The Board

TTVS is well governed by an experienced and active board of trustees with a range of valuable experience.

We are always on the lookout for new trustees, particularly from our under represented communities and from people who, in the past, have used our services. This represents a real opportunity to help develop and lead an incredible charity alongside providing personal reward and development. Interested? Or want to find out more then please contact our CEO [email protected]

The Board

Shirley Law Chair - Shirley has worked within the Voluntary sector since 1976 In 1976 she joined the Greenwich Volunteer Bureau, the sole employee with only 10 months of the grant left. By the time she left, there were 6 full time members of staff on stable funding. Later she was employed by Carers National to start a borough based carer’s organisation in Bromley. Delaying retirement Shirley became national director to the Children’s Heart Federation.

Shirley has also served on a number of committees, local, London wide and National, becoming Chair of a London wide organisation – Advance (Advise and development in Volunteering and Neighbourhood Care). Since finally retiring to Devon, she now has links with a number of local organisations, including Chivenor Air Training Squadron, Torridgeside Talking Newspaper and, of course, TTVS.

Nick Underwood Vice Chair - Nick spent 33 years in the Royal Marines, serving all round the world and ending his career at Chivenor. There, with a small staff, he was responsible for the infrastructure of the base and providing support to over 150 families. With close links to the local community, he acted as a local representative for the base. He then spent 6 years working for a national security provider responsible for national defence contracts, before retiring. He has been a Trustee since 2016 and also regularly volunteers for Carewise. He is married with 2 grown-up sons and has lived in Bideford for 20 years.

Ramin Shamsolahi - Ramin lives in Bideford with his wife and dogs. He is a practicing solicitor and equity partner at Rosie Bracher Solicitors LLP in Barnstaple, a specialist family law practice where he runs the matrimonial/financial team. In his spare time Ramin enjoys squash, surfing, theatre and cinema.

Mike Teare Trustee - I have been living in Bideford for five years and am now retired. I trained as a marine biologist but for most of my career I worked in the international medical device industry, with sales and marketing roles in UK, Australia and France. I am chair the charity Way of the Wharves, researching and promoting the maritime history of the Torridge Estuary - currently focused on the wharves at East the Water.

Michelle Harding - Michelle has lived in Torridge for all of her 46 years, apart from a stint in the heady lights of Plymouth. She studied childcare at college and then undertook a very successful career in Retail Management and Visual Merchandising before moving into training, working with disadvantaged children in Torbay.

This led Michelle back to North Devon where she worked at North Devon College / Petroc as an assessor and tutor and then took a post as a childcare lecturer. She was made redundant in 2018 and was a self-employed tutor before taking a post with TTVS,  where she found her calling and realised that the charity sector was where she wanted to be.

Michelle now runs The North Devon Surf School, and has set up a CIC alongside called North Devon Surf Therapy which is very rewarding. She runs this with her Husband Dave, who is a paramedic.

Mike Deaton Treasurer – Mike has spent most of his working career (35years) working for Devon County Council and is presently Chief Planner in the Council’s Climate Change, Environment and Transport Directorate.

Working in local government Mike recognises that funding cuts mean that all that could be delivered by local authorities no longer happens and there is a growing reliance on the voluntary sector to provide essential community services. 

Being a director of TTVS Mike will be able to help the local community using the skills and experience that built up over his working career. 

Mike has lived with his partner in Appledore for 30 years and enjoys SCUBA diving and has a particular interest in underwater photography.

Geoff Cusick – Geoff moved to Devon in early 2011 from Woking in Surrey after he and his wife had both retired.

Geoff spent his career working as a Clinical Engineer in the NHS.  Geoff’s professional interests were largely concerned with safety and regulatory compliance, physiological measurement, and equipment procurement and provisioning.  I 

Shortly after moving to Holsworthy, in 2012 Geoff was invited to join Holsworthy Rotary Club, giving him an opportunity both to widen his circle of contacts in our his home, and to become involved in projects supporting the community.  Geoff was elected Club President in 2016 (and again in 2022).

Geoff was also invited to join the Holsworthy Community Involvement Group (HCIG) established by the NEW Devon CCG following the closure of in-patient beds at Holsworthy Community Hospital, and was elected vice-chair.  HCIG’s recommendations, published in February 2019, included establishing a ‘One Community’ organisation for Holsworthy: Geoff convened a Steering Group to make this happen, leading to the establishment of the Holsworthy & District Community Forum, which he now chairs.

Our funders:

  • Torridge District Council
  • Lottery Community Fund
  • Northam Town Council
  • Bideford Bridge Trust
  • Bideford TC
  • Devon County Council
  • Edward Gosling Foundation
  • Nationwide Building society