Rev. Howard Astin
Howard has a legal background and was the vicar of St John’s Bowling Bradford for 29 years, leading a team to develop many innovative projects. Now he is heading up Outworks:Bradford, a network of congregations and charities in inner city Bradford. He has a vast experience of the voluntary sector and exceptional local knowledge of the BD4 area of Bradford and all that makes it so special.
Sharon de Villiers
Sharon is the co-founder of emerge. She grew up for the most part abroad and finished her education in South Africa, qualifying as a secondary school teacher. After teaching English for some years, she joined Operation Mobilisation and worked in Montreal with runaway and marginalised young people for two years. Twenty five years ago, shortly after marrying, she and husband Jan came to Bradford to establish youth work at St Mary’s Church (later the Vine) in Laisterdyke. A decade later, this transformed into the current charity. They have attended St John’s Bowling over the years and now are part of a small local congregation. They have two children and are foster parents. Sharon also leads the youth congregation, Xstream.
Joel is a chartered Accountant and has been employed by Sagars Accountants since September 2004. He comes with expertise in financial management and systems and a good understanding of our legal obligations.
Georgina was co-founder of Youth Base in East Bowling over 25 years ago, engaging local young people in creative ways. This work joined the Laisterdyke work at the Vine to become e:merge. She has many years’ experience as a grassroots youth worker in this context bringing a historical and considered perspective, with an exceptional understanding of the needs of young people. Georgina is currently a full-time Foster Carer.
Paul has very recently retired from being Service Manager for Looked-after Children for Sheffield Local Authority. He comes with over 40 years of public and voluntary sector knowledge and a background in social work and youth work starting in Bradford! He has a great understanding of the needs of young people and the political landscape in which we are working.
Rev. Derek Jones
Derek is currently serving as a Curate within Little Horton parish in Bradford having been ordained in 2017. Previous to training for ministry Derek was a youth worker at emerge for ten years; passionately advocating for young people in schools and community settings. He brings a broad personal youth work experience to the board along with a wider understanding of the sector in Bradford.