Meet the team
On this page you will find details of the staff at Healthwatch East Sussex, as well as the Board of Directors of East Sussex Community Voice.
John Routledge, Director
John has extensive experience of working at senior level across the public, private and voluntary sectors with a strong focus on community engagement in the design and delivery of public services.
Most recently, John was responsible for co-ordinating rough sleeping and homelessness initiatives for local authorities and their partners across Sussex. John helped set up a consortium of Sussex health and social care charities and worked as Head of Communities at Brighton & Hove City Council for over three years.
Nationally, John has worked as a senior adviser to government on third sector issues and was chief executive of national regeneration charity Urban Forum for six years. John has worked on special projects for an international market research company and as project director leading on the restructure of a major London charity.
John was born in Portsmouth and lived in Singapore, Warwickshire and London before moving to live and work in Sussex in 1998.
Elizabeth Mackie, Volunteer & Community Liaison Manager
Elizabeth joined the Healthwatch team in April 2013 from East Sussex LINk to develop a vibrant and diverse team of volunteers, who will undertake Healthwatch activities like enter & view. Elizabeth will also work closely with local people and organisations to make sure that the voices of local people are heard and used to inform how services are provided.
Simon Kiley, Evidence and Insight Manager
Simon joined the team at ESCV in January 2020 and has worked in the voluntary sector in East Sussex since 2006. He has managed and participated in a wide range of research, evidence and engagement activities working in conjunction with central government, local government and voluntary sector organisations.
Charlie Rustem, Manager of Communications
Charlie joined the Healthwatch East Sussex team in April 2013. Previously, Charlie has worked in the Public Sector for East Sussex County Council, Library and Information Service and Learning Services.
Kate Richmond, Community Engagement Officer
Kate joined ESCV in May 2015. She has a background in nursing and social care information & support work.
Greta Anderson, Project Development Officer
Greta worked for 23 years in local government, for both London Borough of Southwark and London Borough of Sutton, in Libraries and information services. After relocating from London to East Sussex in 2011. She worked for a short time for East Sussex County Council again for the Library and Information Services, before joining the National Trust as a Volunteer Manager – this was an enjoyable and wonderfully chaotic role working in a beautiful setting.
Sue Wells, Administrator
Sue came to ESCV in January 2018 after working for Lewes District Council for 13 years.
Sue believes that everyone should have an input into services that affect them, and this is a core element of the work ESCV does.
Aimee Brinkhurst, Information and Signposting Advisor
Aimee joined the team in August 2020 and has experience of working in the voluntary sector, education and public sector in East Sussex. Aimee will draw on her local knowledge to deliver the information and signposting service for Healthwatch East Sussex.
Keith Stevens, Chair
Keith retired from Coutts & Co. in 2001 after 32 service. He carried out a variety of roles in the Bank but most of his time was spent specialising in taxation and medical finance.
In 1991 he became a non-executive director of the RNTNE hospital in the first wave of trust hospitals until it merged with the Royal Free. After retiring Keith worked for the Royal Household for a short time and he became a Parish Councillor.
He is currently Chairman of East Sussex Association of Local Councils (ESALC) and of East Sussex Strategic Partnership (ESSP). Keith is also the Treasurer for a number of voluntary organisations.
Liz Lash, Non-Executive Director
Liz started her career as a teacher and taught children with speech, language and other communication difficulties for 11 years. Next was a five year stint as an employee of East Susses County Council where she finished as a Senior Employment Officer.
She was then the Disability Support Co-ordinator at City College, Brighton and Hove. 15 months as a Vocational Worker for Workability East Sussex followed.
She took up the role of Adult Carers Services Manager at Care for the Carers in September 2006; which came to an end in July 2009 due to an increasing disability-related health issues. While working for Care for the Carers, Liz was involved in the establishment of East Sussex LINk. When her time paid employment had to end, she volunteered at the LINk (including as a member of the Core Group and, later, as a member of the Healthwatch Transition Group until its demise in March 2013.
Liz has been a Trustee/Director at ESDA (East Sussex Disability Association) since 2005.
Liz lives in Polegate with her partner Dave and has many interests; including amateur dramatics nature and quizzes. Currently, she is trying to become fully motivated to write the book she has been talking about it for so long.
