We aim to make our website as accessible as possible. However if you use a screen reader and require debt advice you may find it easier to phone us instead. Our phone number is 0 8 0 0 1 3 8 1 1 1 1. Freephone (including all mobiles).

StepChange appoints three new members to its Board of Trustees

29 June 2023

StepChange Debt Charity is delighted to announce the appointment of Liz Harding, Mike Ashley and Sue Acton as Trustees, who will join the Board on 1 July.

StepChange conducted a comprehensive and extensive search process to find new expertise to support the future direction and strategy of the charity. In particular, the charity sought lived experience of problem debt, as well as a depth of experience across the financial services sector. The appointments have been made after former Trustees stepped down due to term limits.

The appointments come at an exciting time at StepChange, with former Director of Operations Vikki Brownridge recently succeeding Phil Andrew as Chief Executive.

John Griffith-Jones, Chair of StepChange of Debt Charity said:

“The whole Board is delighted to welcome Liz, Mike and Sue, as trustees. These appointments will bring diverse insight from both the third and private sector as well as lived experience of problem debt. Their expertise will be vital as the charity charts its path during a once in a generation cost of living crisis as well as a new funding landscape.”

Liz Harding said:

“It’s an honour to be joining the StepChange Board of Trustees at such a pivotal time for people in problem debt in this country. As someone with both a long career in the third sector and with lived experience of problem debt, I look forward to bringing an understanding of the importance of meeting individuals’ needs and ensuring clients and consumers remain at the heart of the charity’s decision making.”

Mike Ashley said:

“I’m thrilled to be bringing my risk management and retail banking experience to the StepChange Board of Trustees. The cost of living crisis has exacerbated many existing challenges for household finances and the support provided by the debt advice sector. I look forward to contributing to StepChange’s mission of helping the people in this country who are struggling with their debts.”

Sue Acton said:

“It’s a privilege to become a StepChange Trustee and to contribute to the vital work the charity does to support people in problem debt. As someone with a banking background who has worked directly with people experiencing financial vulnerability, I know first-hand the difference this support makes. I look forward to working with my new colleagues on the Board as StepChange continues to make a difference.”

Notes to Editors

Sue Acton is a freelance consultant with expertise in customer vulnerability, financial services and gambling related harm, and lived experience of financial difficulty.

Sue held senior roles in operations, marketing, and diversity and inclusion at Barclays. More recently she worked at Monzo as part of the vulnerable customer team. She also has small business and third sector experience, and is studying for a Master’s degree focused on workplace wellbeing.

Mike Ashley was until recently a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of Barclays Plc, a role he took on following retirement from KPMG in September 2013, where he was primarily an audit partner focussed on the banking sector.

He is currently also a member of the Cabinet Office Board and Chair of its Audit and Risk Committee and is a trustee at the Charities Aid Foundation and at The Scout Association.

Liz Harding brings lived experience and a true passion for the cause to the Board as a previous beneficiary of StepChange’s life changing services.

She is CEO of ‘Hearts Together’, a charity in Devon which works collaboratively with the local NHS Trust to deliver support services and hospital hotel accommodation for patients, carers, relatives, and healthcare professionals.  Since taking up this role in 2017, Liz has led the charity through a period of change and transformation, developing a sustainable operating model to expand and enhance its services.

About StepChange Debt Charity

StepChange Debt Charity is the UK’s largest debt advice charity, helping hundreds of thousands of people a year.

Founded in 1993, StepChange supports people experiencing debt problems through telephone and online services, and campaigns for change to reduce the harm and stigma associated with debt.

How your readers can get help with their debts

We provide the UK’s most comprehensive debt advice service, from budgeting tips through to managing debt solutions that enable to people to pay off or clear debts. All our free debt advice is available by phone or on our website.

StepChange is currently experiencing problems with imposter firms, who pass themselves off as the charity in online adverts. As these imposters are prominent online, if you are directing an advice seeker towards our services, please include a direct link to our website:


Our Helpline: 0800 138 1111

Media Enquiries

General – 0207 391 4598 // press@stepchange.org

Out of hours - 07985 404153

Media Centre

Social media

Connect with us through social media and get all the latest news about our campaigns.