Executive Leadership Team
Paul Reddish OBE: Chief Executive
After initially starting life in the Private Sector, Paul made the leap into the charity sector to take up the post of Chief Executive of ProjectScotland, a Scottish based charity leading on the support of young scots to get on in life through volunteering.
A serial volunteer, he’s volunteered as a youth worker, sports coach, treasurer and trustee and chair roles of different charities. Paul is now applying all that learning, knowledge and passion for the impact volunteering can have on people’s lives and communities to develop the work of Volunteering Matters. Outside of work, Paul is a keen cricketer and cyclist. The time spent doing both of those over the last few years has declined as he and his wife Lucy try and keep up with their three very active young children.
EMMA THOMAS-HANCOCK: DIRECTOR OF VOLUNTEERING DELIVERY
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.
Stephen Skeet – Director of business development and impact
Stephen has been at Volunteering Matters since 2016. He has a background in supporting young people who have experience of the care system, and young offenders. Outside of work Stephen has a range of volunteer roles in his local community in Ipswich and Suffolk.
He has volunteered as an Independent Visitor in Suffolk. Since 2014, been Vice-Chair of Trustees at The Mix, a Suffolk based Youth Work charity. Since 2018 a Governor of Highfield Maintained Nursery and Children’s Centre in Ipswich. In 2020 Stephen became a Trustee at Raedwald Academy Trust who operate alternative education provision in Ipswich. He’s also a volunteer football coach at St Margaret’s CEVA Primary in Ipswich.
Graham Robertson – Director of Enterprise
Graham is Director of Enterprise at Volunteering Matters and oversees Volunteering Works and Social Enterprise arm – Get The Gen.
He has over 12 years’ experience working in the Charity Sector having previously worked with Amnesty International and Plan International in senior roles in London. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Lawscot Foundation, a charity set up by the Law Society of Scotland and currently chairs their Fundraising Committee.
Graham has a passion for working with young people and supporting Social Mobility, which shines through in every aspect of his work. Before his charity career, Graham was a successful sportsman playing in both Scotland & England as a Professional Footballer for Raith Rovers and Millwall, and still has a passion for all sports.
samina ansari – Head of Communities and Inclusion
Joining the team in Autumn 2021, Samina has roots in youth and community work in one of the most ethnically diverse areas in Scotland. She brings with her over 15 years’ experience of working in the third sector, advocating for gender equality with an intersectional and trauma informed approach, including leading an award winning national ethnic minority women’s organisation, Amina MWRC. Laterally, Samina was involved in improving outcomes for babies, children and young people going through Children’s Hearings, a care and justice system unique to Scotland, and was involved in shaping and developing the organisations first ever equality strategy for over 3000 volunteers and staff.
The golden thread throughout Samina’s career has been working alongside diverse volunteers and communities to instigate and enable change so everyone can thrive.
Currently, Samina is the Vice Chair of a grassroots women’s organisation which supports asylum seeking, refugee communities and sits on a number of advisory boards including Common Purpose and the Rank Foundation, as well as being a Mentor for young ethnic minority people with the John Smith Centre, University of Glasgow.
Trustee Board 2021
Chair: Anne Heal
Anne Heal has been Chair of Volunteering Matters since 2015. In 2020, she was interim Chair of NCVO, where she is now Vice Chair. Anne is a trustee of Balletboyz and a director/governor of the London Design & Engineering UTC. She is also Chair of the Governance and Nominations Committee of Diabetes UK.
Anne currently holds non executive positions at the Office of Road and Rail, Elexon, the General Dental Council, and MOSL – where she is Chair. She previously chaired Thames Water’s Customer Challenge Group. Anne is a member of the Enforcement Decision Making Committee of the Bank of England and of the Regulatory Decisions Committee at the FCA.
Vice-Chair: Pru Whitwell
A senior, colleague-oriented leader who supports leadership teams to design and drive sustainable change that their people understand and can buy into culturally, commercially and personally.
Pru works in the colleague communications and experience team at Aberdeen and has worked in a range of roles across Edinburgh’s financial services sector since arriving from Sydney in 2008. Pru, her partner and two dogs came to Scotland for an 18 month stay but accidentally fell in love with it and have been there ever since. Pru is passionate about equity, fairness and setting people up to be the best they can be through experience, support and access to opportunity.
Simon joined the board in 2020, following a career in the civil service, where he worked in a number of Government departments, specialising in policy and finance. He is also a Trustee of the Kemnal multi-academy Trust, the City Literary Institute (an adult education college), and the London Diocesan Board for Schools. In his spare time he is an enthusiastic canal boater.
Julie Kirkbride is a board Member of Ofsted, a Trustee of the News Schools Network, and a volunteer for Westminster Connects and Beanstalk – the children’s reading charity. She is a former Conservative MP, Daily Telegraph Political Correspondent and BBC TV and ITN News Producer.
