Our Trustees

The Trustees of Virginia House Settlement are:

Philip Sanders (Chairman)

Alice Astor (Vice Chairman)

Sheridan Brimacombe (Treasurer)

David Buckingham

Anthony Gilbert

Ian Potts

Jim Shannon

Philip Sanders, Chairman
Philip is Leader of West Devon Borough Council, elected as a County Councillor for the electoral division of Yelverton Rural and is a member at Devon County Council.  Philip was born in Devon and grew up on a traditional mixed farm.  He studied agriculture at University and has worked within the hotel management industry and later within the NHS, where he worked his way up to Trust Board Director.

Philip runs his own health care consultancy business part time. Philip enjoys the outdoor life, particularly walking, cycling and running both at home and in Europe. Philip takes an active interest in a number of national and local campaigns.

In his spare time Philip has run a youth club, is a Duke of Edinburgh's Award assessor and a voluntary Dartmoor National Park Warden.  He is Deputy Chairman of Dartmoor National Park Authority Development Management Committee and also the Chairman of the Dartmoor Trust, a Tavistock Town Councillor, Governor of Tavistock College, board member of the Tamar Housing Society and a member of the Devon Countryside Access Forum.

Alice Astor Vice Chairman
Alice has been chair and trustee of several charitable education trusts and helped to  establish a successful national education charity, The Phoenix Education Trust, of which she was chair for many years.  Alice is currently also a trustee of The Nancy Astor Scholarship Trust and The Organic Research Centre.

Sheridan Brimacombe
Started her working life by qualifying as a chartered accountant at the age of 21, she was  the first woman to qualify in the City of Plymouth.  Sheridan went into partnership and ran a successful accountancy practice in Plymouth. Combined with this she became trustee of Margaret McMillan Nursery School, Virginia House Settlement and latterly Peninsula Medical Research Foundation.

David Buckingham
Retired Chartered Surveyor; Trustee of VHS for some 20 years; Plymothian; educated at Sutton High School;  Chairman of Plymouth Barbican Trust & South West Image Bank; involved for many years with Scout Movement & YMCA  including responsibility for Dartmoor Adventure Centre & 10 years as Chairman of Plymouth YMCA.

Anthony Gilbert
Anthony Gilbert joined the board of trustees for Virginia House Settlement in 2008; he has a particular interest in how institutions of civil society, such as the settlements, can influence the way society works for the good of its citizens. Anthony has been associated with health and social care services since the early 1970s, mainly in relation to people with intellectual disability, mental health and services for older people. Presently, he works at the University of Plymouth where he teaches on social work and health programmes. Anthony's background and interests lie in areas of research and social policy.

Ian Potts
Ian is an architect and graduate of the Plymouth School of Architecture and Corporate Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He is the founding Partner/Director of The Architects Design Group.

Local past projects include the Plymouth Fish-market in Sutton Harbour, the Sherwell Centre for the University of Plymouth and the Plymouth Foyer in Stonehouse. More recent local designs include Azure providing 104 luxury apartments on Plymouth Hoe, the redevelopment of the former Barclays Chambers on Armada Way and the new Dental School at Derriford.

Buildings and the spaces around them are the physical expression of our towns and cities. Ian’s particular focus is on the development of architecture and urban design and their role in the regeneration of Plymouth and the towns and cities of Devon and Cornwall.

Jim Shannon
Jim Shannon is a social worker in an integrated community crisis response team. Jim and his nursing, physiotherapy and occupational therapy colleagues aim to prevent hospital admissions and support peoples' independence at home. His previous professional roles have included that of hospital based social worker and for many years Jim supported young people leaving care. He currently serves as an independent panel member for a fostering agency.