Skip to main content

Our people

We are a team of passionate people working together to restore young people’s hope for their future. Find out more about what this means to our leadership team, staff and trustees.

Our people

Janet Legrand

Janet Legrand QC (Hon)

Chair of our Board of Trustees and member of our Finance and Investment Committee, and Organisational Development Committee

With over 30 years in the legal profession, Janet was Senior Partner and Board Chair of global law firm DLA Piper, and is now the Senior Lay Member of Court at the University of Edinburgh. She has significant governance experience in higher education with roles at University of Cambridge, City, University of London, Advance HE and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education. She is a member of the Advisory Panel of IntoUniversity and was a founding Board member of PRIME, the legal profession’s social mobility alliance, and has been Deputy Chair of the Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission.

'I’m passionate about ensuring that young people can achieve their full potential, whatever their start in life. For me, hope means belief in a better future. Hope really matters, because that combination of desire and positivity helps us to thrive and makes us more likely to achieve the future we desire.'

Libby Lane

The Rt Revd Libby Lane

Vice Chair of Trustees and member of Organisational Development Committee

Libby became the Church of England’s first female bishop at a service in York Minister in 2015, when she was appointed the Bishop of Stockport, she now serves as the Bishop of Derby. 

'Children and young people have always been at the heart of what I do. When Jesus was asked about what matters, he brought a child among them and said “of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.” Every day children and young people in our country are vulnerable and at risk. The issues they face are both intimately personal and deeply systematic. So being part of The Children’s Society, which works tirelessly to support such children and address these inequalities, is indeed working for the Kingdom.'

Chris Gillies

Chris Gillies

Treasurer, Chair of the Finance and Investment Committee and member of Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee

Chris has 40 years experience working in business in the UK and internationally. For 30 years, he's been giving his time and skills to many different charities and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

'One hundred years from now, it will not matter what my bank balance was, or what kind of house I lived in, or which car I drove.  But the world may be different because I was in some way important or helpful to the life of a child.  Young people are our future – they have enormous potential.  I want every young person to have an opportunity to realise that potential and be the best that they can be.'

Helen Keppel Compton

Helen Keppel Compton


Helen has spent over 30 years working in retail and digital retail in the John Lewis Partnership. She spent much of her time buying and sourcing products. With that experience she moved into digital retail, and also set up a 'not for resale' procurement function. 

'The work that The Children's Society undertakes is astonishing. Not only what they do today but also their vision for the future. I'm struck by the passion and commitment of everyone involved to bring positive change about. This is way more than words on a page and the team don't shy away from the difficult stuff. Society needs to better help and support young people, giving them the voice they deserve'.

Sarah Payne

Sarah Payne CBE

Trustee and member of our Finance and Investment Committee and Organisational Development Committee

Sarah became a Prison Governor early in her career, has held senior policy roles in the Home Office and been Chief Executive of the YWCA. Prior to her retirement, she was Executive Director of the Prison and Probation Service in Wales. Sarah now holds advisory roles with the Ministry of Justice and NHS. 

'The Children's Society is an inspirational organisation, making a huge difference to the lives of children and young people who face untold hardship. Its work is transformative - not just by helping through direct services but also by building support for long-term change to the way in which children and young people can live and thrive. By fighting for hope, it enables children and young people everywhere to have the confidence to realise their aspirations and potential in spite of difficulty and uncertainty.'

Sam Monaghan

Sam Monaghan

Trustee and member if the Organisational Development Committee

Sam is the CEO of MHA, the largest charity care provider for older people in the UK. He 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 of children's services at Barnados. 

'Until three years ago, the focus of my career was working with children, young people and their families. First as a volunteer for The Children's Society, then as a social worker, then into more senior roles. I value being able to bring my personal experience of both the charity and children’s sectors to support the Board in improving the lives and life chances of young people. Hope is not a wish but a choice. An intent and a determination to hold out for the possibility of a better day tomorrow or in the future. It's about opportunity and potential being realised. It's what working alongside children and young people is all about.'

Diane Blausten

Diane Blausten

Trustee and Chair of the Organisational Development Committee

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. 

'Children are our future, the life blood for our society.  Being able to contribute my time, skills and experience to an organisation that truly makes a difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people in society, is really motivating and rewarding.' 

Jim Clifford

Jim Clifford OBE

Trustee and member of the Risk, Audit and Compliance Committee

Jim is Director and CEO at Sonnet Advisory & Impact, and was formerly a Partner with Bates Wells Braithwaite heading 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. 

'My life was changed immeasurably following my adoption through the Children’s Society over fifty years ago, and I grew up in a family of supporters. My life as a therapeutic parent to my own ten adopted children has shown me how much need there is for so many young people who don’t deserve what society throws at them. The Children’s Society is prepared to go where no other children’s charity will to tackle that and I am so happy to take even a small part in making that happen.'