Trustee Board

In non-profit organisations, the board of trustees is made up of elected or appointed individuals who will oversee the function of the organisation, ensuring that the core values and purposes of the organisation are reflected in the operation process. Our Board of Trustees is made up of the Officer Trustees, Student Trustees and External Trustees, get to know them below!

Student Trustee Recruitment

Volunteer Trustee
Minimum of 4 meetings p/year

To contribute to the work of the Board of Trustees, bringing a professional perspective, based on experience and independent judgment. To ensure, as a member of the Board, that the Union complies with all charity, company and other relevant regulatory requirements and best practice.

Please email your completed application, including all attachments, to


Narinder Sharma

Chair of Trustees

Holding a Post Graduate Degree in Law, and an MBA as well as a degree in Pure and Applied Physics, Narinder has a wealth of experience as a strategic leader. He has held Chief Executive and senior leadership roles in diverse and large complex organisations regionally, nationally, and internationally within public/independent healthcare, civic, and not for profit sector, most recently as Chief Executive of the Carers Association. Previous roles were held at AMD Alliance International, Prader Willi Syndrome Association (UK) and Age Concern.

Narinder is Chair of the Trustees at the University of Derby Students’ Union and Chair of Remuneration and Terms at Derby City Council as well as other other trustee roles. Previous non-executive roles include Vice Chair and Audit Chair at Nottingham PCT, Chair of NHS Direct, University of Leicester (Finance and Audit) Council Member, and Board Director of Eurordis (a rare disease organisation based in Paris).

Tony Atherton

Managing Director, ADA Leadership Ltd

More than two decades focused on helping businesses and leaders improve performance through understanding highly effective culture and how to unleash the potential of their people. It's taken me around the world, China, Russia, Singapore and the USA to name a few. Also local to home in Derby and the Midlands and of course London. It's taken me to different industries, Aviation, Banking, Gaming, Renewable Energy, and even Retail High Street Fashion. Across all these cultures, across all these industries one thing is constant... people. They design, build and service it all, and the future is right here being nurtured at the University of Derby.

If I was to join any Student Society it would be the Film Appreciation society! I love the cinema, and you don't sit on as many long-haul flights for as many as I have without cultivating your film library!

What I hope to bring to the board is a broad appreciation of people, business and performance. A career spent working in the people space, a degree of curiosity and experience to help inform decisions and strategies. And a sense of fun. Never forget rule number six folks.

Nicola Hartley

HR Director, UK & Ireland

After completing a degree in Music and working in the classical music business for a while I decided to change tack completely and moved into the field of Human Resources. So for much of my working life I have worked as an HR professional in a variety of different sectors including Higher Education, the BBC, professional services and Consultancy and most recently in the Logistics and Distribution sector. I enjoy the challenge and the sheer variety that a role in HR can offer from developing talent, striving for a more inclusive organisation, partnering with the trade union bodies, costing the benefits strategy and ensuring that our managers are the best they can be, there is never a dull moment.

If I could have any job in the world it would be playing in the orchestra pit in the West End, so therefore the society that I would have to join would be the Musical Theatre Society. I love anything that is a live performance and especially if it involves story telling through song and dance. Even though I’m not one for being centre stage I’d enjoy being a part of the production whether it be behind the scenes, in the chorus or indeed in the orchestra pit.

I hope that I can bring my years of experience working in a whole range of successful organisations to support and challenge the Students Union to be the best employer and service provider to every student that it can be. Alongside my clear interest in creating a sustainable and successful business through the power of its people, my particular passion is coaching and supporting people in realising their potential whatever that may be.

Rosie Smith

Head of Financial Accounting, University of Derby

I studied at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, getting an BA in History and Linguistics before earning an Honours Degree and MA in European Union Studies. Although the subject matter is big step away from my current career, accountancy, I loved that University taught me to think through issues, see different points of view and get on with a large range of people.

I've been lucky to see University from different perspectives: as the daughter of a lecturer; as the child of a mum studying around working a full-time job because she didn't get the chance to attend after leaving school; and as a student myself. Although cliche, I do believe education is an important tool to raise aspiration and allow people to achieve their goals, and as a Trustee, I can play a small part in the process.

Doing a good job and enabling the people I work with to produce their best and move towards their goals is what motivates me.

I would have loved to join a Photographic Society as I was a member during my own university stint and really loved being able to do something creative. It was an opportunity to bring to life pictures I could see in my mind's eye but not be able to produce with my very limited drawing skills. However, as that option isn't currently available at Derby, I'd have to choose the Wine and Gin Society!

What I hope to bring to the Board is varied range of experience and skills to complement the other Trustees.

Andrew Wilson

LLB Law and Criminology Student

I am an Undergraduate LLB Law and Criminology Student at the University of Derby. I chose to study this because I’ve always enjoyed Law and legal procedures on some level. After representing myself ‘in propria persona’ for my own Family Law child arrangements case, my passion and knowledge for Law grew extensively.

As a result of very challenging personal circumstances I wanted to be able to make positive change and offer a fair and impartial support and bring to justice those who do not use the law fairly and equally. I want to change the law so there is more support and funding available for others in similar, and different situations.

I chose to become a Student Trustee simply because after my foundation year at University I realised that students are greatly under-represented and misheard across the country. I quickly realised that if I wanted to help make a difference then I need to be in a place where I can actually voice student concerns and make sure the President and VPs of the Union are actually dealing with the issues that are most common not just the issues raised by the students who are active towards the Union.

My fondest memory so far of being a student is when a fellow student approached me to represent her in court to help her get a restraining order… we were successful!

My daughter is my inspiration, I want her to live in a world that actually treats everyone fairly not just saying it will.

I am currently a member of the Law Society. My attempts to create a new society were short-lived but that’s because the purposes were more aligned to a student action group and this will now be set up as Student Led Service instead… which is still a win!

I hope to bring the entirety of the student voice into the Union and not just the small percent that engages with the Union so far.

Pieter van Ellewee


Pieter van Ellewee is a passionate and dedicated Student Trustee with a wealth of experience and skills. Through their background in human resources, education, and quality assurance, Pieter is determined to positively impact the educational experience of students and contribute to the institution's overall success. Their unwavering dedication to facilitating growth and empowering individuals to reach their full potential will undoubtedly be an invaluable asset to the Board.