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Consultancy team

Our NCVO consultancy team consists of skilled and experienced team members who know the voluntary and community sector and understand the pressures organisations face. The consultancy team specialise in:

Find out more about NCVO consultancy.


Dan Francis, Lead consultant

dan francis 96x96Dan leads NCVO’s work on governance. He has considerable experience supporting organisational development and leadership of charities of all sizes from across the sector. Dan sits as a member of the charity governance code steering group and has been heavily involved in authoring the most recent edition of the code. He tutors on NCVO’s governance training courses and delivers the Step on Board programme.

Dan’s background is from the youth and education sector having joined NCVO from the National Union of Students, where as a consultant, he supported the development of students’ unions. Dan has experience of interim senior management assignments in the voluntary sector and has served as a trustee for small and medium sized community and education charities.

Read Dan's blog | Follow Dan on Twitter

Karen Bishi

Karen Bishi Associate Consultant 96 x 96Karen has a wealth of experience of governance in the voluntary sector. She is a trustee of Youth Access and has experience of working at a senior level for a Local Mind Association and Cambridge House community settlement project. Whilst working for the National Union of Students (NUS), Karen created a Code of Good Governance and interactive online self-assessment toolkit for Students' Unions across the UK. She also produced guidance for Higher Education Institutions which gained endorsement from the Committee of University Chairs.

She is a qualified Coach, NLP Practitioner, Trainer and an experienced Action Learning Set Facilitator. She is accredited by the Coaching Academy and is a registered CPD provider with the CPD Standards Office. She has particular expertise in EDI, talent development, governance, leadership and relationship management.

Emma Herbert

Emma Herbert

Emma is an experienced governance consultant, focusing on reviews and board performance. She brings a wealth of experience, having worked with a range of voluntary and community sector organisations, from large household name charities through to small, local community groups. She is a qualified employment solicitor (currently non-practising) and has worked with employers of all sizes around issues of strategic planning, change management, discrimination, workplace disputes and employment tribunal disputes.

Anne Moynihan

Anne Moynihan

Anne was head of our governance and leadership team until 2011. She is a Fellow of the RSA, a member of the Charity Law Association and a governance course leader for Civil Society Media’s national trustee training programme. Anne was, until recently, a member of the steering group for Good Governance: a Code for the Voluntary and Community Sector and a board member of Trustees Unlimited. Anne was co-author of a publication for trustees of Trust Schools and co-author of ‘ Sustainable Funding: a guide for Trustees’.

Sarah O'Grady

Karen OGrady bio 96 x 96Sarah's earlier career was as a solicitor and manager working in the private and public/regulatory sectors. An accredited mediator and experienced leader, she draws on her varied experience, taking a practical approach when working with boards and executive teams to improve governance and on operational matters such as data protection. Sarah also facilitates and coaches including where there are difficult situations or relationships. 

Sarah chaired a high-profile NGO, driving and leading its transformation, including a governance and constitutional reform programme, in a challenging context. She is a member of the Charity Law Association and was a member of the working party responding to the draft Charity Governance Code. She is also a qualified Arbitrator, skilled in carrying out reviews and reporting.

Sue Pearlman

Sue Pearlman

Sue has wide experience as a trustee and a senior manager in the voluntary sector. She is a skilled facilitator, trainer, supervisor and mentor with experience gained mainly through her involvement with the Citizens Advice Bureau service. She is chair of Community Action Hertsmere and a trustee at The Movement for Reform Judaism. Her particular interests include governance, trustee/staff relationships, developing partnerships and collaborative working.

Ruth Dwight

Ruth Dwight

Ruth brings a 20-year career in the voluntary sector including partnership management and director roles at Coram Family and Childcare, Volunteering Matters and the youth charity Young Citizens, and is a trustee for JLGB – a Jewish youth social action charity. As a consultant, Ruth has specialised in shaping strategic plans, sustainable business models and commercial systems for taking products and services to market and provides governance consultancy as an associate for NCVO. She is a confident communicator and facilitator, and an expert in using digital tools to facilitate strategic planning, business development workshops and deliver training for charities.


Howard Exton-Smith

Howard Exton Smith

Howard has over 20 years’ experience as a consultant and trainer specialising in personal and organisational development, transformation and performance improvement. As an adviser to boards and senior management teams, he creates value and delivers positive change by building capacity and strengthening individuals and organisations. Howard has been a charity trustee and chair and has lived and worked in Europe, Africa and North America.

