Our executive team

Meet our chief executive

Camphill Village Trust's CEO, Sara Thakkar Sara Thakkar – CEO

Sara is a recognised senior leader. She has rich and diverse experiences within the public, private, enterprise and third sector. Her leadership roles have been grounded in the commitment to tackle injustice and equality and her approaches reflect an ability to work alongside people and communities to develop their roots; to bring a sense of identity, choice and belonging. Sara is equally passionate in her approach to build on individuals and communities wings; co-creating the art of the possible to make a real and lasting positive difference. She recognises that roots keep us grounded and wings give us flexibility and freedom.

Sara began her career in education and family support, working with families with complex needs within communities affected by significant disadvantage.  She has spent the last 20 years undertaking a number of CEO roles in community-focused third sector organisations across the country.  Sara has extensive experience in providing high-quality care and support services, strategic communications and change management, new homes development and land management.

Sara brings a commercial head and a social heart to the Trust. Her business and finance qualifications support her approach to balancing fiscal oversight with clarity of purpose. She is a highly experienced non-executive having held a number of Board and Trustee roles throughout her career and has undertaken a number of governance advisory roles across a range of sectors. She is currently a Board member for a Housing Association and the Chair of a Business Enterprise Agency.

Meet our team

Fiona I’Anson – Resource Director

Fiona I’Anson joins our executive team as the Resource Director, assuming responsibility for Finance, IT, Business Assurance, and People functions. In addition, she will serve as the Company Secretary and Deputy CEO as required.

With a diverse background spanning Finance, Investment, Resource/HR, Programme Management, Digital Strategy, and Facilities, Fiona brings a wealth of experience to our organisation. Her career has touched various sectors, including the NHS, Education, and Health and Social Care integration.

Fiona’s appointment comes at a pivotal moment for our Trust as we celebrate our 70th anniversary and embark on a new strategy. This strategy will build on our proud legacy of empowering individuals with learning disabilities, autism, and mental health challenges to lead lives filled with opportunities

Her leadership skills and expertise will help us build on the foundations we have laid over the past two years, ensuring that we have the resilience and sustainability to help even more people for many years to come.

John Lucey – People Director

John joined the Trust in October 2022 as the People Director. He is a highly experienced professional and has spent 25 years working in People related roles. These have spanned multiple Housing Associations and their Care and Support Directorates as well as various charities and Non-Governmental Organisations. He has also worked in Higher Education and in public transport gaining a wide range of experience and making a positive impact to the lives of those most vulnerable in society.

John is someone who ensures People related activities are at the heart of commercial decision making and believes that engagement with colleagues is instrumental in shaping strategy so that the Trust becomes an irresistible employer of choice.

Sally Watts – Supported Living & Green Care Director

Sally is committed to delivering high quality services and opportunities for the people we support at Camphill Village Trust and inspiring her teams to strive for continual improvement.

She leads our core operations, which include supported living and registered services, co-production, enterprise, education, and therapeutic activities.

Sally brings broad experience in service reviews and customer engagement and will ensure the people we support continue to be at the heart of what we do.

She has ten years’ experience as a director in the social housing and supported living sector. Sally joined the Trust in October 2023. Previously she was Director of Neighbourhoods and Support for Incommunities, responsible for all neighbourhood and community services for 22,600 homes.

Claire Twaites – Estates Director

Claire is leading the Trust’s aspirations for environmental sustainability, farming and land management and unlocking the potential of our assets.

She has a passion for the natural environment, enhancing people’s lives and creating opportunities. Claire brings a broad range of expertise in estates, facilities, commercial, residential asset investment and environmental sustainability gained in large public, educational and commercial organisations.

She joined the Trust in September 2023, following three years as Commercial Director for the Trentham estate, the 5th most visited attraction in the UK. Responsible for the estate’s commercial development strategy and income streams, she also established the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) corporate framework to set out the strategy for net carbon zero, biodiversity, place and people.

Matthew Wilkley – Fundraising & Communications Director

Matt’s focus is on sustainably growing the Charity’s voluntary income, increasing awareness and deepening engagement with existing supporters.

He is an award-winning leader in fundraising, marketing and communications with experience in the non-profit and private sectors. He specialises in strategy, innovation, income generation, organisational partnership, raising awareness and team development.

Matt joined Camphill Village Trust in October 2023, following four years as Director of Income Generation for Independent Age, the UK’s leading charity for older people in poverty. Before that, he held senior positions at Centrepoint and Crimestoppers.

Prior to this, Matt ran the marketing function at a leading management development consultancy for non-profit organisations.

Our executive team