Management, Management & leadership

Charity Leaders' Summit - Charity leader line-up

Spend the day learning from exceptional leaders and hear how they overcame challenges similar to those you’re facing. You will leave inspired, with fresh perspectives and renewed purpose.

Your speakers (more to be announced!)

Martin Houghton-Brown

CEO, St John Ambulance

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Martin joined St John Ambulance as chief executive in January 2018. He has a strong track record in leading the development of public service delivery and in policy change with a focus on giving people – especially young people – the chance to fulfil their potential through volunteering, education and training. He comes to St John Ambulance from Depaul UK, where he was chief executive for five years. While at the charity Missing People, he successfully campaigned for a new missing persons law and launched the new national telephone number for missing people.

He has also held roles at the Children’s Society and served as Chair of the YMCA England & Wales board of trustees. In June 2019, Martin was appointed as Chair of the Centre For Youth Impact which reflects his long-term commitment and dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of young adults and children.

Rita Chadha

CEO, Small Charities Coalition

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Rita Chadha joined the Small Charities Coalition in July 2019, having previously worked for various charities at the local, national and international level. Throughout her career, Rita has specifically focused on the issue of equality and diversity, most notably leading the national campaign against the Go Home Vans in 2013. Rita has during her professional career and through her volunteering contributions developed specific specialisms in crisis, change management, and campaigning. She has a particular interest in the changing relationship between local authorities and public bodies and small charities. She was until recently chair of a council for voluntary services in East London and continues to serve as a trustee of three other organisations.

Debra Allcock Tyler

CEO, Directory of Social Change

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Debra has been the Chief Executive of the Directory of Social Change (DSC) since 2001. DSC exists to support charities to serve their communities and their causes and reaches around 15,000 charities a year through its work. She is a Trustee of In-Kind Direct, a Trustee of the Berkshire Community Foundation, Vice-President of the Soldiering On Awards, an AAF (Africa Advocacy Foundation) Ambassador for Women and Girls at risk of or affected by FGM and other harmful practices and until very recently was Vice Chair of Governors of WhiteKnights Primary School. She was the founder Chair of the Small Charities Coalition. She was a member of the Charity Commission’s SORP Committee for 7 years.

After a brief stint in the private sector Debra has spent most of her career in the charitable sector in leadership roles in campaigning, policy development, sales, product development, media relations and training. She is particularly proud of her 14 years as a voluntary Trade Union Officer and the year she spent working with Youth at Risk. She was the first female Programme Director of the Runge Effective Leadership programme. She is a mentor to a number of CEOS and Chairs of Trustee Boards.

Debra is a renowned authority in the field of leadership and governance in civil society, an internationally published author, including the seminal It’s Tough at the Top, a guide for chief executives. She writes ‘The Last Word’ column for Third Sector magazine which reaches around 123,000 people per publication.

Her first volunteering role was at the age of 16, in a local hospice, helping the staff with basic duties such as cleaning and changing beds.

She has a degree in psychology, started a physics degree (until she got side-tracked), is a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the Royal Institution. Her interests are theoretical physics, behavioural economics and politics.

Vivienne Hayes

Chief Executive, Women’s Resource Centre

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Vivienne Hayes is the Chief Executive of the Women’s Resource Centre (WRC). Vivienne has spent over 30 years working in the women’s sector, both delivering and managing services. Her passion is to support and improve the life experiences of women and their children, and most of her work has focused on this. Vivienne was awarded the National Diversity Award 2013 for Gender Role Model. WRC won Third Sector 2014 award for Britain’s Most Admired Charity. More recently, Vivienne was a recipient of an MBE.

Ruth Marvel

CEO, Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

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Ruth joined the DofE in 2019 as CEO. She is responsible for providing overall leadership of the organisation so that DofE can achieve its mission of developing and empowering young people.

