Executive Leadership Team

Oonagh bio picOonagh Aitken: Chief Executive

Oonagh began her career in teaching before working in management roles within the Education Directorate of Strathclyde Regional Council and holding senior posts in Glasgow City Council and Fife Council.

In the mid 2000s, she spent three years at McGill University School of Social Work, teaching social policy and conducting research in First Nations and Inuit communities. She also spent two years in Brussels as part of her role as European Liaison officer at Strathclyde Regional Council, and has European and international experience. Oonagh holds a degree in Modern Languages, a Master’s in Educational Administration and a Master’s in Art History.


Emma joined Volunteering Matters in 2001 and began work with us delivering training in Volunteer Management to external organisations. Now, she is the Director of Delivery and is responsible for the operation of the charity’s volunteering and social action projects and programmes across the UK. This involves ensuring efficient and effective management, delivery against stakeholder requirements, and the development of delivery models which can be scaled and replicated and which demonstrate high social impact.

She is also a trustee of a charity based in Brighton that supports people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction as well as being a Voluntary Sector Community Mentor and the Welfare Secretary for a community football club.


Paul has worked in the voluntary and statutory sectors, specialising in health, children’s services and social inclusion.  As senior policy adviser for the first Children’s Commissioner for England, he brought the voices of children and young people directly into the policy making process.

More recently, Paul was Director of Public Services at the RSA, helping to drive innovative research and influential thought leadership with partners in local government, further education and business. He is now the Director of Strategy at Volunteering Matters, responsible for all our strategic interventions at all levels and across all pillars of activity. He is responsible for analysing the external environment, explaining complex delivery and social models and putting the case for Volunteering Matters interventions and solutions to a broad stakeholder audience.

Trustee Board 2018

Chair: Anne Heal 

Anne Heal has been Chair of Trustees at Volunteering Matters since 2015. She is also a member of the HR, Remuneration and Pensions Committee. Anne chairs the Thames Water Customer Challenge Group and is a board member of ORR, the rail and road regulator. She is also a lay member of the General Dental Council, a board member of ELEXON and also of Ofqual, the qualifications regulator. She was previously Director of Regulatory Affairs for BT Group, leading the regulatory negotiations that led to the creation of Openreach, where she then became MD, Strategy. Anne is also a trustee of NCVO and Ballet Boyz and sits on the Governance and Nominations Committee of Diabetes UK.


Vice-Chair: Andrew Hudson

Andrew Hudson has been a Trustee at Volunteering Matters since 2015, and was appointed as Vice Chair of Trustees in 2017. He is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee, Audit Committee, and the HR, Remuneration and Pensions Committee. Andrew is a trustee at the Mayday Trust and Chair of Trustees at Hackney Doorways. He is also a non-executive Director at the Clarion Housing Group and the What Works Centre for Wellbeing, and an external member of the Finance Committee of Oxford University. He spent most of his executive career in public services, with spells as a Deputy Chief Executive at Essex County Council, Chief Executive at the Valuation Office Agency, and finally Director General, Public Services, at the Treasury from 2009– 2011.


Katerina Rudiger

Katerina Rudiger has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2016, and is Chair of the HR, Remuneration and Pensions Committee. Katerina is the CIPD’s Chief Community Officer. She develops and manages the delivery of the CIPD’s strategy towards its volunteer workforce, community affairs, corporate social responsibility activities and the voluntary sector. Before joining the CIPD, Katerina worked in various research and policy roles for government bodies and think tanks in London and Brussels, looking at skills and employment issues in the UK and internationally. Katerina is the author of a series of policy and research reports on employment, skills and volunteering issues and is a regular commentator in the media and at external events. She also sits on a number of advisory and partnerships boards, including Team London, Plotr and Step up to Serve.

Brian Smouha

Brian Smouha has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2015 and is Chair of the Audit Committee. Brian was a senior partner of Deloitte from 1970-2001, specialising in financial institutions worldwide. His focus has now transferred to the not-for-profit sector with the goal of assisting charities to fulfil their missions. Brian is the Founder and a Trustee of the Coalition for Efficiency, and a Trustee at the Bulldog Trust. He is an Honorary Vice-President at the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Brian has recently completed studying for an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management at the Cass Business School of the City University.

