Support . Empower . Advocate . Promote

Management Team

Matthew Hilton

Chief Executive Officer

Matthew has spent over 25 years in the public and not for profit sectors. In addition to his extensive experience of working with ministers, and policy making and delivery in senior Whitehall roles, he has experience of project and organisational development, managing people and resources, including as a University Chief Operations Officer. In addition, Matthew was Chair of the National Deaf Children’s Society until 2015.

In line with our values and ethos, Matthew has joined seAp to help us realise our vision of a society where advocacy can empower people to have more control over their lives and supports them to have their voice heard, underpinning social justice.

Liz Fenton

Deputy CEO

Liz Fenton is responsible for taking forward key strategic developments in service delivery and business development. Her brief includes Organisational Policies, Local Authority Contracts, Quality, Safeguarding, Client Involvement, Volunteering and Evaluation. She has worked in the charity sector for 30 years, most notably as CEO of Voluntary Action Westminster, CEO of Care for the Carers, Expert Advisor on Carers to the Department of Health and most recently as CEO of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers, where she led the project which resulted in the merger with Crossroads Care to create Carers Trust.  Liz has a B.A. (Hons) in Business Studies and is a qualified Executive Coach.

Simon Hicks

Resources Manager

Simon is responsible for overall management of finance, human resources, ICT, and health and safety. This includes policy and procedures, strategic and operational issues and internal and external reporting. He works closely with the Management Team, particularly in relation to budgets and financial control issues and takes care of seAp’s insurances, coordinates facilities management and oversees seAp’s approach to environmental issues.

Simon has over 20 years experience and has previously worked as Head of Finance for Creating Futures Ltd, Sussex Oakleaf Housing Association and Knowsley Care Society. Voluntary roles have included serving on the Board of Prospect Housing Association, Collingwood Housing Association and as Honorary Treasurer of Mid-Sussex CVS.

Chris Noble

Area Manager (South West region)

Chris joined seAp at the start of the NHS Complaints Advocacy 'ICAS' contract in 2006 after working for the Citizens Advice Bureau as a Mental Health Project worker, helping people with severe and enduring mental health difficulties, including representing their interests at Tribunals.

After achieving both a Law Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Law, Chris’s career focussed on working in the voluntary sector. Now seAp's Area Manager for our South West region, she has considerable experience of providing, developing and managing advocacy services with seAp, as well as delivering advocacy training for the Qualification in Independent Advocacy. Chris carries senior management responsibility for seAp's Standard Operating Procedures and our specialist Focus Groups which ensure good practice is developed and shared across the organisation.

Sarah Deason

Director of New Business & Marketing

Sarah joined seAp as the Kent Team Manager in October 2014 after many years working with young people with emotional, behavioural and social difficulties.

Joining the seAp Senior Management Team as Area Manager for the South East region in January 2019, and taking on responsibility for generating new business and funding streams, alongside branding, marketing and Advocacy Training in May 2019, Sarah brings considerable experience of operational and strategic management of services, having previously led on the implementation of seAp's largest contract, Kent Advocacy. She was also the organisational Lead for Care Act Advocacy for over 3 years from the start of this statutory requirement for advocacy, ensuring cross-organisational learning and development to create consistency in our delivery of this service.

Sarah has an MSc in Careers Guidance specialising in education for young people with autism, is PRINCE2 qualified and has an ILM Level 5 Certificate in Leadership and Management.

Graeme Clark

HR Manager

Graeme Clark has over 15 years’ experience in the field of Human Resources and is CIPD qualified. He joined seAp in 2010 and is currently responsible for Human Resources and internal Learning and Development. This includes policies and procedures, strategic and operational issues and covers ‘the employee lifecycle’.  

His experience in areas such as Organisational Development, Information Systems, Employee Relations, Reward and TUPE support seAp as it continues to navigate challenges in the sector from both external and internal influences. Starting with seAp as a HR Advisor, Graeme has since moved into his current role as HR Manager. His previous work in the public sector (Civil Service and Education sector) and wider background in dealing with ‘people’ means he is acutely aware of the value of having an empowered and supported workforce in place to deliver the organisation’s aims and 20:20 Vision.

John Vago

ICT Manager

John has been our ICT Manager since 2015. He has led seAp's transformation to web-based IT systems and improved our ability to manage and report on our data. Before moving down to the south coast and working for seAp, John worked for the Samaritans for 6 years as their IT Systems Manager and the technical lead for the Connect project. Before that, he spent 6 years working as a Technical Services Manager for a music company. John began his career in IT with British Telecom where he trained as a logistic engineer qualifying as a BT Materials Planner with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supplies. With an interest in computing and databases, he moved to BT Web Services and then BT Ignite.