Coronavirus: Advice for your organisation 


Volunteering and coronavirus: How you can help

NCVO's Trustee Board

Honorary Officers

Dr Priya Singh, chair

anna heal

Dr Singh has a background in general practice, specialising in medical law, ethics and patient safety. 

During her executive career with a leading international mutual membership indemnity organisation, she was responsible for professional services to 290,000 doctors, dentists, and other health professionals around the world.

She is executive director of the Society for Assistance of Medical Families, a mutual benevolent fund with charitable status and a member of NCVO; a non-executive director of Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust; a member of the London Policing Ethics Panel; and an associate with Working With Cancer, a social enterprise helping people with cancer to return to and remain in work.

Paul Breckell, honorary treasurer

Paul Breckell

Paul is the director of strategy and transformation at Ambitious about Autism, the national charity for children and young people with autism. Prior to this he was the chief executive of Action on Hearing Loss from 2012-2018 having worked for the charity since 2007.

Earlier in his voluntary sector career he was the finance and corporate services director of the Church Mission Society and the head of finance at the HIV/AIDS healthcare charity Mildmay. He is a chartered public finance accountant (CIPFA), having trained while working with the Audit Commission.

Paul is a past chair of the Charity Finance Group, the Disability Charities Consortium and the CIPFA voluntary sector panel. He has also in the past been a trustee of the Roffey Park Institute, a member of CIPFA’s council (board of trustees) and served on a number of charity audit committees.

He is passionate about volunteering. Along with as his various governance roles he regularly volunteers as a youth worker in his local community. He also writes and speaks on a number of topics in relation to disability, leadership, organisational development, governance and finance in the ‘beyond profit’ sector.

Paul was named one of Citywealth Magazine’s top 10 charity chief executives of 2016.

Julie Bentley, co-vice chair

julie bentleyJulie was CEO of Action for Children from August 2018 to February 2020, having dedicated her career to working in the voluntary sector. She has held senior leadership positions in the sector for over twenty years, including:

  • assistant director of Charterhouse in Southwark – a London-based voluntary sector settlement, which supported the local community
  • director of corporate services at ARP – a London-based drug and alcohol charity that supported people affected by drug and alcohol addiction
  • CEO of The Suzy Lamplugh Trust – a national personal safety charity
  • CEO of Family Planning Association – a national sexual health charity supporting people of all ages to have positive and responsible sexual health
  • CEO of Girlguiding - the largest charity for girls and young women in the UK, working with 400,000 girls and young women aged 5 to 25.

Julie was a trustee and then vice chair of the housing and homelessness charity Shelter for six years and is a patron of Seham Village Appeal (an organisation that builds schools in India).

She holds a Masters in business administration, is a qualified counsellor and is a fellow of The Windsor Leadership Trust.

In 2014 she was named number five on the Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Power list of Game Changers in the UK. In the same year she was voted Britain’s Most Admired Charity Chief Executive at the Third Sector Awards. Julie was a castaway on desert island discs in 2014.

Anne Heal, co-vice chair

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Anne Heal chairs the Thames Water Customer Challenge Group, is a non-executive director of the Office of Rail and Road, a board member of ELEXON, the electricity settlement body, a lay member of the General Dental Council, an independent member of the Bank of England Enforcement Decision Making Committee and a member of the Financial Conduct Authority's regulatory decision making committee.

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. She also led BT's employee volunteering activity. She has also been a board member of Ofqual, the qualifications regulator.

Anne chairs a charity, Volunteering Matters, and is a trustee of NCVO and BalletBoyz. She also chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee of Diabetes UK and is a director of the London Design and Engineering UTC.


Emily Agius

paul buchananEmily is the Head of Volunteering at Breast Cancer Now, with strategic responsibility for the charity’s volunteering offer. Prior to this, Emily headed up membership engagement activities at the University of Sheffield Students’ Union, which included democracy, policy, campaigns, 350 student groups and a diverse range of event programmes.

