Tony Sneller – Chair
I have been involved in the voluntary sector for over 20 years from early days with a Parents Teachers Association which led on to the formation in 1996 of a community association in my home town of Petworth –  a charity that I still chair. This experience prompted me to study for a degree in Social Policy at the University of Sussex and I now teach Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Brighton with a main research focus on the voluntary and community sector.

Before this career change I had studied interior design, been a partner in the family retail and also worked self-employed in the building trades – which has provided me with business experience. Many years as a school governor (including chair) and Town Councillor has provided a good understanding of the statutory sector.

I joined what was then Chichester & District CVS (later to become VCACD) at the beginning of 2006 and became Chair in 2007. Following the merger with CVS Arunwide I became Chair of VAAC in 2012. I have been chair of the WS CVS Network since it was formed in 2009.

I have recently been involved in forming Rother Valley Together which is funded by WSCC and provides lunch clubs and activities in the Midhurst Petworth area. I guided through the registration with the Charity Commission and Companies House and am currently leading on the adoption of policies.

I am passionate about the voluntary organisations and the value and importance of community action and am proud to be part of Voluntary Action Arun and Chichester, and all that we achieve.

Chris Dawe – Secretary
Prior to becoming a teacher, I worked for a number of insurance companies. I started in the General branch before specialising in mortgages and pensions. I was also responsible for branch accounts.

I studied Theology and became a Religious Studies teacher in God’s own county of Yorkshire, where we lived until returning to be near our families and for me to teach pupils with special and behavioural needs.

Retiring in 2011, I am now the Secretary of VAAC and Bognor Stamp Club as well as taking an active part in my local church.


Miranda Cormell
I moved with my husband from Bath to Tangmere in 1977 and was, very shortly afterwards, appointed as one of two researchers on a Joint Funded (Social Services and Health) project looking at the needs of the elderly in West Sussex. This proved a perfect introduction to the county and to the various voluntary and statutory organisations operating within it. Further posts followed over the years, mainly undertaking the evaluation of various social and community projects in the county.

In 1992, and after moving to Bognor Regis in 1986, I was invited to fill the new post of administrator at Bognor Regis Baptist Church, a role which brought me into contact with the then CVS Arunwide. I became a trustee in 2006 and quickly developed a huge respect for the work of the organisation and in particular its commitment to partnership working.

In 2005 a decision to take a change of direction coincided with the need for someone with research skills to pull together all existing information in Arun on the influx of East and Central Europeans to the area following the 2004 entrance of the A8 countries into the EU. Since then I have become increasingly involved in these communities including retraining to teach English as a Foreign Language and setting up my own teaching project. I am a link trustee for the Expanding Communities Team, and, and also a link trustee for our administrative staff, Sharon Westcott and Carol Groves

Clare de Bathe
After graduating with a degree in Law I travelled extensively through Asia, USA, and the Southern Hemisphere working on community based projects and activities. On my return to the UK I moved to London where I worked for HM Revenues and Customs and the National Criminal Service as a researcher and case officer. In 2002 I moved back to Portsmouth to take up a role of Research and Development Manager at a regional based Educational Charity located in Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight which is where I then worked for the next ten years. In this role I was responsible for quality assurance (lead nominee for OFSTED), implementing quality standards including Investors in People, Matrix  and the Department for Work and Pensions security audit. I was responsible for all aspects of teaching and learning for those who were hard to reach including, refugees, asylum seekers, young people excluded from mainstream provision and those returning to learning. I was responsible for setting up the DWPs work programme within the organisation and helped the organisation secure the work programmes £5 million 5 year contract. On leaving the organisation in 2012 I held the post of Quality and Learning Director and during those 10 years I was on the SMT of a charitable organisation that grew from a turnover of £50k to £2.2 million.

After relocating to West Sussex in 2012 I took up post as Trust Director for the Chichester Community Development Trust based in Chichester. This gave me the opportunity to not only work in the district where I lived but also to be involved in the start-up of a charity at the very outset and offered a new and exciting opportunity. In this role I am responsible for all aspects of the Trust including day to day management, strategic vision and all aspects of the asset transfer process, land and building management. As an organisation we are continuing to grow and we have been successful in securing external funding from a number of sources including CDC, The Big Lottery and heritage lottery funds.

I enjoy working in the community and taking an active role in the communities where I live and work. I am a Trustee of a youth activities education charity based in Portsmouth (Peter Ashley Activity Centres) and I am a scout leader at Southbourne Sea Scouts. Locally in Chichester I support the Chichester Welfare Trust as Clerk and Treasurer and I am a member of the Management Committee of ChArt. I have three young children which also keeps me very busy! I am very much looking forward to getting involved with the work of VAAC and learning more about the organisation.

Marjorie Graham
My life  experience started when I joined Independent Television in 1955, just before they went on the air, as a Production Assistant in Light Entertainment. This involved every aspect of preparing a television programme, rehearsing and then transferring to a Studio for live transmissions, where I was in the Control Room calling shots for cameras, cueing artistes and timing the show so that it ended exactly on time to enable adverts to be transmitted. An initiation of fire for a 19 year old but good training for later life. I worked on the television Goon Shows which often involved things like getting an elephant from a Surrey Zoo to the Studios in Wembley,the Tommy Cooper Show and various big band shows.

I then worked on “THIS WEEK” the current affairs programme for two years where I travelled the world filming items on The Cuba Crisis (at the White House) the first negro student entering Mississippi University (which involved filming Robert Kennedy, who was Attorney General at the time. The first Vatican Ecumenical Council in Rome. Mafia story in Sicily, filming in Germany on Eichmann and Concentration Camps. All with high-powered interviewers like Ludovic Kennedy, Jeremy Thorpe and James Cameron. I learned Film Continuity, which involves attention to detail, and allowed me to work on drama series like “NO HIDING PLACE” and involved filming sequences for the studio production. After which I left to have my two children.

We moved to Selsey in West Sussex and I worked as a Freelance on documentaries for Central Office of Information for the Government. Also local docos on the Great Storm, the Zeebrugge Disaster and the History of Wales with Wynford Vaughn Thomas. I worked as a Tutor on Training Courses for Independent Television. Filmed a programme for Channel 4 with David Frost and Billy Graham in America. There was then a lull in television work as franchises were changed. During this time I did the Teacher’s Training Course (PGCE) which enabled me to teach my subject: Television and Film Production in various colleges and Universities – Northbrook College, Southampton and Portsmouth Universities and Surrey Institute of Art and Design in Farnham. Television work picked up again after a few years and I finished my television career at Meridian Television as a Production Manager in 2000.

I have always been involved in community life here in Selsey and was a School Governor for several years before starting a drop-in for teenagers called THE SNAK SHAK in 2005 in a burger van. In 2008 with matched Lottery Funding we found the Warehouse, rented and refurbished it and have been running it successfully since. We get 30 to 35 youngsters each night we are open and have 24 volunteers. We provide a warm, safe place for them to meet with their friends, cheap food, TV, music and some games. Hopefully to keep them off the streets. I am a founder member, Trustee and Team Leader one night per week, as well as publicist. As sole Fundraiser I have to raise £12,500 per year for rent and running costs. We have just taken on a Youth Worker who is liaising wonderfully with the local Academy and Selsey Works, which requires even more fundraising, but worthwile.

I still give talks about my Life in Television to various groups like: M & S Retirement Assoc., W.I.s, U3A groups and Churches etc. I have 4 grandchildren and am heavily involved with them.


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