Chief Executive

Carol Botten:

In September 2018, Carol was appointed as CEO of VONNE following four years as Deputy CEO. Carol has worked in the voluntary and community sector for the best part of her professional life of more than 20 years, with a specific background in development within the cultural and voluntary sectors. She also serves on the board of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and previous roles have focused on management, business development, fundraising and communications. She is a graduate of Newcastle University, and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Arts and Cultural Management from Northumbria University. Prior to joining VONNE, Carol was the Interim Chief Executive at North Tyneside VODA and previously, the Director of Northern Architecture.

Deputy Chief Executive

Anne Fry:

Anne joined VONNE after a career in higher education. Her previous roles included business development, project and event management and marketing and communications. She has a Masters Degree in Cultural Management and prior to becoming the Deputy Chief Executive was VONNE's Marketing and Communications Manager. She is responsible for a number of strategic and direct delivery areas including partnerships and representation; project management of funded programmes; and business development.

Anne is a trustee with WWIN and Rape Crisis.

Finance and Office Manager

Angela Goodfellow:

Angela recently celebrated six years at VONNE as the Finance and Office Manager. Her role is hugely varied but essentially, she ensures the smooth running of the VONNE office through effective administration and communication systems. She has worked in the charity sector for around 10 years and her role prior to VONNE was at the British Red Cross. Her charity connection started with volunteer roles at St Oswald’s Hospice and Oxfam following voluntary redundancy from a local building society.

Angela has a degree in business from the Open University and is studying towards a finance qualification with The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA).

Health and Wellbeing Associate

Jane Hartley CEO

Jane Hartley:

Jane has many years of experience working at a senior leadership level in the North East voluntary sector, with a primary focus on health and wellbeing. She was CEO of VONNE and is now our health and wellbeing lead an an associate. She is also the North East Social Prescribing Facilitator, working with NHS England and the national Social Prescribing Network. She has broad experience working within the voluntary and public sector, including running a local infrastructure organisation and leading a significant service provider charity across County Durham and Tees Valley, the Pioneering Care Partnership (PCP), which manages a health and care partnership across health and social care within the NHS and local authorities. She has also worked as a consultant, supporting voluntary and community organisations across the North East.

As a qualified coach and mentor, Jane is passionate about supporting voluntary sector leaders, particularly from smaller organisations in the North East with little access to leadership development support. She has experience as a coach working directly with people with long term health conditions within a support programme called My Life CiC. In terms of coaching style, Jane prefers to take a solution-focused approach and uses the GROW model to work with individuals to help them identify their goal, what the barriers may be to achieving that, and what the solutions might be. 

Jane is also Vice Chair of Ways to Wellness, the Social Impact Bond-funded social prescribing programme targeting people with long term health conditions in west Newcastle. She is a Trustee of the Greggs Foundation, a member of the North East Grants Committee, and a Trustee of both Smart Works Newcastle, supporting women into employment, and Northern Heartlands CIO, which has a focus on advancing the education and engagement of disadvantaged communities, primarily in County Durham.

Health and Wellbeing Programme Director


Lisa has spent many years working in health and social care, moving from the private sector to the voluntary sector in 2014 to manage the integration of charity services within the NHS. This involved working with both primary and secondary care as well as with vulnerable groups, including older people experiencing frailty, people with learning disabilities and autistic people.

Lisa specialises in cross-sector working and is passionate about partnership working and supporting the development of systems that truly meet the needs of the people that use them. She joined VONNE as the VCSE Partnership Programme Deputy Manager, spending a year in that role before becoming our Health & Wellbeing Programme Director.

Policy Officer

(Currently seconded to Clinks)

Natalie Maidment:

Natalie has worked in the voluntary sector in the North East for 16 years and is the longest standing member of the staff team at VONNE, having worked here for over a decade. She has a deep knowledge of the needs of the sector and has worked for, and been a trustee of, a number of support organisations at a local and regional level. She is currently seconded to Clinks (from August 2013) to further develop a criminal justice network in the North East, supporting voluntary organisations to keep up to date with emerging Criminal Justice System (CJS) policy, engaging with commissioners and supporting the sector's work in reducing crime and promoting community safety. 

Prior to her secondment to Clinks, Natalie ran the award-winning Policy and Representation Partnership, hosted by VONNE, and has experience of supporting and developing networks, income generation, training, and project management.

Membership and Communications Support Officer

Laura Elliot

Laura Elliot:

Laura joined the VONNE team in December 2019 and brings more than 12 years' experience in the charity sector, including roles in commercial management, fundraising and marketing for a range of charities big and small. She has also worked in employment rights advice and local government.

Laura provides support for VONNE's membership and communications activities, as well as supporting on project delivery.

