Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees is a group of volunteers made up of students, SU Executive officers and experts from the outside world who oversee the governance of the Students' Union, make sure we are operating legally, remain financially solvent and are delivering on the objectives of our strategic plan. 

Below you can find more information about what the Board is responsible for and who currently sits on our Board of Trustees. 

YOUR Students' Union is governed by the Board of Trustees which is made up of the elected Exec Team (Officer Trustees) plus a group of professionals from the wider world selected for their specific skills and expertise (External Trustees) and a group of current students from different areas of the University. Collectively, as the Board of Trustees, this group has ultimate responsibility for everything that the Students' Union does. It is responsible for the governance and financial and strategic management of the Students' Union.

In particular the Board of Trustees has the following three roles:

To make sure that everything we do benefits the students at the University of Sunderland.

As the Students' Union is a registered charity with set aims and objectives, we are required to ensure that everything we do benefits the students at the University of Sunderland. As well as monitoring what the Students' Union is doing now, the Trustee Board approves our strategic plan, ensuring that we will continue to benefit future generations of Sunderland students.

To ensure that the Students' Union remains financially solvent.

If the Students' Union is to carry on benefiting students, it must have the money both in the short and long term to do this. For example, the Trustees have to approve all significant items of expenditure and the annual budget.

To ensure that the Students' Union doesn't break any laws or regulations relating to the work that we carry out.

As the Students' Union offers so many services to our members, there are many laws and regulations that we have to follow. If the Students' Union were found to have broken any of these, it is the Trustees who would be ultimately responsible and could potentially face legal action.

Helder Costa

President: Wellbeing

Helder graduated in 2019 and was elected to be President: Wellbeing 2019/20.

Bryan Pepple

President: Activities and Chair of the Board of Trustees

Bryan studied Engineering at Sunderland and is currently working at the Students' Union as President: Activities in his 2nd term. He is also the Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Himanshu Kalla

President: Education

Himanshu graduated in 2019 and was elected to be President: Education 2019/20

Misson Kumar Das

Misson is a current student studying Law at Sunderland. 

Mandi Purvis

Mandi is currently in her final year of her Criminology degree after taking a year out last year to be President: Wellbeing at the Students' Union.

Dominic Gray 

Dominic is a current student studying Computer Sciences at Sunderland and has been a School Coordinator for the University.


Colin Ranshaw

Colin graduated in Pharmacy from Sunderland in 1974 and has worked in Pharmacy in the Hospital, Industry, Academia and Community Sectors. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) and is a recipient of the RPS Charter Silver Medal. Colin is in his 4th year as a Trustee of Sunderland SU and is also a committee member of Sunderland University Hope Winch Society. Colin is also presently Head Governor of University Hospitals Morecambe Bay NHS FT, Chairman of South Lakeland Hydrotherapy Trust (SLHT), Trustee and Director of Cumbria County Volunteer Services and Honorary Assistant Professor at Nottingham University. 

Marie Foalle

Marie is an experienced Chartered Manager who has committed the past 13 years to improving the lives of individuals and communities, in particular young people who are disadvantaged, vulnerable and most in need. She is a 2012 fellow of the Clore Social Leadership programme.

Sarah Maluila-Tyler

Sarah is an experienced Marketing professional with a background in Education and public services.

Andrew Murtough

Andrew is a highly experienced Finance professional. 

Laura Pike

Laura is a freelance Consultant currently supporting work at Bradford College Students' Union where she was formally Chief Executive.


The Board of Trustees delegate some of their duties to other committees. Who sits on these committees and what they do are described here. The terms of reference for the Board of Trustees is as given in the Union’s Articles of Association. The titles and terms of reference for the Board of Trustees Committees are as outlined below.

