Board of Trustees


John Shaw (Interim Chair of Trustees)

John is now retired, however he continues to be kept busy in the local community. After a long career in engineering, holding a variety of managerial positions, with responsibility for quality assurance for all Crane Ltd. sites in the UK, John was also involved at national level with standards work and chairing a sector quality assurance committee.

Changing career focus, John spent time with Business Link which gave him experience of working with business sectors in Suffolk, advising on project specification and funding. He has been responsible for several projects supporting businesses in rural and disadvantaged areas of the County and is familiar with and has been involved in the approval process of both ESF and ERDF European Funding practices.

He has been active in his local communities at town and parish council and local community council and was a councillor in Stowmarket and Mayor of Stowmarket in 1989-90. John was Chair of trustees during the development and establishment of The Mix, an innovative youth hub based in Stowmarket.

John is currently Vice Chair of Stowmarket District Scout Council, which supports the local Scout movement in helping make a difference to the lives of young people.

Chris Betson

Chris is a man of Kent who has lived in Suffolk since the early 1980s. A lapsed engineer and navigator who, since leaving the RAF in 1975, has been involved with small businesses in a variety of roles, as owner manager, business adviser and project manager.

Chris has worked with the Princes Trust, Livewire and Young Enterprise, established a private sector Jobclub (Felixstowe), 2 enterprise centres (Ipswich and Cambridge), a Business Growth Scheme (South Norfolk Council) and managed the world leader in restoring Spitfire aircraft (Historic Flying). Between 2003 and 2005 he chaired the Institute of Business Advisers while managing the family owned e-learning provider (Ipswich ITeC).

Since retirement in 2010 Chris’s focus has been on community entrepreneurship and the development of a community led initiative in Leiston. As a director of the Leiston & District Community Partnership Ltd and representing the East Suffolk Business Association Network on the East Suffolk Partnership he hopes to bring a level of small community experience to help shape the future of community action in Suffolk.

Helen Greengrass

Helen joined Suffolk Coastal District Council in 2015 as the Felixstowe Change Director. She leads the Felixstowe Forward initiative to develop a collective approach to tackling the town’s key challenges and opportunities to improve the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of Felixstowe.

Prior to this appointment a large part of Helen’s career was as the Chief Executive Officer of the Suffolk Education Business Partnership, a Suffolk based charity linking up with local industry partners to improve employability skills and raise aspiration in young people.

Helen has run her own business, worked for both private and public organisations, and tutored in business studies.

Helen is passionate about the need for young people to prepare adequately for their future adult working lives by having meaningful contact with local industry. Having moved to Felixstowe four years ago she is a strong advocate for the town and is looking forward to working with the community to enhance its potential.

Lin Homer

Lin is a qualified lawyer and has had a distinguished career as a leader of large, complex operational and political organisations in local and central government, including Suffolk County Council, Birmingham City Council, the Home Office, the Department for Transport and latterly, until 2016, as Chief Executive and First Permanent Secretary at HMRC.  Lin is also a Trustee of the Centre for Ageing Better, Stefanou Foundation and University of Birmingham.

Ben Matthews

Ben is a finance professional with a wealth of experience gained in the commercial insurance sector. After qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in the financial services division of a major accountancy practice, he moved into industry. Also a Chartered Insurer, he has worked with various organisations across the Lloyd’s and London insurance markets, including senior positions at several Lloyd’s Syndicates. These roles have covered a variety of areas ranging from operational to commercial and strategic decision making.

An advocate of the important social benefits of insurance, Ben is also committed to the development of strong and engaging community and voluntary sectors. He has previously been involved in community volunteering projects in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and has taken part in professional mentoring schemes.

Ben is a keen nature enthusiast and enjoys walking and other outdoor pursuits in his spare time.

Brian Parrott

Brian has lived in Suffolk since he moved here in 1985 initially to be Assistant Director of Social Services for Suffolk County Council with responsibility for Ipswich, and later Deputy Director across the county. Subsequently he was Director of Social Services in Surrey and three other local authorities, Chair of an NHS Primary Care Trust and Chair of Suffolk Family Carers, and more recently has been a Non-Executive Director of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Brian is currently Independent Chair of a London Borough Safeguarding Adults Board, a Trustee of Suffolk User Forum (the mental health charity), and continues to be involved with national policy developments through the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

Brian has a longstanding commitment to advancing the voice of people who use services across Health and Social Care and learning from people’s experiences. Equally he is passionate about the need for Councils, NHS and the rich diversity of voluntary and community organisations in Suffolk to work together for people of all ages and to be innovative about opportunities & developments. For CAS he brings a history of good relationships with people across services and organisations in Suffolk, and valuable knowledge and networks not just about Suffolk but also nationally.

The Baroness Scott of Needham Market

Ros Scott has lived in Suffolk for over 30 years and has been elected to Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council, representing the area around Needham Market.

In 2000 she was awarded a life peerage and sits in the House of Lords as Baroness Scott of Needham Market. An active member of the Lords, she has been a front bench spokesman on transport and local government & housing. She has served on a number of Select Committees, including the 2016/17 Committee on Charities. Ros is an active advocate for the voluntary and community sector, serving on the Advisory Board of NCVO. As well as being a Trustee of CAS, Ros is also a Trustee of the Industry Parliament Trust.

Graham Watson

Graham is Director of The Seckford Foundation and Bursar of Woodbridge School. Graham has been administering the Seckford Foundation since 2003, which as well as the Almshouses, includes Woodbridge School and The Abbey Preparatory School. Before joining The Seckford Foundation, Graham was Deputy Chief Executive of NESTA, a non-departmental public body set up by the Lottery Act 1998. NESTA funds programmes for creativity, invention and innovation and fellowship and education. Prior to working for NESTA, he was Director of Finance and Support Services for The Princes Trust. Graham is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators and has extensive knowledge of charity law, tax regulation and governance issues. Graham lives locally with his wife and their two children who were formerly at Woodbridge School.


Julie West

Julie joined New Anglia LEP in 2013 to develop a range of support for businesses in Norfolk and Suffolk. Her previous roles include Chief Executive of Tastes of Anglia, a regional food marketing group which offered bespoke business development help to the food and drink sector, and Julie was voted as a Top 100 Influential Business Leaders in Suffolk by the EADT. Other roles include Operational Director for a local business, providing strategic support on core business activities; mentor and panel member with the Princes Trust, and many years’ experience working with SMEs at both operational and strategic levels. Julie lives locally with her husband and 2 sons.

Kevin Ward

Kevin was born just outside Woodbridge and has lived in or around East Suffolk all his life.  A former corporate banker who is now a Director of two specialist financial services companies as well as sitting as a Director or board adviser for a number of other local companies.  Prior to working in the banking sector, Kevin started his work life in the hospitality sector and then in the motor trade where he worked in various roles from cleaning cars as a teenager through to running a dealership.

Within his current role, Kevin often works with companies who are either going through change, rapid growth or are in distress.  Through this work, Kevin has had exposure to many sectors and various areas of business and brings a broad spectrum of skills, experience and contacts to the board of trustees.  He has also been a governor of a large local primary school for a number of years and enjoyed a journey where the school has moved from a challenging situation to gaining Outstanding status from Ofsted.

Kevin is married with two children.  He is a keen participant in local sports activities and clubs in Kesgrave and Woodbridge.