Retired Magistrate

Ruth Snary - Chair

I was born in Birmingham and then studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. I then worked in the theatre for some years before moving to Bristol with my husband and had two children both of whom are grown up with families of their own. I studied for an Open University degree when the children were small and subsequently became a lecturer in Performing Arts at the UWE, a post I held for 20 years. For the last 20 years I have been a magistrate in Bristol.

My years dealing with students and young people have taught me what an invaluable resource they are for our city but some need extra help and encouragement. As a magistrate have shown me that people may not conform but, with the aid of wonderful projects like SOFA, help can be given so that their lives and those near them can be transformed. I now want to be able to help them.

Private client solicitor in large law firm in Bristol

Edward Porter

I am solicitor advising private individuals and charities. Originally from London I have lived in Bristol for a number of years and am grateful for an opportunity to use my experience and legal skills to contribute to the wider community.

Head of Faculty Strategic Developments, UWE Bristol

Marianne Reed

A mum of two children, I also work full time for UWE Bristol (University of the West of England) in the Faculty of Environment and Technology as Head of Faculty Strategic Developments. Currently I am client lead on large construction projects e.g. the Department of Engineering.  Previously I worked for the Faculty of Business and Law as client lead on a £56m new build project where we built a new facility for Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School.

I have worked at UWE Bristol since 2001. I have worked in different roles during this time including student facing, finance and planning to now project management. I was also a part time fitness instructor for 15 years. Since having my children I have studied part time to gain my PG Cert in Management. I also work as volunteer for the Bristol homeless charity ‘Caring at Christmas’.

I am very excited about being part of SOFA and very happy to be able to offer any skills and experience I may have to this great charity. I have lived in Bristol all my life and have always known about SOFA Project and the good work it carries out. I believe this charity positively impacts on people who may be struggling at certain times of their lives.

Bristol born businessman

Chris Neild

Recently retired from 20 years as a business consultant to biomedical companies, most of them small and in the early phase of development, I previously worked in various countries for an international chemicals/pharmaceutical company and before that in a small family business in textiles in Manchester, where I was born and brought up. I have a degree in German and Philosophy.

SOFA fulfils an important function in supporting the many groups who find life a challenge in one way or another, whether they be purchasers of its products or workers in its operation. I am delighted to be involved and as much as I am able to draw on my business experience to help the organisation thrive and expand its good work.

Wholesale business owner

Kate Clifford

Currently a wholesale business owner based in Bristol, I have also worked internationally as an urban development consultant in very diverse conditions and communities, including in humanitarian work.  As a proud mum of a young son alongside managing a fast-growing business, I know that there are always new and often unexpected ways to solve a problem and manage precious resources to achieve a goal. 


To me SOFA Project has shown that the non-profit sector can be creative, innovative and effective in making sure that neither goods or people’s skills go to waste.  I am proud to join the Trustee team and put my own skills and experience to new and good use as well.


Caroline Turner-Inskip

I was born in London and came to university in Bristol in 2000 to study law.  I have since settled in Bristol with my husband and young son.  I am a partner at law firm Simmons & Simmons LLP and specialise in real estate transactions.    


Having supported SOFA on pro-bono real estate matters in the past, when the opportunity to further support them as a trustee arose, I was delighted to do so. 

Marketing and Communications Consultant

Keith Hicks

I started my career in advertising in London, before taking broader senior marketing roles at Prudential and later LloydsTSB in Bristol. I then joined the senior management team at UWE Bristol alongside other roles such as Governor for a local FE College and representing the sector on national bodies. I now provide consultancy.

I have lived in Bristol for some 25 years. I was drawn to the SOFA Project because it offered a role model for today’s economy – achieving multiple outcomes from each donation in terms of meaningful employment for those in need, rehabilitation of prisoners, help for those on low incomes and preventing landfill.  

Retired charity director

Peter Templeton

Now retired I worked for 25 years for the Workers’ Educational Association eventually as Director of Education & Strategy for England and later Director of Membership, Volunteering & Marketing. My adult and community education experience had a particular focus on disadvantaged adults in communities across the West Midlands.

Prior to that I was a Community Development officer and originally a Town Planner with Telford New Town Development Corporation. I live in Clevedon where I’m active in Sustainable Clevedon – a Transition Town group.

Sustainable Projects Officer

Eddy Piper

I work at the University of the West of England in waste management, predominantly on sustainable projects such as furniture and equipment reuse