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Opportunities in Public Life Panel – Ever thought about becoming a School Governor, Magistrate, Trustee or a Public Appointee?

Mon 09 Jan 2023

Price (£):

Val Allen MBE
Rushi Millns
Yvonne Baker OBE
Alison Rodwell and Louise Thistlethwaite


Alison Rodwell, Chairman CWO North West at northwest@conservativewomen.uk

Opportunities in Public Life Panel – Ever thought about becoming a School Governor, Magistrate, Trustee or a Public Appointee?

The CWO is here to support more women into public life.  There are so many different opportunities in public life and CWO North West is delighted to be hosting an expert panel with women who are serving in many ways.  From school governor to charity trustee, magistrate and public appointment and more.

Please join us for our zoom panel on Monday 9th January 18.30-19.30 and find out more about how you could get involved. 


Yvonne Baker OBE is joining us in her capacity as Chair of Governors at Heworth Grange School.   Yvonne is the Chief Executive at STEM Learning based in York and founder of STEM Ambassadors. Until recently, she was a Trustee of The 5% Club – an employer-led organisation promoting apprenticeships and other earn-and-learn routes and a member of the Royal Society Education Committee. She has also been co-Chair of The Institution of Engineering & Technology’s Education and Skills Panel. She is a Chartered Chemical Engineer.

After a successful career in the fast-paced world of telecoms delivering international projects and designing technology solutions, Rushi Milns moved into Education and is Head of Computing and Director of Careers and Outreach at a secondary school. She joins us in her non-executive capacity, sitting on a number of boards and committees, including those supporting International Development, Camara Education, Hospice UK and the Conservative Women’s Organisation, which encourages and supports women to stand for public office.

 We will also be joined by Val Allen MBE, JP and Louise Thistlethwaite, JP who will share their experiences as magistrates.

Val Allen has been a Magistrate on the Warrington Bench, in North Cheshire for the past 15 years and as one of three Magistrates sits on a bench at the former Crown Court building in Warrington.  After leaving school at 16, she was always interested in the Law, but never had the opportunity to go to university.  Recently she has completed a Degree and MBA in Business. Val wants to see more young women from varied backgrounds become Magistrates, bringing with them a wealth of understanding and common sense.    Val is also a Councillor, the Chair of a Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Director of a family business.

 Louise Thistlethwaite joined the South Cumbria Bench in 2010, sitting in the adult criminal court in Barrow-in-Furness, Kendal Magistrates’ Court (until its closure c2018) and on criminal appeals at Carlisle Crown Court.  Her interest in becoming a magistrate stemmed from having reported on criminal/civil/coroners’ court cases in her role as a journalist on local newspapers in South Cumbria; and later as a law tutor at Lancaster University.   Drug- and alcohol-related crimes are particularly high in Barrow (a deprived, isolated, coastal town); and they deal with a significant number of “county lines” cases.

The event will be chaired by Alison Rodwell, Chairman of CWO North West.  Alison has chaired many boards including charities and social enterprises.   Alison currently holds a public appointment on the Audit, Risk and Assurance Committee of a government department.    

Questions can be submitted in advance to Alison by email  northwest@conservativewomen.uk

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