Our Staff

Business Support Manager - Carolyn Stiles

Carolyn's role at Cholmondeley is really varied and, as the name suggests, she supports the organisation but in lots of different ways. On any given day you could find Carolyn looking at our finances, debating fundraising campaigns with the Sustainability Team, helping with recruitment or making sure the building is the right temperature for all the tamariki and staff – each day is different and very interesting and she thoroughly enjoys it.

Carolyn is from the UK (West Wales) where she spent about 11 years working for a bank and then 11 years working for one the UK’s biggest insurance companies. After taking some time out to migrate to New Zealand and have a baby, she then stepped into a general management role at SportsMed based in Christchurch. Carolyn also has a number of year’s governance experience having sat on Boards for organisations both in the UK and New Zealand.

"I’ve found a great philosophy throughout my life is 'Always treat others as you would want to be treated yourself'. So whether you are communicating with children, whānāu, community, staff or whoever - just doing all those things that you would want from them usually makes for a winning combination."

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Service Development Manager - Edwina Poynton

Edwina is originally from Ireland and comes from a long career in social work in the UK and here in New Zealand.

The cornerstone of Edwina's practice is working from a strengths perspective and enabling the voices of children to be heard in decisions that are made affecting them.

Edwina oversees the operational and practice management for care services and the strategies for social work and the psycho/social environment that the children experience.

Edwina is also a board member for Fostering Kids (formerly New Zealand Family and Foster Care Federation).

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Sustainability Manager - Annelies Basten

The Sustainability Team aims to secure a sustainable future for the children of Canterbury by raising essential funds and nurturing relationships in the community vital to the continuation of Cholmondeley's service.

Within the team, Annelies is responsible for leading the Corporate Partnership programme, assisting executive management with the Major Donor scheme, managing donor relations, and collectively with Renee, the development and implementation of fundraising campaigns and events.
In her spare time you may find her in the ocean, pool, on her bike or running the hills and mountains as well as raising a beautiful daughter called Izzi.

Annelies has worked in the not-for-profit sector as a fundraiser since 2010 and has a Masters in Human Resources.

“Never get tired of doing little things for others, sometimes those little things occupy the biggest parts of their hearts.”

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Sustainability Manager - Renee Cornelius

The Sustainability Team aims to secure a sustainable future for the children of Canterbury by raising essential funds and nurturing relationships in the community vital to the continuation of Cholmondeley's service.

Within the team, Renee is responsible for planning and implementing fundraising campaigns and events, writing and editing copy for print and web, as well as leading Cholmondeley's Trust and Grant programme. Renee has a background in marketing, communications and story-telling, and has nearly five years’ experience working in the not-for-profit sector.

"I'm passionate about the concept of sustainability as it applies to fundraising, particularly when it comes to connecting people with the causes they really care about. I believe this is the key to creating meaningful and lasting change in our communities."

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Practice Team Leader - Johno Harris

Originally from Nelson but now living locally in Governors Bay, Johno is a registered social worker who also has a background in outdoor education. 

Johno works alongside our Te Kairuruku Mahi Matatoa/Adventure Based Learning Coordinator, and education and care staff to plan and lead the integrated education programme. This includes outdoor adventure and experiential activities that promote wellbeing and learning, develop skills, confidence, and are fun.

“It is a wonderful time to be part of the team at Cholmondeley, there are so many positive things happening and I am really excited to be making a contribution.” 


Child and Youth Care Supervisor - Sharon Ellingford

Sharon is of Ngāti Kahungunu descent.

With over ten years of experience in supervisory and leadership roles at Cholmondeley, Sharon now leads the development of bicultural practice at Cholmondeley. Working closely with Māori kaimahi/staff to disseminate learning throughout the wider organisation, Sharon’s role is to ensure that all children benefit from an environment that reflects and celebrates Te Ao Māori.

Sharon is currently participating in the NGO Leadership Development Programme (established by the Executive Development Programmes at University of Canterbury in conjunction with the Ministry of Social Development and Leadership Lab) to make leadership resilient and sustainable in the future.

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Respite Care Coordinator/Social Worker - Melissa Trilford

Melissa has extensive experience working to ensure the wellbeing of children and families. She first joined the Cholmondeley team in 1997 as a care worker. Since 2001 Melissa has held various roles and responsibilities within the organisation, including: staff recruitment, training and supervision; centre management; outreach social work; and the running of parenting support and education groups.

Melissa is a fully registered member of ANZASW. She has also been a foster parent for CYF and performed Strengthening Families contract work.

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Receptionist/Administration - Anne Haylock

Anne has been with Cholmondeley since 2005. Anne brings to the Cholmondeley team extensive experience in reception, administration, and office management. Anne has sat on the Board of Trustees for both primary and intermediate schools in Christchurch, has been a playgroup supervisor, and taught Sunday school.

Anne is often the first point of contact for Cholmondeley clients and supporters.