A passionate advocate for the sector, Emily’s volunteering roles have included being a Trustee for the historic Croft House Community Centre, establishing a local Results UK branch, and being a pastoral leader for an International Citizenship programme.

Emily feels privileged to join the NCVO Trustee Board, and firmly believes in the importance of a collaborative approach within the sector in order to make the biggest difference to the people who need it.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys music, reading and walks in the Peak District.

Paul Buchanan

paul buchananPaul Buchanan is responsible for Business in the Community’s (BITC) operations across the UK. This includes the delivery of the Covid-19 National Business Response Network, as well as all programme delivery and business leadership engagement in the regions and nations.

Paul has worked at BITC since 2001 and is a member of BITC’s executive management team. He has previously held a variety of roles including London regional director, London membership director, Head of membership recruitment and North East business development manager. He has previously worked at British Airways and more recently spent a year on secondment in the commercial team at Sky Plc.

Paul is the Chair of The Boxing Academy Trust – an innovative and impactful school for young people at risk of exclusion. Paul has also been a Trustee of the John Lewis Foundation since 2015. He is passionate about the role of business in creating more resilient, vibrant and successful communities.

Jake Ferguson

jake ferguson

Jake is CEO at Hackney CVS, one of the biggest local infrastructure and sector support agencies in London. In his 19 years with the organisation, Jake has overseen the delivery of partnership and grant programmes worth over £20m. He is a member of the Violence Reduction Unit Partnership Reference Group, the Integrated Commissioning Board for City & Hackney and NCVO’s Rebalancing Relationships Steering Group. He is also chair of the London CVS Directors Network hosted by LondonPlus.

He co-founded the Young Black Men’s Strategic programme which aims to reduce disproportionally poor outcomes for young men of colour and set up Hackney Giving which raised over £300k for small community groups.

Before Hackney CVS, Jake worked for UCL Medical School investigating the profile environment and health issues in London and also at Camden & Islington Health Authority as a researcher into illegal drug use. He started his career as a medical student at Newcastle University and then moved into academia and community sector approaches.

A family man and part-time musician (he co-founded The Heliocentrics which has toured the world!), Jake is passionate about co-production, genuine asset-based community development (ABCD) and speaking truth to power.

Kiran Kaur

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Kiran is the co-founder and CEO of GirlDreamer – an award-winning empowerment platform for millennial and gen z women of colour.

GirlDreamer provides unique socially driven opportunities for personal and professional development and carries a vast global online community that gives GirlDreamer its unique brand presence.

Kiran has co-built the organisation to become one of Creative England’s top 50 companies in England, awarded Top 10 UK millennial blog for its internal blogging platform, created Europe’s first major adventure sports platform for women of colour and is recognised as Brum 30 Under 30.

She is also a consultant, supporting organisations to bridge the gap between communities and companies, increasing representation and building online brand presence for those in the social sector.

Dr Sarabajaya Kumar

sarabajaya kumarDr Sarabajaya Kumar is an interdisciplinary social science academic, an equalities consultant, and a disability activist. She teaches leadership and public policy to international civil servants and civil society leaders at University College London (UCL), and has previously held Faculty roles at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), the University of Oxford and the Open University.

Her research interests are in accountability, governance, intersectionality, ethical leadership; and her current projects include disability and equality and artificial intelligence.

A Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (FRSA), she is also an accredited Executive Coach  with extensive experience of coaching and mentoring university academics, grant-makers and social entrepreneurs.

A GLA 2021 list candidate for the Women’s Equality Party, Sarabajaya is also a member of The Activate Collective and the Policy Committee of the Women's Budget Group.

A serial social entrepreneur, she has, over the past three decades, founded and co-founded several not for profit organisations, working in, or with, organisations and people facing disadvantage.

Prior to her current role at UCL, Sarabajaya led initiatives in the voluntary sector, the National Health Service (NHS) and local government. She also worked as a volunteer with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, India, and with community-based organisations in West Bengal, India.

The thread that links her paid and civic work is her strong commitment to inclusion and social justice.