David Wilkinson

David Wilkinson has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2009. He is Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee, and also a member of the Audit
Committee. David is a business adviser from a financial background, helping entrepreneurs grow their companies and manage the issues and opportunities that come from rapidly scaling up their businesses. He is a Non-Executive Director and Chair of Audit Committee for the Goal Group of Companies, as well as Chairman of CH Bailey plc, and a Senior Independent Non-Executive Director at Be Heard Group plc. He is a former Ernst and Young Partner, with former roles as Head of Entrepreneurial Services and IPO Leader at Ernst and Young, and was an audit partner in London and Bristol offices for 24 years.

Peter Bailey

Peter Bailey has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2017 and represents Scotland. Peter has extensive leadership and managerial experience in the social work and social care sectors within both local authority and the voluntary sector. In 2017 Peter retired as CEO of CrossReach – Church of Scotland Social Care Council, where he had been in post since 2009. Prior to this he was the HR Director for CrossReach having previously worked as a senior HR Professional in the Social Work Department of Strathclyde Regional Council. Since retiring Peter has also taken up a position with HMIPS as an Independent Prison Monitor.


Satyen Dhana

Satyen Dhana has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2014. He is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee and the Audit Committee. Satyen is a Partner at the Simmons & Simmons LLP, working in the corporate law sector with a number of high profile blue chip organisations. Prior to this he was employed by Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and Freshfields, Bruckhaus, Deringer LLP. He has over 15 years of experience advising on all aspects of EU and UK competition issues in a variety of industry sectors.


Julie Kirkbride

Julie Kirkbride has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2016 and volunteers with IntoUniversity and Beanstalk, the childrens’ reading charity. Julie is a Public Affairs and Media Consultant, currently working as a communications consultant for Quatro-pr. She is a former TV Producer for BBC and ITN and former Political Correspondent for The Daily Telegraph. She was also the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove for 13 years (1997 – 2010).


Patrick Luong

Patrick Luong has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2016. Patrick is an award-winning Chartered and Certified Financial Planner with over a decade’s experience in long-term financial and investment planning for individuals, families and trustees. Patrick also has vast experience volunteering for a broad range of causes both locally and in Europe. He was shortlisted for the UK’s #GivingTuesday champion 2015 and invited to a parliamentary reception in recognition of his dedication to volunteering and numerous good deeds for non-profit organisations and elderly isolated people across London.


Mitan Patel

Mitan Patel has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2014 and is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee. Mitan works in Finance for Sainsbury’s plc and is a student member of the Charted Institute of Management Accountants. He has formally been a trustee of multiple charities.



Iona Wyn

Iona Wyn has been a Trustee of Volunteering Matters since 2017 and represents Wales. Iona has been the Head of External Communications at the Welsh Government
since 2006. She is a Fellow of the CIPR and Joint Chair of CommsCymru – the network of public sector communication professionals in Wales. Iona is also a Wales Committee Member at Action for Children and is a former trustee at Ty Hafan.



President: Lord Levy

lord levyLord Michael Levy has been President of Volunteering Matters since 1998. He attended Hackney Downs Grammar School, which is a short walk from Volunteering Matters head office (the Levy Centre).

He had a successful career in professional practice and commerce, and built up and sold several successful companies. He was Prime Minister Tony Blair’s personal envoy and special advisor on the Middle East. In addition he was the Labour Party’s chief fundraiser for several years, and was the driving force behind the Academies Programme in education. In 1997 he was made a life peer.

Lord Levy has a long-held commitment to the charity sector with abiding interests in volunteering, welfare and education. He is also President of Jewish Care, JFS and Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade


Advisory Board

John Pulford MBE (vice-president) // Martha Burnige // Richard Harries // Dorothea Hodge // Tim Loughton //  Bob Maggs // Laura Marks // Archie McAvoy // David Mellor // Carole Milner // Madeleine Moon // Joyce Ohajah //  Clare Parry // Sir John Shortridge // Kate Simpson // Carol Tongue // Rolande Anderson