Our trustee board has ultimate responsibility for the governance and strategic direction of the organisation

Our trustee board has ultimate responsibility for the governance and strategic direction of the organisation, ensuring that we uphold our ethos and values and deliver our objective to care for and support children. 

The board meets six times a year, and, as part of our participation strategy, enables our young trustees, five young people from our services, the opportunity to participate at board meetings.

The trustee board delegates some areas of responsibility to its committees, which are:

  • Finance and Investment
  • Risk, Audit and Compliance 
  • Organisational Development

These committees have oversight of particular aspects of our governance and their membership includes both trustees and non-trustee members who are co-opted for their particular expertise.

Meet all members of our trustee board

Janet Legrand QC (Hon)

Janet Legrand

Janet is the former Senior Partner and Global Co-Chair of DLA Piper and has served on the global law firm's Partnership Board for 20 years. In her legal practice, she represents Governments in international disputes.

On her appointment as an Honorary Queen's Counsel, the Minister of Justice described her as 'a pioneer in enhancing the role of women in law, promoting social mobility, diversity and inclusion within her own firm and the wider profession through the Board of PRIME.'

In 2018, she received the Woman Lawyer of the Year award at the Law Society's Excellence awards and was presented with a Lifetime Achievement award at the British Legal Awards.

Outside of law, Janet is Deputy Chair of Council at City University of London, a member of the Audit Committee at the University of Cambridge and Deputy Chair of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission.

Janet is Chair of the Trustee Board and sits on the Finance and Investment and Organisational Development Committees.

Rt Revd Libby Lane

Rt Revd Libby Lane

The Rt Revd Libby Lane became the Church of England’s first woman bishop at a service in York Minister in 2015 to serve as Suffragan Bishop of Stockport in the Diocese of Chester. In February 2019 she became the Bishop of Derby.

Bishop Libby is Vice-Chair of the Board and a member of the Organisational Development committee.

Jim Clifford OBE 

Jim Clifford OBE

Jim is a Partner with Bates Wells Braithwaite and heads the Advisory and Impact Teams, running a range of services to social and private sector organisations. 

He was awarded the OBE in June 2013 for his services to social investment. 

Over the past 21 years, Jim and his wife, Sue, have adopted nine children and given them a stable and loving home.

Jim is a member of the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee.

Sam Monaghan

Now a charity Chief Executive, Sam has spent most of his career as a social worker in children’s services, both within local authorities and children’s charities; most recently as Corporate Director, Children’s Services at Barnardos.

Sam volunteered for us as a project worker in the 1980s and more recently was a member of the Birmingham Commission on Child Poverty which Matthew Reed chaired. 

Chris Gillies

Chris Gillies © The Children's Society

Chris has extensive experience in both financial services and the charity sector. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, and holds a Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors.  

Chris held several senior Director positions both globally and in the UK within the Zurich Insurance Group, most recently as Chairman of one of the UK businesses.  

Chris is a member of the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee, Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee and is our Honorary Treasurer.

Sarah Payne

Sarah Payne

Sarah became a Prison Governor early in her career, held senior operational and policy roles in the Home Office and Ministry of Justice and was Chief Executive of the YWCA.

Prior to her retirement, she was Executive Director of the Prison and Probation Service in Wales and now takes on advisory roles for the NHS. She was one of the team of Commissioners asked to look at all aspects of Justice in Wales and is Chair of the charity Revolving Doors Agency.

Sarah is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee.

Nasima Patel

Nasima Patel

Nasima is Early Help Strategic Lead for Newham Council. Prior to this, Nasima was Head of Children’s Social Care at London Borough of Tower Hamlets and worked for the NSPCC for six years as the Executive Director for Services. Nasima has a strong background in the design and delivery of services to vulnerable children, specifically in the areas of child sexual exploitation, abuse and child trafficking.

Nasima is a member of the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee.

Dianne Smith

Dianne Smith © The Children's Society

Dianne has more than 30 years of experience working in a variety of services for children and young people. She has been Director of Children's Services in two local authorities, and is currently working as an independent consultant.

A member of our Board since September 2011, Dianne is a member of the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee.

David Ramsden

David Ramsden

David Ramsden has been Chief Executive of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust since December 2016. He has over 20 years' experience of working in the charity sector and from 2006 to 2016 David led BBC Children in Need. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales and previously worked for the British Red Cross and Ernst & Young.

David is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee.

Amelia Torode

Amelia Torode is on our board of trustees

Fascinated by brands, technology, culture and ideas, Amelia has worked at agencies including WPP, VCCP, Ogilvy Interactive New York and was Chief Strategy Officer at TBWA\London. Amelia launched The Fawnbrake Collective in September 2017, a new approach to brand strategy and experience design using independent and freelance talent. Amelia is a writer, a TEDx Talk-er, a Power Part Timer power list winner and won Planner of The Year.

Amelia is a member of the Organisational Development Committee.

Diane Blausten

Profile of Diane Blausten, trustee

Diane is an independent consultant, executive coach and mentor. She has over 30 years human resources experience in the charity, aviation and retail sectors, and is the former Director of Organisation Development and Human Resources at the health and social care charity, Jewish Care. Diane is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development and was a trustee and chair of the Charities HR Network.

Diane is a member of the Organisation Development Committee.

Theo Ricketts

Theo Ricketts, trustee

Theo joined Google in 2014 and is currently the Global Director in Google’s Global Client and Agency Solutions Team. Prior to Google, Theo was at L'Oreal and held various marketing and sales roles in the UK and Asia, his last being Commercial Director of L'Oreal's Consumer and Active Cosmetics Divisions.

Theo is a member of the Finance and Investment Committee.

Stuart Duncan

Profile Stuart Duncan

Stuart is the Editor-in-Chief at Microsoft News and responsible for the digital journalism operation. Prior to joining Microsoft, Stuart was at Bauer Media where he worked on national and regional broadcast and online brands, leading digital innovation, new product and growth initiatives. Stuart also contributed and supported Bauer Media’s national charity Cash For Kids during this time.

Stuart is a member of the Risk, Audit & Compliance Committee.

Deborah Harris-Ugbomah

Deborah H U

Deborah’s early career was in corporate finance. She stepped away earlier than planned to support her sister, whose son was born with significant disabilities.

Deborah now has a portfolio career, with a great deal of Audit and Risk committee experience (at Moorfields, RNIB, Trinity Laban, the Whittington Hospital and Southern Housing Group), including four Audit Chair roles. 

Florence Kroll

Florence is the Director of Children’s Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. In her route to this role she has been a Probation Officer, Youth Justice Social Worker, managed the Youth OffendingTeam at Southwark, held senior roles in Youth Crime Reduction in Hackney and run the Early Help and Preventive Service in Kent.

Florence will succeed Di Smith as Lead Safeguarding Trustee on the Board.