Roger Sweetman, Non-Executive Director
Now retired, Roger was an active trade union member, and had experience of different officer roles within his branch throughout his 35 year career in the Civil Service, which was almost entirely spent in East Sussex.
He has been involved in the voluntary sector for many years as a member of numerous groups including the Hastings & Rother Health & Social Care Forum, and was the chairman of a Hastings charity the Friends of St Mary-in-the-Castle for 10 years, and he is proud that with the secretary and the other trustees he obtained one of the firsts grants in excess of £1m from the National Lottery.
Roger is a member of his surgery’s PPG; and also a patient representative for Hastings & Rother on both the NHS’s ESHT End of Life Care Improvement Group and East Sussex End of Life Care Evaluation & Development Clinical Reference Group.
Roger lives in Hastings with Paul, his civil partner and Monte, their two year old Blenheim Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Baldev Soni, Non-Executive Director
Baldev moved to the UK from Kenya at the age of 16 and his first job was working at Tesco for 50 pence a day! Over the next few years he worked hard and qualified as an accountant by the age 22. He has now retired after working for 37 years in local government and as a Pensions Officer at Sussex University. He speaks four languages.
Baldev now spends his time using his vast knowledge and experience to undertake charity work and his list of voluntary jobs is extensive to say the least. He was Chair of Governors while the new secondary school in Peacehaven was being built and was also responsible for finance as Treasurer on the Board of Governors of Varndean School, Brighton. As a Board member, Treasurer, Company Secretary and later Chair of Mosaic, a charity in Brighton, he was responsible for raising funds and preparing / implementing financial regulations and policies. He was Secretary of the Sussex Branch of the Royal Institute of Public Administration and acted as Treasurer on the Board of Brighton’s Branch of Marriage Guidance Council – now renamed Relate. Baldev jointly managed the Parosi Group in Brighton to teach English to ethnic women, represented Peacehaven minorities on Meridian Older Peoples Forum and was on the Executive Committee of Sompriti based in Lewes. For many years he was an examiner for the Chartered Institute of Public Finance Accountants.
At present, alongside Baldev’s role on the Board of East Sussex Community Voice, he is organiser of events for the Sussex Indian Punjabi Society.
Vanessa Taylor, Non-Executive Director
Vanessa attended University and qualified as a pharmacist. Initially she worked for Boots and left when she had her children (three who are all grown up). Until they were older she worked part time in both hospital and retail.
Vanessa then went back to work for Boots where she progressed through the organisation – ending as Regional Professional Development Manager working across the whole of the South East and liaising closely with head office in Nottingham.
In 2004 the Company was sold to a private equity company (KKR) at this time she was offered the opportunity to take early retirement and redundancy.
Vanessa was very fortunate as there were notmany opportunities for pharmacists and set up as a consultant. She worked as the chief officer for the Local Pharmaceutical Committee, provided consultant services to a number of Pharmaceutical Companies both in the UK and abroad.
Vanessa also worked to provide training on medicines to Care Homes across the South East.
In 2018 she retired from work as a pharmacist and applied for my name to be removed from the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) register.
Vanessa now volunteers for the Foodbank in Eastbourne and also acts as chair of the Digital First IT programme for the East Sussex wide NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Vanessa joined our Board on In January 2020.
Ed Peasgood, Non-Executive Director
Ed is a youth activist and leader for youth participation and is passionate about working in the community and helping to support young people as decision-makers.
Ed was an elected member of the East Sussex Youth Cabinet and UK Youth Parliament from Dec 2018-Dec 2019 where he campaigned for Mental Health Support and Knife Crime Prevention.
Currently a youth facilitator for ESCC’s MHSTS project, where he lead sessions and focus groups for young people who want to have their say on what Mental Health Services in schools look like. Ed also works for NCN World’s Global Parliaments movement where he represent the UK. Ed is also part of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Youth PPI Research Group, where they work on young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Ed is a Year 12 student at Uckfield College studying Geography, Psychology, Sociology, and 3D Design. He is also part of the College Council and helps support the College with youth participation work and fundraising for different charities.
Ed joined ESCV’s Board of Directors in July 2020 and became their first under-18 Non-Executive Director. Ed helps ESCV with outreach to young people and business development to help represent the voices and views of young people.