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 over 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 at Newcastle University included business development, project management and marketing and communications. She has a Masters Degree in Cultural Management.

She became Deputy Chief Executive in October 2019 after two-and-a-half years working as our Marketing and Communications Manager. Anne is a volunteer for Rape Crisis and a Trustee for Wearside Women in Need.


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 staff 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.


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).


Marketing and Communications Manager

Jule Wilson via

Jule began her career in the education sector and became a journalist after gaining a Masters Degree in Creative Writing. She eventually moved into public relations and photography, starting in the public sector and she's now a Chartered Practitioner with a Diploma from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, and a Diploma from the Digital Marketing Institute. She brings with her expertise gained from senior communications roles in a range of fields including retail banking, book publishing, social enterprise and software development.

Jule is responsible for VONNE's communications strategy and delivery, and has served as a Trustee at The Josephine and Jack Project. She also mentors young people as a STEM Learning Ambassador, and has recently been awarded a Diploma in Counselling.


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.


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 NE 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.


Administration Assistant

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 Northeast 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. This is her first role in the VCSE sector.


North East and North Cumbria VCSE Deputy Programme Manager


Lisa Taylor:

Lisa has spent 15 years working in health and social care, moving from the private sector to the voluntary sector in 2014, where her primary role was the integration of charity services within the NHS. Lisa has a great deal of experience in working with both primary and secondary care, as well as with vulnerable groups, including older people experiencing frailty, and people with learning disabilities and autism.

She specialises in cross-sector working and is passionate about supporting the development of systems that truly meet the needs of the people that use them.


Communications and Events Support Officer


Sara Toal:

Sara joined the VONNE team in January 2021 and brings with her more than 20 years' experience in the communications and marketing profession. She has 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 communications and events programme, as well as VONNE members.