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How we are managed

Turn2us is governed by a board of trustees who give the charity the benefit of their extensive experience in a non-executive capacity. Our Trustees do this on a voluntary basis.

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Turn2us management

Thomas Lawson - Chief Executive

Thomas Lawson has worked in the social sector since the early 90s in international development at UNICEF, HIV at Terrence Higgins Trust and NAM (the charity behind Aidsmap), criminal justice at Prisoners Abroad and most recently in youth work at the award-winning Leap Confronting Conflict.

Recently he has been challenging the sector to address the barriers to success in the sector for people from black, Asian and other ethnic communities. Tom has also served on the boards of the Centre for Youth Impact, Heart ‘n Soul and the National Peace Council.

He joined Turn2us in March 2019. Thomas is interested in how the social sector can work with and challenge state bodies and companies to create an inclusive society in which everyone can thrive. He is passionate about the role that people with lived expertise can play in the future of the leadership of the social sector.

Jamie Grier - Director of Income and External Affairs

Jamie began his career in marketing, managing campaigns on behalf of clients including Vodafone, Diageo and Budweiser. Since joining the charity sector in 2005 he has worked in fundraising and development roles at a number of charities spanning conservation, health, armed forces and education. Jamie joined Turn2us as a Director in 2017, leading the fundraising and communications teams.

Sonya Ruparel - Director of Programmes and Partnerships

Sonya Ruparel joined Turn2us in August 2019, coming from ActionAid International as Acting Humanitarian Director. Sonya focused her 10 years in the humanitarian sector on women’s leadership, shifting power and accountability to affected communities.

Her interests are promoting social justice through an intersectional feminist lens and ensuring a strong gendered analysis is front and centre of all anti-poverty work.

Sonya has previously worked at ActionAid, Defeating Deafness and Barnardo’s and served on the Board of the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN) for two years.

Jo Kerr - Director of Impact and Innovation

Jo Kerr has dedicated her career to the social sector, focusing on strategy, leadership and change through a digital lens. Jo joined Turn2us in January 2020 after two years as a freelance consultant and leadership coach. Jo is interested in innovating how we work as well as what we do, and is passionate about co-producing our products and programmes with people with lived experience of poverty.

Jo’s last in-house role was as Assistant Director of Digital for Breast Cancer Care. Before this, Jo was Girlguiding’s first Head of Digital Communications. Agency-side, Jo was managing director for London at Reason Digital, overseeing their work with national charities.

Jo is a Fellow of both the Intersticia Foundation and Newspeak House — the London College of Political Technologists. She is also Chair of the Board of Trajectory Theatre.

Thomas Mathew - Director of Finance and Resources

Tom Mathew joined Turn2us as Director of Finance and Resources in February 2020. He has held similar positions in the charity sector for over a dozen years, including at the City of Dublin YMCA and the award-winning youth charity Leap Confronting Conflict. In a previous life, Tom work professionally as a writer. He is an award-winning essayist and a grant recipient through the Irish Arts Council.

At Turn2us, Tom oversees the charity's finances, risk management, human resources and ICT. 

Dawn Jackson - Head of Grants Services

Dawn has worked within the Charitable and Housing sector for over 35 years working with people in need. This has included working as a front line worker with newly arrived refugees in the UK, and later working with ex-offenders. Dawn has managed services for street homeless people, young people and women fleeing domestic violence.

Dawn spent five years as a grant funder, managing housing related funding programmes for innovative housing solutions, and prior to joining Turn2us Dawn worked as a regional manager across seven local authority areas managing home improvement agencies. Dawn has been with Turn2us for 10 years.

Namita Harvey - Head of Supporter Development

Namita joined the Turn2us team in September 2017. Having worked within the fundraising and marketing function in the charity sector for over 11 years, she now provides leadership and direction for Turn2us’ Individual Giving fundraising strategy with a key focus on developing a supporter centric fundraising programme.

Turn2us is always keen on developing new fundraising partnerships and initiatives. To find out more about opportunities to support our work please contact us by emailing fundraising@turn2us.org.uk.

