Meet Swan Advocacy’s Board of Trustees

Our Board of Trustees work with the leadership team to maximise Swan Advocacy’s reach and impact across the South West.

The Board sets the overall strategic direction and provides scrutiny to our processes and decisions.  Trustees ensure standards of governance are upheld as well as assessing business development, risk management, performance management and internal control.

We are currently recruiting new Trustees –  if you are interested in joining us find out more here.

Learn more about our current Trustees below:


Our Trustees

Irene Kohler

Chair of the Board of Trustees

Irene chairs the board of trustees and brings to the role her experience as CEO of an independent advocacy organisation and trustee of an AgeUK organisation and a CVS. She is a qualified teacher and has masters in Human Resource Development and estimates that she will be ready to retire when her interest in learning and facilitating learning starts to flag.

Irene is well known for her home made jams and marmalades: "it's an escapism from housework" she explains - " I can't do the housework when the jam needs stirring"

Our Trustees

Alan Guyver

Chair of the Finance, Risk and Income Generation Sub-committee

Alan chairs the Finance, Risk and Income Generation sub-committee of the Board. This sub-committee oversees our finance and income generation departments.

He has extensive experience in the education, finance and financial services sectors.

Alan and his wife live in Somerset. They enjoy spending time with their with two children and four grandchildren.

Our Trustees

Alan Mitchell

Chair of the Operations and Resources Sub-committee

Alan chairs the Operations and Resources sub-committee of the Board. This sub-committee oversees the services delivered by staff and volunteers to our service users. His working life has included spells in the public and private sectors. In the public sector he worked in the social security system. He is currently a Director of a private company.

In his spare-time he enjoys walking through the beautiful countryside of the South West.

Our Trustees

Ken Howard


Ken joined the Board of Trustees in 2014 after an extensive career in local government spanning operational and strategic management in a number of areas including social services, IT and property services. He has substantial experience of project/programme management and organisational and service development.

He holds a qualification in social work and an MA in Public and Social Administration. In his spare time he enjoys DIY construction projects, classic cars and attending the theatre.

Our Trustees

Liz Garratt


Liz is a retired social worker and public service manager with experience in local authorities, the Civil Service and both the national and local voluntary sector. She has worked in childrens’ and adult services. Liz is keen to bring her knowledge of public services and management to the role of Trustee and has a particular interest in supporting quality services through good management and appropriate policy and structure and in promoting wider social change to reduce poverty and hardship.

Having lived for some years in London Liz and her partner are now settled in a Wiltshire village where they enjoy and support community activities including the tennis club and the annual show.

Our Trustees

Peter Curbishley


Peter has a background in rural development and regeneration and has worked in a variety of management posts. He has qualifications in management, marketing and town planning.

Aside from his involvement with Swan Advocacy, he is a trustee of Wessex Community Action and is a member of the Salisbury Amnesty and Compass groups. His interests include music and economics.