Raised in Halifax, Yorkshire, Julie attended a local state grammar school. From there she went on to study Economics and History at Girton College Cambridge and attended UC Berkeley on a Rotary Foundation Scholarship.
Katrina has been a volunteer and activist since the age of 15, advocating for gender equality, human rights, and young peoples’ participation in society. She has led campaigns on topics including period poverty, violence against women, youth sector funding and the incorporation of children’s rights into domestic law.
She has worked closely with UK civil society and charities, the Scottish and UK Governments, as well as international institutions including the Council of Europe and the United Nations.
Katrina is also a graduate of the London School of Economics where she studied Politics and International Relations, specialising in public policy and human rights.
Sue is Chief Executive for national charity Working Options. She has dedicated the last 20 years to the charity sector, working with thousands of volunteers to support young people achieve their potential. Spending over a decade establishing education charity Brightside as a national authority on mentoring, Sue then headed up Hackney-based charity Inspire, celebrating and furthering the diversity and talent of local young people in East London.
Julie-Anne Jamieson is currently Chief Executive of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry, a high profile independent public inquiry. She has worked in a variety of leadership roles within public inquiries, Skills Development Scotland and Scottish Government.
Julie-Anne’s non-executive roles include Immediate Past President of Changing the Chemistry, a charity promoting diversity on boards and she also leads its Strategic Communications Advisory Group. She was a Director of Career Development Institute (CDI), the UK wide professional body for career development professionals for six years and is a former Trustee of Project . Drawing on her professional background in career development, Julie-Anne is a long-standing ProjectScotland volunteer mentor and also does executive mentoring.
When not working, Julie-Anne enjoys singing and getting outdoors as much as she can; whether it be running, walking, cycling or her most recent enthusiasm – sea swimming in Scotland’s chilly waters.
Zara Todd has a background in the social sector around youth work and disability. She is currently a freelance researcher, trainer and facilitator.
Zara has advised the UK Government, the Scottish Government, the British Council, the Council of Europe and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights around accessibility and inclusion.
As well as Volunteering Matters, she is a trustee of Disability Equality Scotland. She is based in Edinburgh with her husband and two cats.
Lanai is in her final year of a paediatric Nursing degree and has volunteered for Volunteering Matters for seven years, predominantly on their youth social actions programmes such as WASSUP (women against sexual exploitation and violence speak up) supporting to build and deliver their toolkits to professionals and young people. This has allowed Lanai to take part in activism on a wider scale particularly focusing on equity and accessibility.
Michael has worked in the financial services industry for thirty years enjoying a varied career in London and New York.
Working as part of a team and inspiring through individual leadership remain the defining characteristics of Michael’s career. Michael began supporting local and community charities while at University. His volunteering journey began during the pandemic when he joined our Grandmentors project in Islington, North London, as a volunteer mentor. Central to Michael’s life is his family and and showing them the importance of helping others to help themselves.
Katie joined Volunteering Matters as a Trustee in January 2023. She is a Director-General in the Department for Work and Pensions, responsible for Disability Health and Pensions. Katie has previously worked in the Department for Health and Social Care, the Cabinet Office, and the Department for Education. She has previously been a trustee for Refuge, a domestic abuse charity.
Sacha joined Volunteering Matters’ board in January 2023. In his previous role as Head of Volunteering for a children’s literacy charity, Sacha was responsible for the strategy to recruit, support and coordinate thousands of volunteers across the country. Prior to joining the charity sector, Sacha’s roles were in leadership and L&D roles within the retail sector.
Moawia has extensive senior board experience in education, investments, housing, social care, and criminal justice. He is an Investment Director, Coordinator for a military charity, Magistrate, and Governor at the largest FE College in the UK.
He holds several Advisory, Non-Executive Director, and Public Appointment roles with various organisations, including the Judiciary, Ministry of Justice, and the United Nations Association. Moawia is also the founder of a charity that provides health and educational services in South Asia.
Moawia is passionate about mentoring future leaders and has personally mentored over 500 mentees. Moawia is a City of London Liveryman and received the Freedom of the City of London in 2021.
President: Lord freud
David Freud was the Minister for Welfare Reform from 2010 till the end of 2016. Beforehand, in 2008/09, he acted as adviser on welfare reform to the UK Government. This followed publication of his independent report in March 2007: “Reducing Dependency, Increasing Opportunity” on the Welfare to Work system.
He was the CEO of The Portland Trust in 2005-2008, whose mission is to encourage peace and stability between Israelis and Palestinians through economic means.
He spent 20 years at UBS, where he was Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Global Head of Transport/Leisure/Business Services, retiring in 2003.
His book “Freud in the City” was published in May 2006 as an insider’s account of what really happened in the City of London through the financial revolution of the late twentieth century.
Prior to his banking career, David worked at the Financial Times for eight years, four of which were spent on the Lex column. He was educated at Whitgift School and Merton College, Oxford.
He has spent the last decade working with Volunteering Matters to develop the ground-breaking intergenerational mentoring project, Grandmentors.