Finance and Administration Support Officer

Marie Dan:

Marie joined VONNE in May 2016. She’s our first point of contact and her duties vary widely from manning reception to processing payments and membership applications.

Marie has worked in the voluntary sector for 10 years, mainly at the National Autistic Society’s North East office where she was Office Manager and Befriending Manager. After being made redundant, she took a career break to concentrate on raising her family.    

Coordination and Development Support Officer

Anne Webster:

Anne joined us in early January 2020, working with and supporting the MEA House community. She previously worked at Age UK Newcastle and was the team leader at the North East Special Needs Network.

She was Chair of Trustees for Down’s Syndrome North East for 15 years and is an active volunteer at her local community centre.

Partnerships and Projects Support Officer

Georgia Goncalves:

Georgia studied Law at Northumbria University and following the course’s completion, worked for Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service. She joined VONNE in January 2021 and has since been working on a variety of different projects. Her main areas of work have focused on digital adoption, including the launch of the £2m Digital Pathfinders programme, as well as climate action in conjunction with the VONNE Climate Action Alliance, and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Health and Wellbeing Project Coordinator

Sara Toal:

Sara joined the VONNE team in January 2021, initially as a Communications and Events Support Officer. She brings with her more than 20 years' experience in the communications and marketing profession, having held senior communications roles in the public sector, working in both central and local government organisations for most of her career.

Sara also brings experience in the VCSE sector from her partnerships with the Community and Voluntary Service (CVS) during her time in local authority, as communications and support officer for the National Citizen Service (NCS) programme in the South East, delivered by the charity Catch22, and coordinating the communications and marketing activity for Connected Voice, the Local Infrastructure Organisation (LIO) for Newcastle and Gateshead.

Sara provides support for VONNE’s health and wellbeing programme for the North East and North Cumbria, as well as for the National Academy for Social Prescribing's Thriving Communities programme in the North East and Yorkshire, for which VONNE is regional lead.

Communications and Events Support Assistant

Nathan Choat:

Nathan joined VONNE in July 2021 and is responsible for assisting with our communications and events programme. This is his first role in the VCSE sector, having recently graduated from university with a degree in history.

Funding Information North East (FINE) Project Officer

Jen Thompson:

Jen has worked for the voluntary sector for 12 years, after leaving her previous role in the public sector. She works with us as an associate, having joined VONNE when the FINE project was transferred to VONNE from Gateshead Voluntary Organisations Council in 2015. She is responsible for our fortnightly funding bulletin and online Funding Directory, both of which are benefits of VONNE Membership+ support at silver or gold level.

 VONNE Administration Assistant and Project Support Officer for the North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo)

Allison Madine:

As well as being part of the team providing support to VONNE Members and the VONNE team for several years, Allison joined the NEECCo project team in October 2019, supporting both NEECCo and the VONNE Climate Action Alliance. She has over 30 years' PA/administration experience in many different sectors, including defence and aerospace, the NHS, local government, and the private sector. This is her first role within the VCSE sector. She also works part-time for Generation Rent, which campaigns for the rights of private housing tenants in the UK. Allison was born and raised in the North East, but moved away after marrying a Scot. Having lived in many parts of the UK and beyond, they've returned to live in Northumberland with their rescue dog Ellie.

 NEECCo Communications and Events Officer

Amy Coates:

Amy joined NEECCo as part of the VONNE team in July 2021. An experienced production manager with more than 12 years’ learning and developing in the audio-visual and events industries, she has strong leadership and project management skills, and prides herself on being a meticulous planner and organiser.

Amy enjoys working on a variety of projects and live events to learn new skills, and recently became trustee and secretary at Projects4Change, a charity that strives to assist in reversing the national downturn of youth provision and supports young people.

North East and North Cumbria VCSE Engagement Manager

Siobhan Flynn:

Siobhan joined VONNE in January 2022 and has worked in the VCSE sector since graduating from her International Relations MA in 2015. She brings experience from her previous job roles which have focused on the development of VCSE networks and increasing collaboration within the sector.

Siobhan is a volunteer for Rape Crisis.

Social Prescribing Engagement Manager

Sarah Marrison:

Sarah joined the VONNE team in January 2022. She brings with her more than 20 years' experience in the community regeneration and environment fields and has worked for a wide variety of organisations including community forests, local authorities and national parks, but has primarily worked for both regional and national environmental charities. Sarah has extensive experience of partnership working and planning, developing and delivering nature-based health and wellbeing interventions. More recently, through her role at Social Farms and Gardens, she has gained experience of providing strategic support and networking opportunities around social prescribing and health system engagement to those delivering green care and care farming initiatives across England.

Sarah is also Co-director of a countryside management business, and in her spare time volunteers for the Tees River Rescue charity as Fundraising Lead and a boat crew member.