Simone Ranson - Head of Digital

Simone joined the Turn2us Digital Team in October 2019.  She has worked in the Charity and Public Sector throughout her career; and has led on digital innovation at Diabetes UK and The Scout Association. Simone heads the Digital Team at Turn2us, leading a multidisciplinary team of Technical Developers, Product and Project Managers to improve our digital services through feedback and evaluation, enabling us to deliver a digital platform which supports people in financial need.

Sara Willcocks - Head of Communication

Sara joined Turn2us in June 2019. Having started out in consultancy and the corporate arena, she joined the charity sector 10 years ago and has worked within a variety of PR, communication and marketing roles. Most recently she was the head of marketing and communications for a faith based charity that supports vulnerable children and families.  At Turn2us, Sara and her team are responsible for leading the external communications and policy work that underpins the charity’s purpose and strategic aims.

Michael Clarke - Head of Information and Helpline

Michael Clarke has previously worked in senior digital content and services roles for Asthma UK, the University of London, commercial digital agencies and BBC Online. He supports team members working on delivering and developing help and information channels across digital channels, phone and through partnerships.

Trustees

Sally O’Sullivan - Chair of the Board of Trustees

Sally O’Sullivan joined the Board of Trustees in March 2010, became Deputy Chair in 2013, and became Chair in 2017.

Sally has had experience as a non-Executive Director in broadcasting, utilities, education and ethics. She was formerly Editor-in-Chief of Ideal Home, Good Housekeeping, Homes & Gardens and  was Founder and Chair of August Media from 2005 to 2018 when the company was sold to Publicis.

Richard Midmer - Deputy Chair and Honorary Treasurer

Richard Midmer became a Trustee in June 2014.

Richard began his working life as a civil engineer in the water industry. After a completing an MBA in 1984, he joined the oil business, initially with Esso UK plc which involved a variety of financial and commercial roles in both the UK and the USA over a ten-year period.  Subsequently he joined British Borneo Oil & Gas plc where he was appointed Finance Director in 1999.

Following the acquisition of British Borneo in 2000, Richard moved to the Care Homes for the Elderly sector and has since taken on a variety of senior roles including that of Finance Director of NHP plc and Southern Cross plc. His final role before retiring in 2017 was working with a group of investors as the Asset Manager for a portfolio of ninety care homes for the elderly located throughout the United Kingdom.  

Richard chairs the charity’s Finance and Investment Committee and is chair of the EFHL Board.

Richard Carter - Trustee

Richard Carter was a senior civil servant, working in the Department of Health and its associated bodies for over three decades. His roles included being private secretary to two ministers; being head of legislation for the Department and policy roles in information, public health, research, and life sciences industry policy. In addition, he spent two periods on secondment to NHS organisations.

Richard retired from the civil service in 2016 - his last role having been as Deputy Director, Research Workforce. He is an active member of the Church of England (he is currently churchwarden of St Peter Eaton Square) and has volunteered as a trustee with a number of bodies in the health and social policy domain, a credit union, and also with the organising committee of a concert series.

Richard became a Trustee in June 2017. He is currently Lead Trustee for Governance.

Helen Chambers - Trustee

As a founder of Inspiring Scotland, Helen has been acknowledged as one of Scotland’s leading social policy thinkers and has contributed to some of the country’s most cutting edge developments in the past decade.

Helen joined Inspiring Scotland from the civil service where she worked on addressing child poverty and brings knowledge, experience and passion in using social entrepreneurship to fight social inequality in Scotland.

She is a member of a number of academic groups on equality, social impact, research and evaluation including representing the UK in the European Union’s Social Impact Study Group and currently sits on the School of Management Advisory Council for the University of St. Andrews.

Helen became a Trustee in October 2019 and is Chair of the Edinburgh Trust Committee.

Dr Olivia Curno - Trustee

Olivia is Chief Executive of the Vision Foundation, which works to address inequalities faced by blind and partially sighted people. Prior to this, Olivia led the fundraising teams at children’s mental health charity Place2Be, and autism research charity Autistica.

