Our Trustees

Keith Richardson

Chair of Trustees - Trustee Lead for Equal Opportunities & Diversity

I have spent the last 35 years in the Telecommunications Industry latterly in the provision of Customer Handling, Network Management Systems & Revenue Assurance Solutions in the UK, USA, and France. In the last 10 years with British Telecom I was employed as a Programme Director leading many high-level delivery programmes for the organisation and on many major business development initiatives. I spent 3 years as a serial CEO in the BT Brightstar Incubator initiative. 

While mentoring start-ups at the Eastern Enterprise Hub I was asked to become a Trustee for ActivLives which I gladly accepted. After 2 years I was asked to take on the role aa Chair of the Board of Trustees. For the last 5 years as Chair I have watched ActivLives grow its services and develop more opportunities for all the people whom we serve.

Richard Couldridge

Vice Chair - Trustee Lead for Safe Guarding & Health & Safety

I had a thirty year career with Suffolk Constabulary, including attachments to The Home Office. I have continued my career by working in the commercial, education, local authority and voluntary sectors. Gaining a research degree in Master of Education, increased my knowledge and experience in education and evaluation. I have used this  to help develop projects and enhance organisations including those in the voluntary sector. With a long standing belief in volunteering and helping people to help themselves, I became involved in the Town & Bridge (Now ActivLives) project at an early stage. From that project I’ve worked with staff, trustees and volunteers to develop and increase the range of services now provided by ActivLives.

Mark Ledger

Treasurer - Trustee Lead Finance, Annual Accounts & Charity Commission.

I qualified as a Certified Accountant in 1986 since when he has worked in the commercial sector covering a wide range of industry sectors from motor, various manufacturing environments, retail, technology, advertising and other service sectors, leisure, the arts, engineering, waste management, charity, injury management processes and agriculture. Most of this experience has been gained with companies ranging from turnover of £1M to £20M and employees of between 10 & 200. Previously I have taken on the role of Operations Director, Sales Director, Managing Director and have also worked in Business Development.

I have extensive experience of managing the change of businesses growing rapidly, acquisition, mergers and MBOs and the planning that goes with those changes. I have implemented systems for numerous companies and I am familiar with a wide range of Management Information Systems and preparing detailed business plans for submission to banks or other finance institutions.  I currently work with a wide range of clients and therefore can adapt  to very different financial circumstances, having volunteered as Treasurer with Ipswich Sports Club, Suffolk IOD and DanceEast.

I have been Treasurer of ActivLives since 2016 and I am passionate about supporting the charity to achieve its objectives.

Neville Stein

Trustee Lead for Business Planning / Sustainability

In 1981, I took a Diploma in Ornamental Horticulture at Pershore College of Horticulture and after qualifying, I ran a hands-on landscaping business, until a back injury forced me to stop. In 1985, I joined a leading landscape, garden centre and nursery business Notcutts, becoming sales manager at the company’s Woodbridge centre, before leaving in 1994 I spent six months working in a hospice for terminally ill cancer and AIDS patients in the USA. In 1995, I set up Capability Sales, a brokerage specialising in the supply of hardy garden plants to garden centres and nurseries and  during this time gained a Masters Degree course in Business Administration at the University of East Anglia. I now run a specialist business consultancy practice in the horticultural sector, and with my past experience and qualifications can provide solutions for small and medium-size businesses making a living from land uses of all kinds. Having previously volunteered as a Trustee with a number of local and national charities I joined ActivLives in 2018 to support the development of the organisation, particularly to develop the ActivGardens strand into a sustainable horticultural, education and learning centre.

Sue Dunham

Trustee Lead for Contracts & Legal Requirements

I qualified in a honours law degree (LLB hons) and post graduate masters in Surveying (PGDipSurv).  I then worked for 17 years in several posts in a regulated commercial environment as a surveyor, undertaking complex legal work and managing teams of people setting up and delivering complex major national projects in a high risk commercial environment. I trained in health and safety legislation, process to ISO9000 standards, systems and budget reporting management. I have experience of reporting to director level in large organisations on budget and risk and scoping out financially, structurally and resource for major projects and delivering on time to budget. I believe in delivering to target in an ethical and responsible manner, supporting staff and maintaining long term relationships with internal and external major stakeholders, including Local Councils, Government bodies etc. I am a highly motivated, team leader and player.

I love working with ActivLives as they enthusiastically deliver critical services which enhance people’s lives, reducing loneliness, getting people into work, create indoor sport activities for older people and extensive outdoor activity in gardens.  I believe in ActivLives and want to support them to continue their amazing work.

Charlotte Bates

Trustee Lead for HR Staff, Volunteer Health, Well-being & Personal Development

With over 15 years’ experience as a FCIPD qualified HR Professional, Trainer, Coach and a Director of a successful Suffolk based HR Consultancy, I have worked with a variety of businesses across most industries, including charities, education, retail, automotive, design, technology, food and hospitality. I have a proven track record of helping businesses to develop effective, motivated teams lead by capable and inspiring managers. To make these changes sustainable and enable the business to grow and progress, I help to put in place efficient HR processes and a clear people strategy.

I believe that great HR is about making a positive difference to every individual, team and organisation by supporting them to achieve their goals through the provision of great commercial HR support, which is what I can bring to ActivLives. At ActivLives we focus on not only delivering quality services to our members, we also recognise and value the contribution of our staff and volunteers.

Michele James


My career has included working with a range of organisations with extensive experience gained in senior management positions within the private, voluntary, public sector and higher education. I have been able to utilise my Social Science degree plus post graduate teaching qualification in facilitating these roles.

While providing support to and management of multi disciplinary teams I have delivered a variety of services, but ensuring that high standards are achieved in each one so improving services for people in Suffolk and also north Essex

With experience of working closely with stakeholders, commissioners and partner organisations to deliver innovative projects and being responsible for achieving outstanding levels of performance, I am looking forward to using this understanding and knowledge to support the continuing development of Actilives and assist with the future direction and initiatives.  



ActivLives is a local charity, which relies on grants, trusts, donations, fundraising activities, sponsorship & commissions to enable us to provide & develop our services across Ipswich & Suffolk.