The Best Student Life. Bristol SU

Trustee Biographies

All seven of the elected full-time SU Officers are also Trustees.

Tom Parry is a final year medical student having previously completed a degree in Virology and Immunology. Tom was the coordinator of Bristol Nightline last year and was awarded Students’ Union Volunteer Leader of the Year for his work in developing and growing the Nightline service.

He hopes to ensure that the SU remains a well-managed organisation which its clubs, networks and societies feel supported by, as these play a vital role in promoting good student mental health. In his free time, he enjoys working backstage, making and painting props for shows.

Tom understands that the last few months have been tough and is looking forward to seeing how the trustee board can help in bringing student communities back together again while still keeping everyone safe.

Filipe Costa Figueiredo is a second year Politics and Spanish student. Having already volunteered in the charity sector, he wanted to apply his passion and dedication as a student trustee.

He further sought this role as he recognises the importance of young trustee representation, especially since less than 3% of charity trustees are under the age of 30 (according to the Young Trustees Movement).

Last year, Filipe was a HiPLA Year 1 course representative, providing valuable feedback from students to the School and Faculty. His interests include learning languages, Model United Nations (MUN), and international affairs.

Joseph Clay is a student of philosophy and politics, and was elected trustee at the end of his first year of study.

This followed a year on the Democratic Standards Committee, which exposed Joseph to the structures and processes of Bristol SU, through attending meetings and helping to organise events. It was his experience here that led him to increase his involvement in the SU, in the hope of helping to maintain and better it for all Bristol students.

Post-university he may work with other charities, so he also considers trusteeship to be good experience.

In the meantime, Joseph has enjoyed other pursuits, such as volunteering, attempting to learn an Arabic dialect, and pondering the mysteries of politics, religion, literature, and philosophy.

Kiran Pillai is a penultimate year law student and a trustee of the University of Bristol Students’ Union. Last year, he was vice president of the Wills Hall JCR.

Kiran became a trustee to use his experience of student government to contribute to the governance of Bristol SU and support the Union in navigating the strategic challenges that it will face over the coming years. Kiran hopes to build on the progress in financial and strategic governance at Bristol SU under his predecessors.

Outside of university, Kiran is a governor of a school in Bristol.

Noelle studied Philosophy and Mathematics at the University of Bristol (BA Hons 2003; MA 2005). She is currently Head of Data Assurance at Uniac, a company that provides internal audit for universities. This follows 10 years in Higher Education in a variety of senior roles.

She has led services of up to 100 people, cross-campus and cross-city. Before moving to HE, she defined and measured success for various public sector bodies and learned to wrangle Excel like nobody’s business.

In addition to her role at Bristol SU, Noelle is a Non-Executive Director at ACH (a refugee-focussed housing association with an education subsidiary). She is also a Trustee for Eastside Community Trust, the charity resulting from the merger of Easton Community Centre, Felix Road Adventure Playground, and Up Our Street.

Raj Kakar-Clayton is currently Managing Director of Bristol based Which? Trusted Traders. He has over 25 years of experience in delivering results, and developing people in the financial/commercial sector to both corporate and medium-size businesses. He's been part of the Bristol business community for over 15 years.

Raj is also a trustee for the Creative Youth Network in Bristol. Raj is a keen rugby supporter, hiker and when he gets the chance, he likes to take his VW campervan on adventures.

He lives with his partner Louise in Bristol. His daughter Lauryn has just started university in Cardiff.

Raj is passionate about bringing the students and the Bristol business community together.

Professor Chris Willmore is an Emeritus Professor of Sustainability and Law. She has been associated with the SU for 45 years as a student and then academic.

She met her husband in the Anson Rooms in 1975. She is barrister by background, and has experience as a trustee of various organisations, including the Gane Trust (an arts charity) and Britain Yearly Meeting (Quakers in Britain) and formerly bodies including the Bristol Old Vic.

She has served as a school governor, Council Leader and as chair of a range of projects including the award winning Armadillo Youth Facility.

She currently chairs a project rescuing and improving a sports facility serving an area of priority social need. She has led projects working with the SU and students which have won national and international awards, most particularly Student Capital, Green Capital which showed students’ role as innovative leaders of city transformation.

Sarah is MD of Pinch Point Communications, an Independent Advisor to the Welsh Assembly Commission, Non-Executive for Manx Care, Trustee of Bristol Students’ Union, and Chair of the Taylor Bennett Foundation.

Starting as a BBC journalist, she has worked in corporate communications since 2000, in-house for Christian Aid, Children’s Hospice South West, First Group plc and the NHS.  She founded PPC in 2013 and the agency works across all sectors, specialising in all areas of change management, staff engagement, strategic communication and issues and crisis management.

She launched Spring Forward in 2018 an annual conference aimed at women who want to run the show. She was also President of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations in 2015 and served five years as a Non-Executive Director of the Health and Safety Executive. 

Sarah started running four years ago, and is evangelical about its benefits.

Professor Sarah Purdy is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) and the former Head of Bristol Medical School at University of Bristol. Sarah is also a Professor of Primary Care at the University of Bristol. Her research focuses on reducing the number of avoidable hospital admissions.

Sarah was appointed as Consultant Senior Lecturer in Bristol in October 2006 and became a Professor in 2014. Prior to coming to Bristol she worked at Hull York Medical School and the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Sarah has a MD from the University of London and a Masters in Public Health from Harvard School of Public Health. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and the Royal Colleges of Physicians of London and Edinburgh.

Sarah completed an executive education programme at INSEAD. She was a visiting fellow at Harvard University from 1995-1997. She works clinically as a general practitioner at Sea Mills Surgery in Bristol.

Last updated 24 September 2020