Trustees and Staff

The Taunton Heritage Trust is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) and is registered with the Charity Commission (No: 1177162). The Trust is also registered with Homes England (formerly the Homes & Communities Agency) as a registered housing provider and a member organisation of the Almshouse Association.

The Trust is governed by a minimum of nine Trustees, three of whom are nominated. Two are nominated by Somerset West and Taunton Council and one by the Court Leet. The Trust’s Patron is the serving Mayor of Taunton.

The day to day responsibility for running the Trust and overseeing all its activities is delegated to the Chief Officer, who together with the rest of the Staff team, work on a part time basis.

The Trustees and Staff work together to improve the quality of life of people living within Taunton Deane.

staff team

Karen White - Chief Officer


In Karen’s position as Chief Officer she has overall responsibility for the day to day running of the Taunton Heritage Trust. She has been in the role since early 2014, having worked in the charity sector since moving to Somerset in the late 1990’s.

Prior to that, she lived and worked in Oxford, London and Exeter. In her spare time Karen enjoys the great outdoors, house renovation and everything that is family!

Jacqui Avison - Warden

Jacqui 2

Jacqui has worked for Taunton Heritage Trust since 2011. She was born in Somerset and raised her family in Taunton.

Past work experience includes working as a Teaching Assistant and supporting adults with learning difficulties.

In her leisure times she likes keeping active and especially enjoys cycling and walking in the countryside. Relaxing time is spent baking, reading, scrabble and spending time with family.

Her role as Warden gives her the opportunity to plan events and activities that promote good community spirit; this is one part of her job that she really enjoys. She undertakes daily visits to the residents at St James Close, Huish Homes and Bernard Taylor Homes.


lATA 2

Lata joined the Trust in 2019. She has the responsibility for all matters relating to the Residents. She provides relief cover for the Wardens and additional support to the Residents.

Lata has lived in Somerset for almost all of her life. She has worked across all districts in Somerset as a Community Development Officer as well as a Hate Crime Officer.

She has an extensive knowledge of Somerset from her previous roles which included supporting individuals and community groups through projects set up by local authorities and voluntary organisations.

Lata’s hobbies include travelling, cooking, jewellery making and general craft activities.

Claire Liell - Finance Officer


Claire is responsible for running the Trust’s financial system and supporting procedures and for financial reporting.

Prior to this role Claire has worked in the Banking and Financial Services sector and most recently manages the financial side of her family business.

In her spare time she enjoys running and going to the gym, walking her dogs and spending time with her family.

Ali Perrott - Warden


Ali joined Taunton Heritage Trust in April 2013 and before this she was a Palliative Care Nurse for the NHS and a farmer’s wife.

She lived on the Somerset Levels before moving to Taunton to become one of the Wardens at the Taunton Heritage Trust.

Ali enjoys music festivals and the countryside.

Ali lives on site at Leycroft Close and does daily visits to the Residents there and at Grays Almshouse.

Jeff Payne - Properties Manager


Jeff, a Quantity Surveyor by profession, joined the Trust in April 2016, having worked in the construction sector in Somerset for over 35 years. He has extensive experience in property maintenance and refurbishment.

Jeff looks after the Trust’s property portfolio and prepares budgets and reports regarding response maintenance, planned maintenance and capital works, reporting to the Clerk and Trustees. He prepares tender documents to carry out the works necessary to maintain and improve the estate and controls the works of all contractors appointed to carry out the works. He ensures that all statutory inspections and certifications are carried out to ensure compliance with all Health & Safety matters and relevant legislation. He also reviews energy contracts annually to ensure best value for our residents. In his spare time Jeff enjoys golf, travel and fishing.

Jan Peake - Office & Compliance

Jan 2

Jan came to the Taunton Heritage Trust in August 2010. Prior to that she had a number of administrative jobs, including working for Somerset County Council and Staplegrove Parish Council.

Jan is responsible for ensuring the Trust adheres to legal standards and in-house policies and processes. Together with the Administrator she provides an administrative service to the Trust and administers the Grants Scheme.

Jan has lived in Taunton all her life and loves walking and taking advantage of the lovely countryside in and around Somerset. She regularly attends music venues in the area as she is a keen supporter of local musical talent.

Laura Harrison - Administrator

Laura 2

Laura came to the Taunton Heritage Trust in November 2016. Prior to that she had a number of reception and administrative jobs, including working for a corporate company based in Bracknell.

She had been living in Bracknell for many years and then moved to Somerset to be closer to her family.

Laura is responsible for providing administrative support to the Trust and colleagues. Together with the Office & Compliance Manager, she administers the Grants Scheme. She also enjoys getting involved in events for the Residents of the Trust.


Mr John Ruff


Mrs Liz Fothergill

Vice Chairman

Mrs Jean Allgrove

Mr Mike Hellings

Mr Norman Cavill

Mr John Williams

Mr Hugh Gregory

Mr Nathan Brasington

Mr Chris Cutting

Mrs Vivienne Stock-Williams

Councillor Andy Pritchard


The Mayor


Margaret Nott & Rachel Pinder

Our Patron, the Mayor of Taunton together with some of our Trustees and Karen White our Chief Officer – December 2019.Mayor Xmas 2019.