  • To keep under review the membership of the Board of Trustees and arrangements for filling vacancies that arise in the Trustee category, taking account of the need to maintain an appropriate mix of skills, knowledge, experience and diversity necessary for the discharge of the Board of Trustees’ responsibilities, including the delivery of the Strategic Plan;
  • Determine the criteria for the short listing and selection of applicants and undertake the short listing of applicants, undertaking a skills, knowledge and diversity audit of the current board members;
  • Advertise the roles available through whichever means they feel suitable but which may include national and local media, targeted communication through the alumni office, approaching specific communities which are underrepresented on the board;
  • If appropriate, undertake interviews of candidates for these roles;
  • To recommend to the Board of Trustees suitable individuals for appointment as External and Student Trustees, who shall vote on each individual by a simple majority vote;
  • To oversee arrangements for the induction, training and development of members of the Board of Trustees;
  • To keep under review and advise the Board of Trustees on such Code of Conduct for Trustees as in force from time to time; In exercising its responsibilities, Appointments Committee will keep under review the contribution and effectiveness of individual Trustees of the Board;
  • The membership of the Appointments Committee shall be as noted in the Articles
  • The Appointments Committee shall normally meet at least once in each financial year
  • Advise the Board of Trustees on any Governance interpretations, proposed changes or other issues;
  • Consider and where appropriate make recommendations for approval to the Board of Trustees any proposals for amendment to the Constitution which have been submitted for consideration by Union Council;
  • Consider and where appropriate make recommendations any proposal to increase democratic participation by student members in elections and policy setting
  • Ensure any proposals for amendments to the Constitution comply with current legislation and are within the scope of the charitable objects of the Union;
  • The membership of the Governance Committee shall be the Deputy Chair of the Board of Trustees, the Chair of Union Council, an officer Trustee and a Student Trustee.
  • The Officer Trustee shall act as the Chair of the Governance Committee;
  • The Union’s Chief Executive or his/her nominee shall attend as Clerk to the committee and in an advisory capacity only;
  • The Governance Committee will normally meet at least once in each financial year
  • General oversight of and provision of advice to the Board of Trustees in relation to the effective and efficient use of the Union’s resources (including any Union Council proposals), the solvency of the Union and arrangements for the management and safeguarding of Union assets in accordance with its charitable objects Consider and, if thought fit, approve for submission to the Board of Trustees the draft annual budget of the Union, including any block grant proposals, prepared by or under the direction of the Chief Executive;
  • Lead the development and implementation of all the Union’s Finance and Human Resources strategies and Procedures including, but not confined to The Procurement Strategy, The Financial Regulations, The Risk Policy, Insurance provision, Employee consultation procedures, including recognition of staff unions, Any Equality and Diversity Policies, Health and Safety, Recruitment of staff, training & development, Staff disciplinary and grievances, Staff terms and conditions including pay grading, a Union complaints policy, payment of the Sabbatical Trustees, any other such policies and strategies delegated to it by the Trustee Board, monitor the performance of the Union against the approved budget and any relevant strategies including the corporate plan and report to the Board of Trustees at regular intervals, with any appropriate recommendations;
  • Approval of financial expenditure outside approved Union budget;
  • Ensure that annual financial statements are prepared and examined, including by the appropriate audit process and submitted for approval to the Board of Trustees;
  • Keep under review and advise the Board of Trustees on the appointment of the Union’s bank and external auditors;
  • Consider and advise Board of Trustees on investment of Union funds, fundraising and sponsorship;
  • Consider and advise the Board of Trustees on Union affiliations;
  • Save for the Chief Executive and post (the direct responsibility for which remains with the Board of Trustees), the Board of Trustees shall delegate to the Chief Executive all responsibilities, within the framework set by the Human Resources Committee, for the appointment, appraisal, suspension and dismissal of Union Staff and the determination of their pay and conditions of employment;