Neil Heslop

Chief Executive, Leonard Cheshire

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Neil became CEO of international, pan-disability charity Leonard Cheshire in 2016. He lost his sight aged 21 and is a law graduate from Newcastle University. Highlights of his work include:
• Co-founder of the charity Blind in Business, serving as a Trustee from 1992 to 2018
• Advisor to the UK Government on the introduction of the Disability Discrimination Act
• Co-Chair of the Disability Charities Consortium comprised of the ten largest disability charities. Their work promotes the rights and interests of 13 million people with disabilities in the UK
With 25 years in business, Neil held senior leadership roles in the telecoms industry in North America and Europe. He was CEO of Cincinnati Bell Wireless, and Director of CTIA the Wireless Association in the US, and Head of Strategy and General Manager of Retail and online at O2 UK. In 2002 he was awarded the OBE for services to British Telecommunications and charity. He holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management and a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

Claire Warner

Founder, Charity Well Research

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Claire Warner is a trained fundraising consultant with 20 years' experience in the UK third sector. Claire started her fundraising career in 1997, including roles at the Halle Orchestra, Opera North and the Imperial War Museum North. At the end of 2003 Claire moved into freelance fundraising and consultancy and worked successfully with a number of charities and seven hospices.

In 2017, following an enforced 8-month career break while receiving (successful) treatment for breast cancer, Claire moved solely into consultancy, training and coaching, specialising in fundraising management. She now works with similar sized charities helping them attract, develop, motivate and retain great fundraisers and fundraising teams; and develop organisational cultures which support wellbeing and success.

Claire runs training and workshops as well as in-house versions for charity clients. She is a Trustee of Forget Me Not Children's Hospice and is on the Institute of Fundraising's Standards Advisory Board. Most recently, Claire has joined the IOF Yorkshire Committee and runs their newly launched Leaders Network. In 2018, she founded Charity Well, an initiative focussing on the wellbeing of those in fundraising and the wider charity sector. She lives on the West Pennine Moors in Lancashire, with her husband, their two daughters, Rowan the dog, and Toby the horse.

Siobhan Corria

Head of Inclusion, Action for Children

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Siobhan has been Head of Inclusion at Action for Children since March 2014. Siobhan leads on diversity and inclusion across the organisation, focusing on the benefits of an inclusive culture and ensuring children and young people’s voices are at the heart of the organisation.

Siobhan’s background is in youth justice, social work and politics. She was a Councillor in Cardiff between 2012 and 2014 during which time Siobhan was Chair of the Children’s Scrutiny Committee and Cabinet Member for Children’s Services.

Siobhan was an Executive Director (Safeguarding an Equalities) for Welsh Amateur Boxing Association and is a Trustee for Youth participation charity Pro Mo Cymru. Siobhan founded ‘well-being walks’ for people who have been affected by sepsis in 2017.

Siobhan lives in Cardiff with her two teenage children, her partner and her sausage dog, Archie.

Diane Chilangwa Farmer

Social Science Researcher, PDC Diversity Consultants

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Diane is one of the three founding partners of PDC: Professional Diversity Consultancy (PDC). PDC provides research based advisory services relating to organisational approaches to diversity in employment through both qualitative and quantitative research methodologies.

In 2010, Diane completed her doctorate at LSE’s Gender Institute. Drawing on feminist and organizational theory, Diane’s work and research interests focus on the challenges and indeed, the benefits of living and working in a diverse society. To date, Diane’s research work has centred on ensuring that historically disadvantages individuals are given the opportunity to tell “their story” in a way that reflects their views of reality – be it within the workplace, their communities and/or educational environment. Prior to moving to the UK in 2001, Diane lived in South Africa where she worked for the Financial Times Newspaper as their Business Representative for South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Diane was Ambassador for Womankind Worldwide from 2016-2018. She is currently a Trustee of Concern Worldwide UK (CUK) and a member of the board’s Audit and Finance committee and Fundraising Board member for Maggie’s at The Royal Marsden Sutton.

