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.


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.


Clare Francis - Project Manager

Clare has dedicated her career to date in working for the charitable sector. She ran community events for a women's charity in Leicestershire before working for The Prince's Trust for 11 years where she fulfilled a number of roles in project management and public sector fundraising. Clare was a New-U trustee before becoming employed as a Project Manager in 2021. Clare is passionate about working with young people to help them develop their skills and experiences and strives to live a sustainable life style which supports New-U's ethos. Clare is responsible for work placement referrals, volunteer management and fundraising at New-U.


Tasha Cobb – Job Share Shop Manager, Norwich

Tasha has a long-standing passion for second-hand clothing, becoming concerned with the environmental impact of the fashion industry whilst studying at fashion college. In 2019, Tasha discovered the joy of swapping and became a regular customer of New-U, deciding to write her Masters dissertation on different clothes swaps. She became a shop manager in 2020.


Debbie Timbers, Job Share Shop Manager, Norwich

Having previously worked in mental health supporting young adults, Debbie was pleased to join new-u to continue helping young adults with diverse needs. Debbie’s calm and positive support in the Norwich shop encourages these young adults to recognise their strengths and to achieve their full potential.


Jason Elwin, Shop Assistant, Norwich

Jason is a former work placement and volunteer who now works as a shop assistant. 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.


Kelly-Marie Humphreys, Apprentice, Norwich

Kelly started with New-U as a work placement in 2021 and stayed on as a volunteer. In November 2020 Kelly began a 6 month Kickstart placement with New-U as a Retail and Digital Marketing Assistant and shortly after that she became an Apprentice with New-U. Kelly has been instrumental in driving up our social media followers by creating relevant posts showcasing the amazing clothes people can swap. Kelly loves serving customers and her confidence has grown tremendously since joining.


Carla Larner, Job Share Shop Manager, Cromer

Carla has worked in charity retail for the last 10 years. She really enjoys being part of making a difference to people's lives. Working at New U in Cromer is the perfect job for Carla as she enjoys life on the coast and has witnessed the change in people's attitude towards swapping rather than buying and the effect fast fashion has on the environment. Once a shopaholic, now spreading the word on how to recycle and reuse, keeping clothing within circulation in our community! Every little helps!


Christine Robinson, Job Share Shop Manager, Cromer

For many years Christine’s career centred around Adult Social Care working with vulnerable adults living in Hostels. Christine retired at the beginning of last 2021, and within a couple of months became bored and needed a new challenge. Quite by chance she saw the New-U Enterprises website for Cromer and applied immediately as felt the job "was right up her street". Christine loves thinking outside the box to find ways to make a difference.


Sean Cowie, Assistant Shop Manager, Cromer

Originally from Essex, Sean started working in charity retail in 2000 as a volunteer and moved to Cromer in 2012. Having experienced how difficult it is for young people to find work, Sean joined the New U team hoping to inspire any young person to see that it might be a long road to find employment, but with the right opportunities, they will be successful. Sean’s drive to succeed is to honour a close friend and former manager who gave him an opportunity to join the charity retail sector.