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New trustees boost charity for prison leavers 

Community Chaplaincy Norfolk (CCN), which supports people coming out of prison, is celebrating four new additions to its Board of Trustees.  

Established in 2018, the charity delivers vital support to those leaving prison in Norfolk, providing trained Volunteer Mentors to help with the transition back into wider society, with the aim of reducing re-offending.

Following an interview process, CCN has appointed four new Trustees to ensure that the charity’s vision is upheld. The Chair of Trustees, Rev Matthew Hutton DL said: “We are immensely proud of what CCN is achieving. The new Board Members will bring fresh perspective and energy to our vision – to see our clients become integrated, confident and fulfilled members of the community.”

The newly engaged Trustees are Sarah Watson, Laura Bell, Rev Danny Doran-Smith and His Honour Stephen Holt.

With a specialism in employment and education, Laura Bell (pictured above) currently works at the University of East Anglia as an Outreach Worker. “I’m really excited to be joining CCN as a trustee,” she said. “I like the charity’s mission of meeting people where they are at and walking alongside them as they reintegrate into society following release from prison. It is such a practical demonstration of Jesus’ concern for justice and care for the marginalised. I’m looking forward to bringing my experience of working in higher education, specifically around employability and widening participation, to the role.” 

Rev Danny Doran-Smith is both a curate and the director of a Norfolk-wide youth charity. “I am delighted to become a trustee of CCN and to bring my experience to the charity,” he said, “especially my understanding of the relationship between providers and service users at individual, group, and community levels. As a charity founder and director, I believe I can bring my wisdom around strong strategic leadership to the team. Having had the privilege to work in different contexts, supporting various deprived, disadvantaged and marginalised groups for over 25 years, I think I’ll fit the needs of CCN well.”



Stephen Holt is a retired circuit judge who practiced as a barrister and was the Recorder of Norwich and Resident Judge at Norwich Crown Court from 2014 until April 2021. “Having worked in the Criminal Justice System since 1978,” he said “I very much looking forward to using my experience to help support CCN, both volunteers and clients. I think this is a very exciting time to be joining as a trustee this hugely worthwhile charity and helping to support the excellent work it does.”


Sarah Watson is a professional musician and brings a passion for supporting people facing multiple disadvantages. Commenting on her recent appointment, Sarah said: “I am so delighted to be joining CCN as a trustee. Their work is of huge importance. They see the individual for who they are, not what they’ve done, as is integral to the Christian faith. I am so excited to see what God has in store for the future of CCN and my role as a trustee. I studied music at university and believe that music making can have a huge positive impact on mental health and wellbeing, so I am keen to see whether this is something that could be looked at within the work of CCN.”

The new Board Members are currently undertaking a training and induction process and will take the number of Trustees supporting CCN to ten. You can find out more or pledge your support for Community Chaplaincy Norfolk at www.norfolkchaplaincy.org.uk or by contacting the Manager, Melanie Wheeler, on 07710 303909. 



Eldred Willey, 03/03/2022

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