Dan Sutch

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Dan is co-founder and director of CAST - working with charities, funders, investors and mission driven organisations to use digital technologies to address big social challenges.

Before leading CAST, Dan was part of the senior team at Nominet Trust and prior to that was head of development and a senior researcher at edtech innovator Futurelab. Dan's also a trustee of Wayfindr.

Dan's focus is on supporting social organisations to respond to the changing context in which we operate, using (and creating) digital tools to deliver high value, user-led services. From organisational strategy and individual digital services, through to programmes like Fuse the first digital accelerator for established nonprofits, Dan's work is to realise the potential of digital in achieving social and charitable aims.

Sheila Taylor MBE

sheila taylorSheila began her interest in community work started in the early 1980, chairing local committees and working to retain services within her local community. In early 1990’s she began working with the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital on their Kite Appeal, joining them to raise £1.5m to make the hospital the best of its kind at the time. Following that work she progressed to the Prince’s Trust Derbyshire, assuming the Chairing of the Action Panel.

During that work, she was made aware of children being involved in street work and began working with Derby City Council to develop project to support young people identified.

This work led to the development of Safe & Sound Derby, and her work there was pivotal to the success of Operation Retriever, which saw nine men go to prison for 64 years. Following this, there was a surge of requests for support with similar issues across the country and Sheila left her organisation to develop the NWG Network.

This was a network of 256 people in 2011, but today is more than 14000 dissemination points across 300 organisations across the UK, she has been part of the Children’s Commission and the Northern Ireland Inquiries to look at Child Sexual Exploitation. She gave evidence in the Scottish Inquiry, and various national inquiries and reviews looking at the barriers and challenges of making our children safe in today’s society.

In 2016 the NWG Network were asked to host the National Child Sexual Response Unit as identified in the National Action Plan following her attendance at the No 10 Downing Street Summit in March 2015. Over the past three years they received 3,265 requests for support; engaged with 29,797 professionals.

Her work has taken her to learn from other countries in Europe and currently is part of a partnership of eight universities looking at abuse in sport and due to that work has now secured funding from Sport England to expand the Response Unit to work assuring Sports can be a safe activity for our young people to take part in.

Sheila values the importance of family and friends and the time spent together, she also enjoys gardening, cooking for friends and walking.

Ingrid Tennessee

ingrid tennessee

Ingrid was appointed CEO of Quo Vadis Trust (QVT) Housing Association in October 2016. QVT is a charity providing social housing, care & support for people in South East London living with mental health challenges. She has a Master’s Degree in Clinical and Public Health Aspects of Addictions and is an accredited BACP Counsellor. Her leadership experience spans 25 years in the health and social care sector.

Ingrid grew up in a deprived area of Guyana, South America, but despite the challenges presented by this, became a Secondary School Teacher at a school where she was once a pupil. She moved to the UK in the early 90s.

The rich tapestry of her experience includes having served as a Special Constable in the Metropolitan Police Service gaining first-hand experience of hard to reach groups and individuals who have fallen through various safety nets. She has also served as a district councillor with Sevenoaks Council and became a member of the audit and housing committee, followed by being vice chair of governance.

Ingrid has an in depth understanding of the effects of homelessness, social, complex mental health issues and dual diagnosis, with expertise in designing and delivering tailored services for these needs. Her achievements include the innovative remodelling of first core and flexi approach to care and support for mental health services in the London Borough of Lewisham.

Ingrid has a passion for shaping person centred services for vulnerable people experiencing barriers to self-fulfilment. Her promotion of equality and diversity in the services she leads resulted in her being shortlisted for the National Equality and Diversity Housing Sector Award in 2017.

Her other achievements include successful implementation of volunteering programmes to support core staff in the third sector. She understands and has proven that this type of support maximises and augments permanent staffing capacity and service delivery in smaller organisations, primarily for the benefit of clients, but also for those involved in delivering the service and for wider society.

Ingrid feels honoured and privileged to serve as an NCVO Trustee and looks forward to adding value to the organisation’s future.


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