Who we are - Trustees
Judith Trowell (Chair)
As a child and adolescent psychiatrist I work with children and young people in the care system. I worked closely with social services around child protection and did a lot of court work for children and young people. Now I consult to organisations for very troubled children and young people who have been abused; I have done research trying to find out what helps to give the best outcomes. I helped to found Young Minds and am a trustee now. I also assess young people in secure mental health settings.
Simon Greenhalgh (Treasurer)
I am an accountant with a background in professional services. My family has fostered for a number of years and my partner and I are currently in the process of becoming foster carers. I trained in IT before moving into finance and have worked in a number of law firms and accountancy practices specialising in performance management. I have been an active member of the Chartered Management Institute for a number of years and work to champion outstanding and sustainable management practices. I became a trustee in November 2012 to provide my business skills to support Coram Voice to reach wider, grow stronger and support the many children who need their help.
Matt (Youth Advisor)
I became involved with Voice in 2013 and took part in focus groups looking at specific service areas that needed improvement. Since then Voice has joined the Coram Group and I have continued to stay involved in activities at Coram Voice. The reason I do this is because the values and vision of the organisation are very similar to those I hold and support.
I heard about the role of Youth Advisor through a regular email sent to the participation group which included upcoming activities and opportunities. I thought it was a great opportunity to influence the strategic direction of Coram Voice and give advice from a Care Leaver’s perspective. Being a Care Leaver I am deeply passionate about co-producing services to meet the needs of the looked after population.
As a child, I was raised by a family friend for over ten years and I used Coram Voice’s website to find out my rights back in 2005. I have spent a lot of time sharing my story and experiences with professionals in a wide range of different contexts. I have always had a strong passion to empower people, make a real difference to someone else’s life and give back at the same time. This is the main reason why I wanted the opportunity to become a Trustee for Coram Voice.
In 2008, I worked as part of a team whose role was to champion education for children who were in care. I am a Professional Assembly Member for The College of Social Work, a newly qualified social worker and I have worked for nearly three years as an Independent Panel Member for the Independent Reviewing Mechanism (BAAF) in which I am jointly responsible for reviewing foster carer’s/adopters suitability. During my time as a Trustee at Coram Voice, I plan to dedicate as much of my time to using my experiences and that of others to inform the Board.
I am a practising solicitor specialising in the field of criminal defence and I have a particular interest in working with children and young people involved in the criminal justice system. I have experience in representing children and young people at the police station, Youth Court and Crown Court in relation to a wide range of offences - ranging from public order offences, shoplifting and anti-social behaviour to serious violent and sexual offences and offences involving firearms. I also have experience of mentoring young offenders to prepare them for their release from Young Offenders’ Institutions and to support their resettlement into the community. I give regular talks about criminal law and common criminal offences to young people in schools and Pupil Referral Units which aim to help them to make positive choices to avoid becoming involved in the criminal justice system. I have seen that there are numerous factors which can contribute to the likelihood of a child or young person becoming involved in the criminal justice system and I believe that the work undertaken by Coram Voice has an integral part to play in stemming this flow; by supporting young people and holding the system to account. I am proud to have been appointed as a trustee of Coram Voice and I hope to be able to add my skills and experience to the talented and dedicated Coram Voice team.
I am a trustee because I want to try and bring my experience of work in social services to help the work of Coram Voice. As part of my role I am talking about the important work of Coram Voice to other people, giving my advice to the Board of Trustees and hoping to be helpful to young people and staff. I became a trustee because I am keen to be part of Coram Voice to make a contribution to ensure that children and young people are seen and heard. I have experience of setting up one of the first children's rights group with Mike Lindsay (now working for the Children's Rights Commissioner) when we both worked for Cleveland. I worked with a number of local authority elected members on their responsibilities as corporate parents during my time as Director of the Adoption and Permanence Taskforce and I was also involved with the implementation of Every Disabled Child Matters as Regional Change Agent in the NE.
I have wide-ranging experience in management in the education sector, latterly as Director of the Open University in London and as Chair of the London East Thames Gateway AimHigher Partnership. The power of education to transform lives has been evident to me throughout my working life and especially in these two roles which both provided inspirational examples of what individuals can achieve with the right support and encouragement. The main objective of AimHigher, to encourage young people from non-traditional backgrounds to enter higher education, also gave me the opportunity to oversee a number of projects aimed at care leavers and to learn more about the obstacles faced by them in progressing to university study. This gave me a real interest in this area and I was very pleased therefore to become a Trustee of Coram Voice in March 2012.
I work in the policy and campaigns team of national mental health charity Rethink Mental Illness, with a particular focus on health, welfare and criminal justice policy. A key part of my role is ensuring that the experiences of people who use mental health services and their friends and families are communicated to policy-makers. It is crucial these views are heard so services can be improved and national and local policy can be shaped by people with direct experience. I have been a trustee of Coram Voice since January 2013 and hope my experience can help Coram Voice to build on its fantastic work and make sure even more young people are empowered to hold their services to account.
I have recently retired after a career that began in management consultancy, moved through managing the corporate affairs (including charity programmes) of major public companies, and ended with 5 years running the community and charity programmes of Balfour Beatty, a major international engineering group.
Most of the charity programmes which I have led have involved helping young people suffering from disadvantage to make the most of their lives. In 2008 I created Balfour Beatty's Building Better Futures scheme, and managed its relationships with and contributions to Coram, The Princes Trust, Action for Children and Barnardos.
I was a trustee of the international charity Engineers Against Poverty for 10 years, and managed Balfour Beatty's partnership with The London Youth Games which offers sporting opportunities to over 100,000 young people a year, including many suffering from disability and social disadvantage.
I bring to the Board a broad background in business and management, significant experience in the community and charity sector and a passion for helping young people who face major challenges in their lives.