Meet the team

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Trustee Board

Our Trustees are responsible for the strategic direction of CENCA and for the delivery of its organisational purpose for the benefit of the public. Several of our members joined CENCA last year (2019), following a period of significant organisational restructuring. Like all of our volunteers, trustees are recruited through a formal process, including completion of an application form, reference checks, interview and induction.

CENCA currently has 8 board members, with skill sets in key specialist areas including the Employment Tribunals service;  the Magistrates Service; equalities; youth and community work; local government; finance; contract compliance; human resources; and accountancy. 

We will be seeking additional Trustees from April 2020

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Susan Hills


Susan is our most experienced trustee and took up the role of Chair in 2019 to consolidate on the stabilisation led by the previous (interim) Chair Carrick Ferguson in 2018...

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Dinesh Kotecha

Trustee (acting treasurer)

Dinesh Kotecha who joined CENCA as a Trustee in March 2020 has over thirty years’ experience of volunteering, organising social groups and carrying out leadership roles...

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Sharon Stringer

Vice Chair

Sharon Stringer has experience in the private sector, running her own business for 15 years before a spinal injury meant a change of direction...

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Anjanie Emmanuel


Anjanie has spent over 20 years’ working in leadership roles across public and private sector organisations....

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Diana Belfon


Prior to joining the National Health Service (NHS) in 2003, Diana worked for an international company in the commercial industry...


Ulric Gravesande


Ulric served in the British Army and became a qualified mechanical and electrical engineer and during his work he became Treasurer of the Mechanical and Engineers Union...

Staff Leadership Team

Recruitment of the Senior Management Team was completed in January 2021 and is made up of four staff members: Mary Clarke - Chief Officer; Dean Crofts - Head of Advice Services; Jo Tessendorf - Head of Projects; and Danny Atwere - Head of Business Support.  


They lead a team of over 30 staff and 45 volunteers, delivering generalist core advice services (advising and signposting clients on issues such as benefits, debt, employment, family, housing, immigration, and consumer matters); and 8 specialist projects including Macmillan Cancer Support Advice; Help to Claim - for people applying for Universal Credit; Pension Wise Guidance for the over 50s; several Energy Advice Projects; and Housing and Legal Aid advice projects.  


We recently recruited Simon Favell as our Housing Advocate and Syrah Nazir, as our Outreach Worker to support the most vulnerable communities to access advice during the pandemic.


We are also a referral agency for the Help to Claim Covid Winter Relief Grant Scheme and also for the British Red Cross Hardship Fund, which means we can also help people who have no recourse to public funds to access emergency funds and vouchers.


CENCA has offices in Wellingborough and Northampton but the specialist projects cover the entire county (and further afield), with over 17 outreach sites, including hospital trusts, council offices, community venues and job centres. 


Outreach and face to face services are currently suspended during the Pandemic but all services are still open and can still be accessed using the referral forms on this website or by calling our freephone numbers. Our Languageline service provides translators, so anyone who speaks English as a second language may still access support from our advisers. 


Our volunteers and staff offer peace of mind and a hand to help guide people to make good choices.  We have earned our clients over £4million in benefits since the first lockdown in March 2020 and are on course to help clients gain over £6million by 31st March 2021, so please get in touch if you (or your clients) need help

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Mary Clarke

Chief Officer

Mary Clarke was appointed as Chief Officer in November 2018, following the organisations restructure.  ​Mary's key skills are in strategic development, partnership building and bid writing...

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Dean Crofts

Advice Service Manager

Dean Crofts was appointed as Advice Services Manager in February 2019, as the final member of the Leadership Team...

To contact Trustees or Leadership Team staff, please email