projects.`

Paula Newson Smith

Non Executive Co-Chair

Paula’s professional background is in public service, having 35+ years experience in various local authorities, working in partnerships to deliver effective and innovative community services. She has worked with school governing bodies, is a trained mentor and community mediator. A trustee for 15 years, Paula has chaired a regional and a national charity. She enjoys living and volunteering in Nidderdale

Jenny Spruce

I have lived in Nidderdale for the last 28 years, and was born and raised in Yorkshire.
I have a financial background, working both for the Halifax and Yorkshire Building Societies. I have been a volunteer at Henshaws, Knaresborough, in the pottery class and at Harrogate Library doing English Conversation for Foreign Students.  I was Church Warden at Wilsill for 17 years.  I am a volunteer at Niddderdale Plus  and very much enjoy meeting and interacting with people.

Roger Wensley


After a career as a senior manager in finance at British Gas, Roger joined his wife Sarah at her language school to run the office. On retirement, they moved to Glasshouses.
In addition to being Treasurer, Roger also enjoys being a volunteer driver with Nidderdale Plus. He has also been secretary, treasurer, and chair for an outdoors centre.

We are currently interested in recruiting new trustees with IT, marketing and HR skills.

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