Our Board

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Up to 12 Board Members from varying professions and backgrounds are responsible for the strategic direction of Arc and for the continuance of our purpose in a changing environment.



Our Chair of Trustees is Lynn Emslie.


A career covering acute healthcare, mental health, health in criminal justice and Local Authority social services, Lynn originally qualified as a diagnostic radiographer before qualifying as a social worker and working in a wide range of health and community settings.

Focusing on mental health and people with complex needs, Lynn championed the requirement to improve access to services and reduce health inequalities, especially for prisoners and those at risk of offending.

Working strategically across the Department of Health and NHS, Lynn worked to inform policy by linking academic research into service development; including the voluntary and private sectors. She then led NHS commissioning and quality monitoring within NHS England and supported the establishment of local, regional and national governance structures.

Working as a senior manager, Lynn gained in-depth experience of partnership working within and across a wide range of sectors and strategic development across Government departments.

Lynn now works independently and holds Non-Executive Director, Special Advisor and Trustee roles across the not-for-profit and regulatory sector. She has also published the Jasper and Milo series of books for children and has developed an approach to encourage First Reading.

Gillian-Girling-pic-cropped.jpg   Gillian Girling 

I trained as a Dietitian, working in the NHS for 10 years, before setting up a company in the early 90s renting specialist retirement accommodation to people aged 60+. I retired in 2019, having previously sold the company to a large social housing provider in 2014.

I have been a supporter of Arc for several years and now I have more time, I am pleased to utilise my experience in the property field and in developing and managing a small/medium size business, to support further. It has been fascinating getting to know more about Arc since joining the Board and I am honoured to become a small part in the development and oversight of this important organisation improving people’s lives.

Richard-Foley-pic-cropped.jpg   Richard Foley

I started out as a volunteer with people who were homeless on the streets of Nottingham and have worked since both in homelessness and primarily addictions. Working first as a night support worker in a homeless hostel, then various harm reduction and drug worker roles and then gone on to commission and manage services, mainly in the community but also within prisons. I currently support several NHS services in Devon.

I'm excited to be involved with Arc whose ethos, supportive approach to people and courage to do things your own way I find inspiring!

If you are interested in joining our Board, please contact Sarah on [email protected]

Vivian-Love-pic-cropped.jpg   Vivian Love

My background is as a Chartered Certified accountant and I qualified in 2006.  I have worked in both practice and industry over the years, and more recently I have been working for housing associations/charities.

I wanted to become a Board member as I feel I can bring my experience from my roles in larger organisations to support the Senior Management Team at Arc.  It is a privilege to be involved with Arc and to see the dedicated staff team really make a difference to our clients’ lives.

Victoria-Stoker-pic.jpg   Victoria Stoker

I am a Fellow of the Institute of Financial Accountants as well as a Fellow of the Institute of Taxation Advisers. I have experience in working with many small to medium sized organisations in a financial capacity as well as in planning for development and growth and have worked within the charity sector in the south west in financial / HR roles for several years. I have financial experience in many areas but in particular; new business start-up advice, VAT, management accounts, and cost accounts. I also have experience in Human Resources.

Since joining the Board I’ve enjoyed working with Arc and am very much looking forward to being part of its journey into the future.

Karen-Ayling-pic.png   Karen Ayling

Initially a History teacher, I have worked in the social Housing sector since the mid 1980’s.Firstly for Local Authorities and from 1992 for Housing Associations. I qualified as a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing in 1992 becoming a fellow in 2000. From 2004-2008 I was Director of Housing at Thames Valley HA based in London and the SE and from 2008-2014 Managing Director of Westcountry based in Devon and Cornwall. I have been a freelance interim Executive since 2014.
I have been a board member in the SW in the past and enjoy seeing the work carried out in the sector from “the other side of the table “.

I firmly believe that everyone should have a place that they can call home and I look forward to being part of Arc on its journey to supporting individuals into secure and permanent accommodation with the support they need to thrive.


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Registered as Co-operative and Community Benefit Society No. 23680R.  Arc is the trading name for Taunton Association for the Homeless.