  • The discussions and decisions of the Human Resources Committee where they relate to individual members of staff, or sensitive issues, will remain confidential, except where current legislation requires disclosure. Reports to the Board of Trustees shall maintain the confidential nature of the discussions;
  • The membership of the Finance, Risk & Resources Committee shall be 2 External Trustees, an officer trustee and a student trustee. An External Trustee shall act as Chair of the Finance Committee;
  • The Union’s Chief Executive shall act as Clerk to the committee and attend in an advisory capacity, along with the relevant senior staff members.
  • To implement the decisions of Referenda, Student Member’s Meetings, the Board of Trustees, and Union Council, and to carry out such other activities as it deems appropriate to further the objectives of the Union, within its constitutional aims and policies;
  • To represent the Union at all levels of the University system, and in particular, to attend all appropriate formal University meetings;
  • To present reports on the business of the committee and the Union to Union Council, Annual Student Member’s Meeting and Board of Trustees;
  • To consider the reports of Union Council and its various Committees and present them to the Board of Trustees, through the Chair of the Trustee Board;
  • To review the Union’s policies and to present those policies which are due to lapse during their term of office to the Board of Trustees and Union Council, in order that a new policy can be written on the issue in question, if necessary;
  • To be members of the Union Council and its committees, as specified by the Union’s Articles of Association and the Union Council’s committees’ terms of reference;
  • To present and implement an Executive Committee plan for their year of office, including a campaign plan;
  • The membership of the committee shall be the elected Sabbatical and Non Sabbatical Officers. A Sabbatical Officer shall chair the Executive Committee;
  • The quorum of the committee shall be half the number of members of the committee plus one. (Note:- Half an odd number of Officers is rounded up. E.g If there are 7 Officers, half is treated as 3, so the quorum would be 5);
  • Voting shall be by simple majority. In the event of a tie, the Chair of the committee, shall have a second or casting vote, which shall be always to maintain the status quo;
  • The Executive Committee shall recommend changes to the Constitution to Union Council, as may be necessary;
  • The Executive Committee shall appoint such Advisory Panels as may be required to assist it in its functions, and shall elect or ratify the membership and terms of reference of such Advisory Panels. The Executive Committee shall consider the recommendations of such Advisory Panels. If an Advisory Panel does not convene for one complete academic year, it ceases to exist;
  • The decisions of the Executive Committee shall be made by a simple majority of those entitled to attend and vote at meetings and who actually attend and vote, except where otherwise mentioned in the Constitution. Such decisions shall be binding, subject to the proviso that the decisions of the Executive Committee shall be subordinate to those of Union Council, the Board of Trustees, a Union Student Member’s Meeting or a Referendum of Student members
  • Ensure that the Student members of the Union uphold the good name and reputation of the Union, both within the Union/University and externally;
  • Prevent unacceptable standards of conduct or behaviour contrary to the established policies and procedures of the Union;
  • Ensure that Student members are fully aware of and in compliance with their duties and responsibilities, as stated in the Union’s Articles of Association and Byelaws;
  • Ensure fair and consistent Student Members’ Disciplinary procedures and guidelines are in place, implemented and promoted effectively to Student members of the Union;
  • Oversee the arrangements for student member disciplinary panels to ensure they comply with relevant legislation, the Union’s Articles of Association, Byelaws and disciplinary procedures;
  • Provide advice and recommendations to the Board of Trustees;
  • Review the Union’s procedures relating to the discipline of its members and make recommendations to Union Council on any procedural improvement;
  • The membership of the Disciplinary Committee shall be the Chair of Union Council, an external Trustee and up to two members of the Executive Committee. The external Trustee shall be the Chair. If any of the above are personally involved with any disciplinary issue being considered, they must state conflict of interest and the Union Council will decide on their replacement;
  • The Union’s Chief Executive (or their nominee) shall act as Clerk to the Disciplinary Committee and attend in an advisory capacity only;
  • The quorum of the committee shall be three members, to include the Chair;
  • The Disciplinary Committee will normally meet at least twice (2) times in each academic year, the Chair will meet as necessary to consider disciplinary cases;
  • The Disciplinary Committee is responsible to and submits its minutes, reports and recommendations to Union Council.