Polly Neate

CEO, Shelter

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Polly Neate CBE is CEO of Shelter, the housing and homelessness charity. She is a prominent commentator in the media and on platforms as diverse as the Oxford Union and the first Women’s March London, on housing, social justice, leadership and feminism. She was previously CEO of Women’s Aid and, before that, Executive Director at Action for Children. She is a trustee of Agenda, the alliance for women and girls at risk. She was overall winner of the Social CEOs award for best charity CEO in social media 2019 and can be followed on Twitter @pollyn1 and Instagram @pollyatshelter. Polly was awarded a CBE in the 2020 New Year Honours List.

Graeme Reekie

Director, Wren and Greyhound Limited

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Graeme Reekie leads Wren and Greyhound, a creative management consultancy based in Scotland. He is the author of ‘The Lasting Difference’ toolkit, the go-to guide for sustaining non-profit organisations and their impact. He finds it difficult to practise what his company preaches, but he tries, and he’s better at it than writing about himself in the third person.

Aleema Shivji

Executive Director, Humanity & Inclusion UK

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Aleema is responsible for Humanity & Inclusion in the UK, leading a dynamic team to deliver an ambitious UK strategy aligned with our vision and values. She is also the lead for strategic partnerships for the wider HI Network.

She has 20 years of professional experience, including 15 years in international development and humanitarian assistance. Aleema is particularly specialised in the inclusion of disabled and vulnerable people in humanitarian emergencies. Originally a qualified physiotherapist, since 2005 Aleema has worked with HI across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. Her last position before joining HIUK in 2012 was head of mission for our post-earthquake programme in Haiti.

Before working for HI, Aleema worked with BRAC in Bangladesh and as a physiotherapist in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. In addition to her physiotherapy qualification Aleema holds a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development. She is also a Trustee at the University of Sussex, a member of the BBC Appeals Advisory Committee, and until recently, a Trustee of the Start Network.

Davina Goodchild

CEO, LionHeart

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Davina Goodchild has been CEO of LionHeart, the charity that supports RICS professionals and their families, since 2011. During that time she has forged closer working relationships with the RICS, made the process of accessing support through the charity more streamlined, introduced the free professional counselling service and brought in CPD-approved workshops for RICS members.

LionHeart recently agreed an ambitious five-year strategy which it hopes will increase the numbers of people it supports through difficult circumstances, as well as an increased training and development offer. The aim is also to focus on issues that are important to the RICS membership, such as a recent drive to support wellbeing and better mental health. In the near future the charity plans to extend the support it offers people living with cancer sufferers, for example.

Davina’s professional background has always been in the charity sector, having worked for a variety of charities for over 20 years. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute and has a Masters Degree in Leadership and Change.

Adeela Warley

CEO, CharityComms

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A passionate advocate for strategic comms, Adeela Warley is CEO of CharityComms, the membership network for communications professionals working in UK Charities. Adeela was Head of Communications and Experience at Friends of the Earth and helped shape many campaign successes from nature laws, to safer chemicals and climate change. Member of ACEVO, The Marketing Society and RSA Fellow.

Wanda Wyporska

Executive Director, The Equality Trust

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Dr Wanda Wyporska, FRSA, is Executive Director at The Equality Trust, the national charity that campaigns to reduce social and economic inequality. She is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of York, a trustee of ACEVO (Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations), Redthread Youth, and Equally Ours and Governor of a primary school. She is a regular keynote speaker and sits on or has advised a range of bodies, such as the ACEVO race advisory panel, the Fight Inequality Alliance Steering Group, the Sheila McKechnie Foundation Social Power review, NUS Poverty Commission and the Sex Education Forum Advisory Group.

Wanda has over a decade of experience working in the trade union movement, leading on equalities, social mobility and education policy and is an experienced campaigner. She is a TEDx speaker, has spoken at the United Nations, York Festival of Ideas, and chaired a panel at the Women of the World Festival. She regularly comments in the media, having appeared on Newsnight, BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze, Sky News, and BBC 1's The Big Questions, adn written for The Guardian, HuffPo, and The Independent among other outlets.

Wanda was a Starun Senior Scholar at Hertford College, Oxford, where she was awarded a doctorate in European History and subsequently published her first book, Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland 1500-1800 in 2013. It was shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award.