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Our Senior Leadership Team
Our Senior Leadership Team leads our organisation. Armed with the knowledge, experience and expertise of their fields, our directors collectively hold the overview and vision to drive the organisation forward, stopping the vicious circle of fear and harm that destroys childhood and wrecks community living.
Senior Leadership Team members are:
- Matthew Reed, Chief Executive
- Damian Allen, Interim Director, Children and Young People Directorate
- Simon Burne, Director of Fundraising and Marketing
- Lily Caprani, Director of Communications and Policy
- Val Floy, Business Development Director
- Steve Porter, Finance and Corporate Services Director
- Laura Rawnsley, Director of Transformation
- Steve Williams, People Director
As Chief Executive, Matthew is responsible for the leadership and management of our charity.
Matthew joined The Children’s Society as Chief Executive in May 2012 after two years as Chief Executive for The Cystic Fibrosis Trust. Prior to this Matthew was Marketing Director at Christian Aid and an Anglican parish priest.
Matthew is passionate about social justice, opportunity and inclusion. He is now leading The Children’s Society to develop its work with many of the most disadvantaged children in the UK through further tackling the effects and causes of child poverty and neglect.
Matthew has a degree in Theology from the University of Oxford, a degree in Engineering and Management from the University of Nottingham, and a Masters in Management from the University of Surrey.
He is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a Fellow of the RSA, and a trustee of Children England. He lives in Buckinghamshire with his wife Jennifer and two teenaged children.
Damian leads the directorate responsible for delivering all direct services with children and young people in our organisation.
Career highlights: Executive Director of Children and Family Services for Knowsley council, where he was responsible for the health, education, social care and well-being of some 46,000 children and young people; Assistant Principal, in Oldham; Advisor, Derbyshire county council.
Personal: Damian is a trustee of two trusts, which support a primary school in Brazil and children from deprived areas in Knowsley and Wigan; and annually raises funds for a children’s charity through a sponsored event, usually running.
Link: Read about the programmes and projects Damian is responsible for.
Simon is responsible for raising the necessary income and providing marketing support that allow us to deliver our direct practice programmes, influence policy and change public attitudes.
Career highlights: Director of Fundraising and Communications at Acorns Children’s Hospice; Chair of the Institute of Fundraising from 2002-05; Head of Central Fundraising at The Children's Society, 1998-2000.
Personal: A proud grandfather, Simon lives in Rugby with his wife Rosalyn. He does lay preaching around Warwickshire, and acts and sings at Rugby Theatre.
Work with children: Simon writes and directs musicals for young people.
Link: Read about the fundraising and appeals that Simon is responsible for.
Lily oversees longer term strategy for The Children's Society, working with senior directors and advisors. Lily is responsible for strategic oversight of our campaigns, media, policy and public affairs, research and church partnerships work, as well as coordinating external and internal communications.
She is a passionate and committed campaigner and advocate for young people, with a particular interest in tackling child poverty and inequality.
Career highlights: Head of Communications at Rethink Mental Illness; led public relations for the Time to Change social marketing campaign; studied with the Charted Institute for Public Relations.
Val leads our new directorate to drive business development.
This area of work includes product development, commercial processes, and identifying new partnerships and business opportunities. Her team is driving restricted income generation and working with our regional hubs to develop new approaches and solutions in line with our business strategy.
Career highlights: Val has worked in the voluntary children's sector for over 20 years, starting her career by developing a family centre in inner-city Birmingham. She has experience in operational delivery at regional and national levels. At Spurgeons, she led the quality and service improvement function; Her last role at the charity involved setting up a new business development department, and overseeing the marketing and fundraising teams.
Personal: Val has direct experience of working in Africa and Eastern Europe with street children. She is a trustee of Retrak, an international charity working with street children in Africa.
Steve is responsible for our professional services activities, including finance, IT, estates, legal affairs and business planning.
Career highlights: Chief Executive of PRS for Music and Group Finance Director of Tring International PLC; 25 years in the private sector and management consultancy; trained with PricewaterhouseCoopers and is a qualified chartered accountant (ACA).
Laura is responsible for leading the organisation's transformation programme as we put into place our renewed strategy and vision.
Career highlights: Led on operational improvement at Serco and PA Consulting; delivered significant business improvement across rail transport to education services to back office processing businesses; her work has won accolades including Best Business Process Outsourcing Improvement Programme in Europe in 2010.
Personal: Laura lives in central London and enjoys long distance swimming, cooking and travelling in her spare time. She is passionate about social justice and equality, including issues around child poverty and neglect.
Steve is accountable for people performance and development, including our employees and our volunteers.
He leads teams responsible for human resources, learning and talent, volunteering, reward, diversity and shared services.
Career highlights: Human resources roles at ActionAid, the Charity Commission, Coram, Glotel and BT.
Work with children: Steve previously ran a housing project with support service for care leavers and homeless young people in Coram.
Personal: Steve lives in Surrey and is a trustee for CharityWorks, an innovative charity looking to entice talented young people to work in the charity sector.