Sandra Link - Chair
Sandra is a founding member of the charity and appointed to the board in 2018, following a long career in public services.
Having graduated from Keele University in 1982 Sandra commenced a career as a Probation Officer and spent 35 years working in Criminal Justice. She was the Assistant Chief Probation Officer for Cheshire Probation Service and Director of Transformation for Cheshire and Greater Manchester Community Rehabilitation Company.
Sandra has a Master’s Degree in Strategic Management and has significant experience of working on and chairing strategic boards across Cheshire and Greater Manchester.
She possesses a detailed knowledge of Cheshire East.
Lou Vasey - Trustee
In January 2018 Lou went to the Saturday Kitchen, at that time operating out of St Stephens Church, to donate some food for the ‘take away’ bags. She was asked to stay that night and help with the washing up, and hasn’t left since, being appointed to the board of Trustees in August 2020.
Lou has worked for more that thirty years in the advertising industry, being responsible for the production of broadcast commercials in places as diverse as Mount Rushmore, Hong Kong Harbour, and the Victorian sewers under Bolton.
She has worked continually in the Saturday Kitchen forming trusting relationships with those that attend, firmly believing that vulnerable and/or homeless is what they are, not who they are and that it is important not just to look at people, but also look out for them.
Julie Kay - Trustee
Julie joined Chance Changing Lives when the charity was first established, initially as an active volunteer and more recently in 2020, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees.
Julie is native of Crewe and has a great deal of local knowledge and experience of the local communities and their respective issues. She has undertaken a range of voluntary work over many years, much of which has been with vulnerable adults and young people. In particular Julie has specialist knowledge of supporting visually impaired children and young adults. Additionally, she has worked one night a week on the Saturday Kitchen project, working with those who were homeless/rough sleepers in Crewe.
Julie is a key link in the Social Supermarket and supports a number of service users.
Mick Roberts - Trustee
Mick was born in Crewe and has lived in the town all his life. He is married with two grown up children.
Mick has worked in Crewe Works since 1981 and has been involved as a trade union representative and pension trustee for many of those years.
Mick is also politically active within the local Labour party.
Mick understands the importance of ensuring vulnerable people within our society are treated fairly and not overlooked or forgotten about.
Volunteering with Chance provides Mick with the opportunity to use his experience, working with other volunteers, to make a difference to the lives of local people.
Richard Stakes - Trustee
Richard joined Chance Changing Lives as a trustee in 2020.
By trade Richard is a Maths teacher. He taught in schools and colleges in the North West, before basing himself at Keele University, still working in Maths Education.
Richard was a volunteer in Tanzania for three years, teaching A-level Maths in government schools under the auspices of VSO.
Richard's many skills include IT and finances, and he also does some washing-up at the Saturday kitchen whenever he gets the chance. He enjoys most sport (sadly its mostly watching now), but his lifelong love (for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer) has always been the Bradford Bulls Rugby League team.
Darren Evans - Trustee
Originally from Pontypridd in south Wales Darren left school at 16. He began working for his Local Authority straight away and continued to do so in highways, community development, policy and social care, eventually finishing his LA career as the Director of Social Care in Staffordshire.
Darren comes from an extremely modest background and strongly believes that education and improving your skillset is a very positive way to improve one's circumstances.
Darren is a volunteer vaccinator for St John's Ambulance and until recently was working at Sandbach foodbank.
His interests are running, swimming, golf, and football.
Michele Parks - General Manager
Michele joined Chance as a volunteer with a desire to cook good food for people in need and combined working as an academic mentor for people with autism at university, with Chance volunteering. She progressed to becoming a Trustee and Chair.
Experienced in working with people with mental health concerns and additional needs, Michele is a qualified teacher with a postgraduate qualification in Autism.
Earlier roles have included charity management positions in Cheshire and Scotland and NHS management. Michele brings life experience which has resulted in a non-judgemental compassion for our service users.
Michele brings drive, empathy, creative problem solving and communication skills to the team and is now our only paid member of staff. She feels the responsibility that brings, and is dedicated to deliver Chance’s goals for the benefit of our shoppers and guests.