Brian Lamb

Brian Lamb

Brian specialises in public policy, public affairs, campaigns and strategy and his clients span the voluntary, public and private sectors. He works on campaigning planning and development using a theory of change approach developed from his NCVO report on Theory of Change. He also wrote our Guide to Campaigning and Influencing for the Charity Sector.

He has worked extensively with government and chaired a national inquiry which led to a number of changes in legislation, and also helped found a new charity Achievement for All, which he chairs.

He holds an MSC in politics and sociology and is also a visiting fellow at London South Bank University at the Centre of Government and Charity Management and Visiting Professor in Special Educational Needs and Disability at Derby University.

Simone Hensby

Simone Hensby

Simone specialises in charity governance, strategy, partnership and consortium development. Simone draws on her extensive experience in the voluntary sector that includes over twenty years of working as a CEO of two charities to deliver organisational development support to a wide range of voluntary and community organisations. Her experience is complemented by the skill set acquired from academic studies and the professional qualifications that she has acquired and now teaches. Simone has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Social Administration and a Master of Science (MSc) in Public Sector Management. She is a qualified social worker, teacher, project manager, coach, mentor and teacher in adult education, a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the Association for Project Management.

Impact and evaluation

NCVO Charities Evaluation Services lead our impact and evaluation consultancy work. Find out more about the team.


Shaun Delaney

shaun delaney96x96Shaun is our volunteering development manager. Passionate about the psychology of leadership and management, Shaun works closely with key stakeholders including the Association of Volunteer Managers, to help to raise the profile of volunteer management as a profession. Shaun also develops and manages our learning and development material, supporting front-line and infrastructure organisations in all things volunteer management. This is based on his experience as head of volunteering at Samaritans, trustee of Greater London Volunteering and training manager with Volunteer Centre Greenwich. He holds a Masters in Civil Society Management, specialising in volunteer management and certified with ICSA.

Jarina Choudhury

jarina choudhury 96x96Jarina is responsible for developing consultancy and training with the aim of improving volunteering practice across the public, private and voluntary sectors. She provides training and consultancy in volunteering strategy, volunteering and the law, policy development and the design and implementation of volunteer programmes. Jarina’s clients have included The National Trust, Amnesty International UK, AstraZeneca, Association of Voluntary Service Managers and Crimestoppers UK and the Home Office.

Commissioning, consortium development and social investment

Emma Baylin 

Emma Baylin 96x96Emma is NCVO’s content expert on health systems and commissioning, and the role of the voluntary sector in health service transformation. Emma has more than 25 years’ experience of working and volunteering in health and community organisations and is an experienced trainer delivering on topics such as evidencing impact, understanding data and understanding health and social care system transformation.

In 2015 Emma co-designed and delivered NCVO’s health commissioning masterclass in all nine English regions and in 2017 Emma co-designed and co-delivered a development programme for NHS sustainability and transformation partnerships which aimed to increase voluntary sector involvement and facilitate shared leadership in complex systems. Emma is also founder and director of Shared Harmonies, of a social enterprise improving health & wellbeing through inspirational singing.

John Gillespie

JohnG portrait 150px greJohn Gillespie is a voluntary sector consultant specialising in commissioning of health and social care. He works with commissioning bodies and providers on the transformation of services and making most of the relationship with the voluntary sector. In 2008-10 John worked on the introduction of personalised care and support, and more recently worked as strategic link between health and the voluntary sector in Tower Hamlets, London. Aside from his work as an NCVO consultant, John works with the Public Services Transformation Academy. John has also supported the development of several voluntary sector consortia.

David Wood

JohnG portrait 150px gre David is NCVO’s content expert on commercial awareness and helping voluntary sector managers to understand their role in supplying to the public sector and within public sector supply chains. David has more than 25 years’ experience of managing businesses in the private sector and leading transformation initiatives as a private sector supplier into the public sector. A highly experienced trainer and qualified coach and mentor, David brings a learning approach to everything that he does. David co-designed and delivered NCVO’s commercial masterclasses to managers and chief executives of voluntary organisations across England.


Contact us

If you have an issue that you think we may be able to help with, please get in touch. If we can help, we will. If we can’t, we’ll point you to someone who might.

You can:

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