Neil Thomas - Chair
After a career spanning 30 years in the Catering, Hospitality and Retail Vending industries, Neil took early retirement in June 2019. This allowed him to refocus his activities and start to look at opportunities in the third sector, where he could use his experience to help community projects on a voluntary basis.
Neil is married and has two children and two step-children. He has lived in and around Welwyn and East Hertfordshire all his life and moved to his current address in Watton-at-Stone in 2005. Family values and relationships are very important to him.
Neil considers his main role at Citizens Advice Broxbourne to be one of ensuring our clients always receive the best possible advice and help. The other key focus is to ensure the charity is well run and has a solid financial platform to ensure continually improving service levels for the district’s residents.
Neil’s interests include current affairs, photography and golf.
Marlena Mandat - Treasurer
Having moved to the UK from Poland in 2005, Marlena has worked in retail, healthcare and for the last 6 years in the educational sector. She completed her Marketing Degree and Managerial Finance course from London School of Economics while working full time. In 2018 she became Governor of Primary school Trust. This has proven to be a challenging but rewarding role and Marlena decided to broaden her volunteering activities. Her main strengths and skills are: strategy, data analytics, financial performance and planning, change management and customer experience. Marlena puts these skills to great use in her volunteering activities.
Marlena considers her main role at Citizens Advice Broxbourne to be one of ensuring our strategy ensures clients receive the best possible advice and support. The other key focus is to ensure the charity is well run and continually improves service levels.
Marlena is married and has two sons. She lives in Harlow, Essex. Family values and relationships are very important to her. Marlena and her husband went through the naturalisation process and she is well aware of the challenges that EU citizens face post Brexit, as well as the difficulties that many people face in the post Covid world.
Marlena’s interests include current affairs, education and fitness and she loves animals.
Dave Smith is a professional IT / business contractor. He has worked in the public and private sectors for 25 years and is now working within the charity sector. Dave has a wide range of skills and experience in IT and uses his skills and experience as the Information Compliance Officer for Citizens Advice Broxbourne.
Dave lives in the District with his partner and they have 7 children and one grandchild between them. He supports his family, works and gives his free time to Citizens Advice to help the wider community. Dave has a passion for the charity sector and Citizens Advice – he feels that as Government services are reducing, the voluntary sector needs to be there to support the needs of the residents in our community.
A life-long resident of Broxbourne, Annie is one of the <1% of Trustees under 25 in England and Wales, hoping to bring a fresh perspective to the strategy and governance of Citizens Advice Broxbourne. Her particular interest in the charity’s strategy is in helping to develop its sustainable fundraising and community presence, to ensure that our clients are able to receive the advice and support they need now and in the future.
Starting her journey in the charity sector at the age of 15, Annie has been involved in voluntary work both internationally; in Ghana and Fiji, and in the UK with the British Red Cross and several local community organisations in a range of roles. These have included working to develop strategy as well as practical support including an event first aider and distributing food to people in need. Annie is looking forward to taking the next step outside of practical volunteering and into a role in governance.
Annie is currently a student at the University of Hertfordshire studying Biomedical Science. With an analytic eye and great attention to detail, her scientific skills are something she will be
able to use in her role as Trustee. Alongside this, Annie is a private academic science tutor for a range of students in the local community.
Outside of her work, Annie spends her time exploring England and various countries around the world, as she has a love for history, food and culture, as well as regularly socialising with family and friends.
Fiyaz Mughal is a social entrepreneur who founded numerous successful organisations including Faith Matters, Tell MAMA, the No2H8 Crime Awards and Muslims Against Antisemitism.
He has worked to influence social policy at a ministerial level and at a regional and national level and was also a councillor for 6 years in Oxford and the London Borough of Haringey. He also has sat on national advisory panels on countering extremism, social cohesion and working on reducing hate crimes and has been a trustee of organisations such as the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, the Jerusalem Interest Free Microfinance Trust and the Oxford Research Group. He currently Chairs the Oxford Research Group and Alcohol Change UK and is co-Chair of the Community Accountability Forum with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).
Fiyaz started his career as a volunteer with Citizens Advice Haringey where he progressed to become the Social Policy officer. His last role in Citizens Advice was as Chief Executive of Enfield Citizens Advice.
Fiyaz joined Citizens Advice Broxbourne because he believes in the localised and personalised services the charity provides. He understands that for many, our service is a lifeline in overcoming insurmountable problems. Citizens Advice services have saved homes, lives and the dignity of many and as such is an essential service.