Before joining the charitable sector professionally in 2008, Olivia was a researcher and lecturer in Evolutionary Biology at the Universities of Nottingham and Derby. Olivia lives in central London with her partner and two small children who all enjoy exploring the city they love. 

Olivia became a Trustee in April 2016.

Henry Elphick - Trustee

Henry Elphick is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of LaingBuisson, a leading healthcare business intelligence company. Previously he spent 22 years in law and banking with Linklaters, Rothschild, UBS and then Jefferies as Joint Head of European Healthcare Investment Banking. He has advised boards and investors on a number of high-profile transactions across healthcare, social care and education.

Henry is also an advisor to the International Longevity Centre UK think tank, was formerly the Chair of Elizabeth Finn Homes for 8 years and is a solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

Henry became a Trustee in May 2013.

Steven Hunter - Trustee

Steven Hunter is a chartered accountant with more than thirty years’ experience, the last twenty of which have been spent running and building small businesses in the publishing/marketing sectors.

After qualifying with Coopers & Lybrand (now PwC), he spent 12 years there before heading up the financial reporting function at Mercury Communications, part of the Cable & Wireless group. He then co-founded a magazine publishing company (subsequently sold) and in 2005 set up a content marketing business which was sold in 2015 and which he left in 2019.

Steven is a keen golfer and skier and has two grown up children. He became a Trustee in June 2017 and is currently chair of the Audit, Risk & Governance Committee and Lead Trustee for Safeguarding.

Thomas Morgan - Trustee

Originally from Lincolnshire, Tom has been based in London for the past 18 years where he is an Executive Director with responsibility for the UK healthcare practice at CBRE, the global property advisory business.

Tom advises clients in relation to all property aspects of the health and social care sector, covering care homes, retirement living, hospitals and primary care. Tom specialises in investment advisory across these different markets and he works with a range of clients from local not for profit organisations to multi-national investment businesses.

Away from work, Tom is married with two children and spends his spare time enjoying the North Norfolk coast, watching and occasionally playing sport as well as coaching youth football teams in the FA South London Youth league.

Tom became a Trustee in March 2019.

Lord John Sharkey - Trustee

Lord Sharkey is a Liberal Democrat Peer, and joined the House of Lords in December 2010. He was joint managing director of Saatchi and Saatchi UK before he founded his own advertising agency. He was Nick Clegg's strategic adviser in 2007 and chair of the party's 2010 General Election campaign.  He is also a trustee of a number of charities and not-for-profit think tanks, details can be found in the UK Parliament Register of Interests.

His roles in the Lords are as follows:

  • Economic Affairs Committee Jun 2015 - present
  • Information Committee (Lords) Jun 2014 - Aug 2016 
  • Draft Deregulation Bill (Joint Committee) Jul 2013 - Dec 2013 
  • EU Sub Committee F - Home Affairs, Health and Education May 2012 - Mar 2015 

In 2013, Lord Sharkey tabled an amendment to the Banking Reform Bill calling for payday loans to be capped at £300, and a cap on charges at 10 per cent of the loan value. He also called for time restrictions on loan terms and grace periods for all loans. The Financial Services (Banking Reform Bill), which contained the cap on payday loan costs, received royal assent in December 2013.

Lord Sharkey became a Trustee in March 2019.

Jo Wickremasinghe - Trustee

Jo has nearly 20 years experience in digital product and programme management. Jo has led a number of digital product teams at News UK, Which?, Microsoft and the BBC where she was responsible for the launch of the 2011 Design Award nominated BBC Homepage and the market leading BBC Weather apps.

During her time at Which? she launched a number of new digital businesses including Which? Trusted Traders. At News UK she oversaw development of The Sun online, growing to be the number one digital newspaper in the UK; introduced data driven experimentation to optimise the subscription funnel for The Times; as well as ‘lean start up’ methodologies to incubate new business ideas.

She is currently Product Director at Zoopla. Born and raised in Australia, Jo started her career as an Aerospace Engineer, moving to the UK in 1998 to work for British Aerospace. The hype of the first dotcom bubble in 2000 enticed her into technology, and she’s never looked back.

Jo became a Trustee in March 2019.