A Few Words About

Our Team


Simeon Archer-Rand - Chair of Trustees

Sim has worked as a marine environmental scientists for the past 10 years. Through his work in the UK and overseas he has seen first-hand the devastating impact which waste has on our oceans. When Sim was approached by Sue as a potential Trustee, and was told about the aims of New-U and it's objective to reduce waste in the fashion industry he couldn't wait to help out. Sim became a trustee in 2019 and Chair in 2021.

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Julia Nix – Founder Trustee

Julia is a career Civil Servant and current District Manager for East Anglia Jobcentre Plus. Having been a Princes’ Trust ambassador for the last 30 years and having previously worked with Sue on Talent Match (an employability project) she was approached by Sue to become a Founder Trustee in 2018. With a clear passion to help young people find and retain work and an interest in fashion and hat making Julia has been delighted to join Sue and help where she can to deliver Sue’s vision through New-U over the last four years.


Robert Bradley – Founder Trustee

Rob has been championing New-U since its inception thanks to his role as the manager of Castle Quarter. An experienced retail property manager with over 25 years experience in the shopping centre industry, Rob is always keen to share the benefit of his experience with the Board of Trustees.


Heather Cracknell - Trustee

Heather is a vicar in the Church of England, and has always enjoyed wearing colourful, quirky clothes, which has sometimes posed an interesting challenge! She is committed to avoiding fast fashion as much as possible, so became involved with New-U as a swapper, before coming to appreciate the great opportunities the shops offer to young people to gain skills and confidence. She became a trustee in 2021.


Lou Gardiner – Trustee

As CEO and Founder of ACE, an education and training CIC, Lou has always been a supporter of other social enterprises and charities locally and prides herself on helping other VCSE organisations to thrive. Sharing New-U’s vision of promoting sustainable fashion and helping the environment, while helping young people and disadvantaged adults achieve better lives through improved confidence and work skills. Lou joined the board at New-U in 2021.


Sue Buffin - Founder & CEO

After many years working in the NHS, Sue was looking for a new challenge and took a key role with The Prince’s Trust in 2015 helping young people into work. Recognising a gap in provision for those needing a safe and flexible working environment to gain in confidence and skills, and having the vision to combine this with her passion for up-cycling and reducing textile waste resulted in New-U being formed as an independent charity in 2018. Sue’s tireless determination to maintain the unique combination of addressing social mobility and textile waste reduction has seen New-U flourish and grow.


Laura Blackwell - Project and Operations Manager

Laura has worked in the charity and public sector throughout her career, most recently working at North Norfolk District council supporting a range of economic, cultural and community projects. She has a background in both retail and events management. Working for the National Trust for several years and starting her career in an independent bookshop in Great Yarmouth. She is a passionate and committed environmentalist who will bring a range of skills and experience to the New-U team.


Jason Elwin, Shop Manager, Norwich

Jason is a former work placement and volunteer who now works as a shop manager. When Jason joined he was very shy and lacked confidence but with support from the New-U team he is now happy and comfortable when engaging with customers and using his own experience to help guide new work placements. Jason has become an invaluable member of the New-U Team and is brilliant role model and inspiration to participants helping them to gain new skills and overcome anxiety and self-doubt.


Zach Whittle, Retail & Digital Marketing Assistant, Norwich

Zach works from our Norwich store and before joining our staff team, completed a work placement which led to them continuing to volunteer with us. Zach is a bright and enthusiastic individual who provides excellent customer service and brings their creative experience and photography background to bolster New-U's social media.


Christine Robinson, Upcycling Lead

For many years Christine’s career centred around Adult Social Care working with vulnerable adults living in Hostels. Christine retired at the beginning of 2021, and within a couple of months became bored and needed a new challenge. Christine has been working with New-U since February 2022 and has developed a programme of community upcycling workshops across Norwich and Cromer using textiles that New-U cannot put out in its shops.