ESCAPE Family Support limited is both a registered charity (No. 1063500) and a limited company (No. 3256554) registered with Companies House.

The board of ESCAPE Family Support meets bi-monthly and our current board of trustees includes:

Chair: Jackie Axelby
Vice Chair: Deborah Brown
Treasurer: Angela Steward
Secretary: Tom Devine
Trustee: Janet Murphy
Trustee: Stephen Murphy

Becoming a board member

Get in touch via our contact us page for further information.

More about our board

Before she retired, Jackie worked in the NHS for over 30 years in various management positions, the last 13 years as a Chief Executive in the North-East. Her favourite job was as Chief Executive of Northumberland Health Authority during the 1990’s and early 2000’s, when she first became associated with ESCAPE. As well as chairing ESCAPE, She also chairs a charitable company which provides apprenticeships and funding for community development and employment initiatives across Yorkshire and the Humber area. In the past, She has chaired the Northumberland Learning and Skills Council and the North-East Judging Panel for the National Training Awards.

Deborah Brown is the Community Safety Department Policy and Team Manager for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service. Having been a member of the Service Leadership Team for nine years, she contributes to decisions on such matters as strategic planning, risk management and budget efficiencies.

Responsible for identifying and analysing current, changing and emerging fire and rescue related risks, she develops risk models to inform the organisation’s Integrated Risk Management Plan.

Deborah has post graduate certificates in both Strategic Leadership and Education (Primary), and leads the organisation’s Community Safety Department; working with paid staff, apprentices and volunteers, Deborah has a background in education. This role sees her leading on safeguarding for both adults and children.

Angela has many years’ experience working at Senior Manager level across all sectors. Initially Angela’s career was based in Financial Management, working for over twenty years in accounting roles within both the private and public sectors, before she moved to wider management roles that have covered Education and Further Education, Health, Regeneration as well as Collaborative and Partnership developments.  Over the last fifteen years she has run her own business consultancy company providing support and business and financial management solutions to a wide variety of clients across all sectors.

Before retirement Tom worked as a registered sick children’s nurse (RSCN) for almost 40 years. Most of his career was spent working with children and their families affected by childhood cancer in a variety of roles, both clinical and academic. In recovery himself, Tom has first hand experience of addiction and also personal experience of supporting a loved one affected by addiction. His skill set is particularly strong in regards to carer and user needs. He currently serves as secretary to the board.

Janet founded ESCAPE Family Support following the death of 16 year old daughter Jennie from drug poisoning in March 1994 and became CEO of the charity in 1998; she has a Diploma in Voluntary Sector Studies.

Janet was made an MBE in 2007 for services to disadvantaged people in Northumberland. Janet took voluntary redundancy in April 2016 to preserve front line services and re-joined the board of Trustees in October 2016. She continues as CEO on a full time voluntary basis.

Stephen is currently an IT Consultant for Vital Service, working for a wide range of clients located across the UK. He offers advice on a wide range of solutions depending on the customers needs and has experience working with charitable organisations. Before this Stephen was an active volunteer for ESCAPE donating over 2000 hours towards the IT systems and processes within ESCAPE.

Stephen has a BSc (Hons) in Business Information Technology, and is a professional member of the British Computing Society (MBCS).

Skill Set Profile

No individual board member is expected to be highly skilled in all areas, we all have our strengths and weaknesses. Knowing the skills profile of its board members and potential board members helps the board ensure a balanced skill set, capable of meeting the needs of the organisation.  If you have a strong background and feel you could contribute, we would love to hear from you.  The board usually meets 6 times a year, but additional input may be required beyond this, depending on the needs of the charity.  The following list of skills may help you consider if you would like to be a board member. We aim to have at least one individual on the board who is highly skilled in each category. We provide induction and ongoing training as necessary.

  • Audit/Risk assessment
  • Care & Service User Needs
  • Commissioning
  • Financial Management
  • Governance
  • Human Resources Management
  • Income Generation/Fundraising
  • Investments
  • IT/CRM Systems
  • Legal
  • Marketing/Branding/Social Media
  • Operations Management
  • Organisational & Staff Development
  • Performance Management & Evaluation
  • Partnership Working
  • Retail Management
  • Sector Policy
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Safeguarding Policy
  • Strategic Planning
  • Volunteer Management