About Us

Our Team and Our Trustees

Our Team and Our Trustees

Our Team

Colette Isaaks



Colette’s early career focussed on consumer protection. Her roles required her to positively influence key UK organisations to treat their customers better. Her success was measured when organisations  provided their consumers with: better quality of services; appropriate, relevant products; and fair and transparent pricing. Her work was totally focussed on enabling consumers to make informed choices about what it is they want, and at what price.

Her accomplishments include:

  • As a Ministerially appointed Non-Executive Director of the Consumer Council for Water, Colette championed the best interests of water customers who are in an economic monopoly situation. She provided consumers with a genuine ability to influence their supplier to deliver high quality services, in a non-competitive environment.
  • As Head of Consumer Protection for Legal Services in England and Wales, Colette convinced legal services professionals to change their historic culture and bench-mark their services against the best in the services sector, compelling them to treat their clients as valued customers, who deserve the highest standards of customer service. She also Incentivised legal services providers to give customers a far greater understanding of the processes and pricing of legal services which enhanced providers’ performance, and delivered greater competition and consumer choice.
  • As Head of Consumer Protection for the National Lottery Commission, Colette ensured that vulnerable individuals are protected from the problems that can be associated with gambling, whilst maximising the returns for good causes.

After a family orientated career break, Colette’s recent career has been in the marketing sector, taking full advantage of digital innovations to enhance the power of communications for good causes.

Colette has been involved with OPAAL since 2016, first as a Trustee Board member, then as Treasurer, before taking on the role of Director in 2021. Her aims are to:

  • Deliver innovative campaigning to promote independent advocacy for older people, to ensure that everyone has an equality of choice in their lives, irrespective of age or circumstance.
  • Demonstrate that independent advocacy delivers an excellent return on investment, with recipients showing far greater commitment to health and social care solutions, and better outcomes, when the individual’s needs and wants are at the heart of any care solution.
  • Support, encourage and educate organisations to commit to the provision of independent advocacy in any way they can, and promote their valuable efforts and the benefits they deliver to all our older people.

Sharon Jenkins

Operations Lead


I have had a long and varied career in both the private and public sector.  I spent 25 years as a Project Manager and Trainer for HSBC, developing new systems and also worked in the nuclear power industry as a trainer for 5 years, working with apprentices.  I then changed direction and retrained as a charity governance officer  and worked for a couple of small charities in the West Midlands, culminating in my work now with Sandwell Advocacy as a Business Support Officer and OPAAL as the Operations Lead.

I am a gardner, crafter and enjoy sewing and fused glass making and believe very much in the power of using crafts, gardening and nature to help with both mental and physical health.

Finance Lead – email: anne.smith@opaal.org.uk

Our Trustees 

Our Volunteers

Daphne Isaaks; Duke of Edinburgh PR Volunteer spring 2023

Jude Atkinson: Research Intern summer 2023.
My name is Jude Atkinson and I have just finished my first year studying economics at the University of Manchester. Alongside my studies I have a keen interest in financial news and current affairs, and this was where I first came across an article which outlined some of digital banking’s negative implications upon older people. Following conversations with grandparents and loved ones, I was compelled to explore the issue further and contact the Director of OPAAL Colette Isaaks. During research and discussions with Colette, it has been alarming to find out the true extent of the issue as well as the complete lack of solutions to so many of the problems which are now being faced by older people due to digital banking. This has made me realise why so many things I often do, like bookings tickets and online shopping, are tasks which can cause issues to a lot of older people. I have also learnt my privilege of growing up with technology and how the lack of support for older people in adapting to technology is an issue which must be addressed. This has now made me better at understanding and identifying the everyday problems faced by my elderly loved ones, meaning that I can be of better support for them and become a more rounded person as a result.

David Bradshaw

Chair of Trustees

Dave Bradshaw is Chief Executive Officer of Sandwell Advocacy who provide a range of independent advocacy services across the Borough of Sandwell in the West Midlands.

I have been CEO of Sandwell Advocacy for over 20 years and prior to that spent many years in the community and voluntary sector generally. I have been involved as a trustee with OPAAL since 2017 and I am also on the Board of the National Coalition of Advocacy Schemes.

I am committed to ensuring that people are able secure their rights, represent their interests and access services they need. I believe that local services are best shaped by involving people who use them in a spirit of true co-production. I joined the Older People’s Advocacy Alliance because I wanted to contribute to an organisation that shares my belief in supporting older people to have a voice and including people in decisions that directly affect their lives.

Janet Cullingford
Vice Chair of Trustees

Janet Cullingford Head of Services at ICANN who are a CIO providing a range of Advocacy services across Lancashire and the surrounding areas. I am also a Trustee at Preston Community Network who provide support services to other VCFS organisations.

I have worked in the Voluntary sector for nearly 25 years across all age groups from Children and Young people to Older adults including those with dementia.

One of my particular interests is in offering help to those who are at risk of being or have been sexually abused or exploited, to that end I am also a Director of Release into Victory a CIC who provide counselling and other support services to adult survivors of CSA (Childhood sexual abuse)

Pam Hill

Pam has enjoyed a rewarding career deliveringorporate and further education Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)trainingfollowed by voluntary sector senior management roles and part time lecturing inHealth & Social Care.  Qualifications include Training Management, ICT, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, Coaching and Mentoring(CIPD), and Voluntary and Third Sector Management.

Her varied career increased herknowledge of the vast range of issues facing individuals including drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, safeguarding, debt, teenage pregnancy and sex work, young carers, male suicide, and youth offending.

She believes passionately in multi-agency working and has been a representative with Blackpool Safeguarding Board, Multi Agency Risk and Assessment Conferences (MARAC), Chaired Police Western Division Independent Advisory Group (IAG) and delivered safeguarding training and awareness to audiences including allied healthcare professionals, voluntary and private sector staff and volunteers, charity trustees and social work students.

In 2015, Pamela set up her business, Pamela J Hill Consulting, providing a range of affordable support for voluntary sector organisations.

Betty Machin

I have previously worked in the voluntary sector for 22 years as Manager of a dementia advocacy project. Prior to this I was a Mental health nurse.

I am currently working as a freelance advocate specialising in dementia alongside facilitating a peer support group of people all affected by dementia.

I am passionate around ensuring people especially marginalised people have a voice and their rights are adhered.

Being a trustee with OPAAL gives me the opportunity to work with an organisation whose aim is to support older people.

Eileen Rudden

Kay Steven


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