Our children and young people directors manage our services across the country

Our team manages services for children and young people across the our three main areas of work. 

  • Nerys Anthony - Children and young people Director for National Operations and major programmes
  • Rob Jackson - Area Director, North of England
  • Gary Thomas - Area Director, South and South West England


Nerys Anthony - Children and Young People Director for National Operations and Major Programmes

Nerys Anthony profile picture

Nerys joined The Children’s Society in September 2018. Her remit includes quality, safeguarding, evidence and impact across all children and young people delivery and director responsibilities for national delivery programmes, such as the Disrupting Exploitation, Tackling Child exploitation and Children of Alcohol Dependent Parents programmes. A keen systems changer, having recently completed the School of Systems Change basecamp programme, she draws on her skills and experience from working within the public sector to disrupt systems to improve the lives of children and young people.

Prior to joining The Children’s Society, Nerys worked for Catch22, where she was Director of Alternative Delivery - leading the children’s social care innovation portfolio, collaborating across the sector to test new and innovative ways of working to improve the lives of children and young people who need of support, those in and leaving care. She convened the National Leaving Care Benchmarking Forum. Formerly Nerys was Catch22’s Director of Young People Health and Wellbeing. 

Nerys as an MSc in Criminal Justice and Criminology from Loughborough University, Post Graduate Diploma in Social Research Methods and BA (Hons) Social Sciences.


Rob Jackson - Area Director, North of England

 Rob Jackson, Area Director - North of England

Rob joined The Children's Society in 2007, and took up the role of Service Director five years ago. He now has responsibility for our services supporting vulnerable young people across the north of England, as well as being part of the national leadership team, having a specific lead around our resilience work (emotional wellbeing and mental health).

Prior to joining The Children's Society, Rob worked for a local charity in Greater Manchester which focused upon engaging challenging young people through vocational pathways. Previous to this, he worked in central and eastern Africa for four years with an international relief and development charity, including in a community development capacity in Uganda and an emergency relief role with internally displaced people in Burundi. 

Rob has an MA (Econ) in Development and Management through the Institute of Development, Policy and Management (IDPM) at the University of Manchester, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Leadership in Health and Social Care. In 2018 Rob attended Windsor Leadership’s Emerging Strategic Leaders programme.

Outside of work, Rob’s interests are trying to placate his three children (with mixed results), a love of Manchester United and cricket, and involvement with his church as an Elder and Trustee.


Gary Thomas - Area Director, South and South West England

 Gary Thomas, Area Director - South and South West England

Gary has been at The Children Society since 2013, initially providing leadership for the organisation's South West Children and Young People operations.

Gary is currently the Area Director for the South England area (includes South West; South East, East of England and London) and also has leadership responsibilities for our Post Adoption and Care Team.

Before joining The Children’s Society Gary held senior leadership roles at Depaul UK, National Childminding Association, Action for Children, and within Local Authorities within the South East and London areas.

His experience includes directing the planning, development and delivery of services including children’s social care, safeguarding services, homelessness services, youth offending, early years and childcare services.

Gary is a registered and a degree-qualified social worker and has a Masters in Leadership and Management of Voluntary Organisations.