to enable people to recover from childhood abuse and lead healthy lives, both physically and mentally


START is a charity which is registered with the Charity Commission, number 1161950. It is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, changing structure in June 2015 from its previous status as a Trust, governed by a Trust Deed dated 26 June 2011. There are currently three Trustees, all of whom have extensive experience in running charities, as well as contributing a variety of professional experience, such as accounting, marketing, IT and leadership.

The Trustees delegate the day-to-day running of the projects to the Director, Carolyn Spring, who leads a staff team including Andy Stephens as Operations Manager, Karen Johnson as Information Manager and Elisabeth Allan who, as a trained counsellor, heads up the Client Support Service.  They are assisted by some part-time admin staff.


Simon Matthews

Chair of Trustees

Simon has been in full-time Christian ministry for over 40 years and during that time was leader of Huntingdonshire Community Church for around 25 years. He also founded and is still Director of Plumbline Ministries International, a family of churches and ministries working together to advance the Kingdom of God. Simon brings a wealth of leadership experience and strategic insight to his role as Trustee of START, with many years’ prior experience of leading teams and charities.

Peter Matthews



Peter Matthews is a qualified accountant, a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accounting, and also a Member of the Chartered Institute of Management. Before retiring in 2005, he was Head of Finance for Ipswich Borough Council. He is currently employed part time as a non-executive Director and Chair of the Board of Ipswich Buses Ltd.

Peter has extensive experience in charity management and is currently Chair of Trustees of Perspectives Pregnancy Crisis Centre in Ipswich; Chair of Trustees/Directors of Talitha Koum Community (a therapeutic care centre for women with addictive behaviour); Chair of Trustees of Capel Community Church; and Treasurer for Plumbline Ministries.

Andy Stephens

Treasurer & Secretary, Trustee, Operations Manager


Andy trained as a Personnel Administrator in the RAF and completed ten years' service including overseas tours in Belize and Saudi Arabia. He then worked for three years as Office Manager for an international laser and optics manufacturer before spending the next seven years heading up marketing communications for European operations. In 2003 he began work for Huntingdonshire Community Church and Plumbline Ministries as Finance and Admin Manager. Andy also has extensive involvement in other charities including managing the St Barnabas Furniture Project, being a Trustee for Huntingdon Area Money Advice and being Chair of Huntingdon and Godmanchester Town Chaplaincy. He began working part-time for START as Finance Manager in November 2013 and came on-board full-time in April 2015.


START currently has two main projects, operating both at a national and a local level respectively: PODS and START Counselling, a low-cost counselling service in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.


For more information, go to www.start-online.org.uk or email mail@start-online.org.uk.