Family Fund is governed by a board of trustees. Trustees donate their knowledge, skills and expertise to make sure we achieve our charitable purpose.

The board of trustees sets Family Fund’s strategic direction, makes decisions about how to use the charity’s resources and ensures that we operate effectively.

Our trustees bring a huge depth of experience to the charity, drawing on a diverse range of professional and life experiences.  As ambassadors for our work, our trustees have a particular passion and commitment to improving the lives of families raising a disabled or seriously ill child.

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Roy O’Shaughnessy


Roy O’Shaughnessy is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Family Fund. He is married and lives in Barton Le Willows, York. Roy has recently retired as the Group Chief Executive of Capital City College Group. Before this role, he was the Group Chief Executive of Shaw Trust. Roy was instrumental in founding 01 Founders, Visionnaires, and Shaw Education Trust. Roy has extensive experience in creating new growth opportunities. He is the National Chair of YMCA England and Wales and Chair of Bellanno Ltd and the Twin Group. Roy’s roles have crossed and blended the for-profit, not-for-profit, government, charitable, and educational sectors.

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Emma Pinnock

Chair of Safeguarding Committee

Emma Pinnock has worked in education for 20 years in a range of environments, hospital schools, special schools ​and mainstream education, holding senior management roles including Assistant Head and Acting Deputy Head. Emma’s passion to support disabled children and families has derived from her personal journey of living and loving in a family with special educational needs.

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Jonathan Evans

Chair of the People and Nominations Committe

Jonathan Evans has worked in Human Resources for over 40 years, and has been a HR Director in both the private and public sectors, latterly being Director of Civilian Personnel in the Ministry of Defence. In addition to his role with Family Fund, he is a trustee for a London-based charity working with a range of young people, mainly from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Gareth Lambert

Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee

Gareth Lambert is a Senior Partner at Ernst and Young LLP, focusing on the financial services industry and advising clients on a wide range of regulatory matters. He has worked in the banking sector for over 30 years both in industry and professional services roles around the world. Gareth’s area of specialism is structural change in banking, committing his energy to delivering safer, robust financial services.

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Neil Ashton

Vice Chair

Neil is the Group Finance Director of Wilson Power Solutions, a leading supplier of energy efficient power distribution solutions, with businesses in the UK, India and Dubai. He was previously Chief Operating Officer at UK Coaching, where he managed the financial, regulatory and operational activities of the charity and their commercial trading subsidiary. Neil is a qualified accountant with over 25 years of experience in senior finance roles. He is married and lives in York and enjoys spending time with his family, football, fishing and painting.

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Paul Bass


Paul Bass has worked for NatWest Group for 35 years where he is currently Marketing Operations Director having held a number of senior roles in various part of the bank including Communications and HR as well as various front line and project management roles. Paul has lived in Dunfermline, Scotland for the past 21 years having been born and raised in York and is married with 2 grown up daughters.

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Shona Elliott


Shona has worked in campaigning and communication roles throughout her career and is currently an advisor to the Bishop of Durham, on refugee and asylum policy after running the public affairs function for a London borough. However, Shona’s greatest privilege was being mum to her first son, Harry, who lived a full and vibrant life while living with with complex needs.

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Marguerite Haye


Marguerite Haye is the founder of What’s the Big e? which was born out of her passion and frustration for disabled children not receiving the provision they are entitled to. Marguerite has a thorough knowledge of SEND legislation and embraces its ethos at the heart of everything she does, adopting a child-centered approach to ensure every child receives the appropriate provision.

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Joanne McDowell


Joanne McDowell is a Director of Throatlake Consulting. She is an experienced executive leader in the public sector, with extensive knowledge of the charitable, voluntary and the social business sector in Northern Ireland and the UK. Her expertise focuses on innovation in grant making, change management, strategy, and policy development, and until 2019 she was Director for Northern Ireland at the Big Lottery Fund. Joanne is a Non-Executive Board Member of the Department of Justice in Northern Ireland.  She is deputy Chair of CAN, a charity supporting adults and young people with learning difficulties and autism. Previously she has lectured at the University of Ulster and worked as Consultant at KPMG. She has a D/Phil in Planning Policy in Spain.

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Michal Noe


Michal has worked in the third sector for over 20 years, growing and advising charities and foundations both as a consultant and sitting trustee. She is the founder of One Great Day, an organisation that raises money for children’s health charities across the UK, created following her son’s treatment in Great Ormond Street Hospital. Michal lives in London with her husband and five children and loves entertaining friends and travelling.

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Andy Piper


Andy Piper is the Chief Information Security Office (CISO) for the Investment Banking and Markets divisions at Barclays Bank. He specialises in cyber security controls and the governance of information security. Prior to joining Barclays, Andy worked as a Risk Consultant for Deloitte, where he gained insight into a number of different industry sectors. Andy is married and has two young children. In his spare time Andy likes to keep fit and enjoys travelling.

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Ian Thomas


Ian was born in Penrhiwceiber in the South Wales valleys. He originally trained as a youth worker and teacher and ran youth centres in Hackney, Surrey, and Cardiff. Ian was the first Welsh director at the Alzheimer’s Society and later the Welsh Director for Scope. In 2013 he became the Chief Executive for Age Cymru. In 2017 he became CEO for Trivallis, a large Welsh housing association. Ian currently runs his own business. He lives in Swansea with his wife, daughter and three cats.

Our board of trustees reflects families' broad life experiences

In our latest Inclusion data survey, five of our trustees told us they have experience of raising or caring for a disabled or seriously ill child. Four told us they themselves are disabled. There is a balanced gender representation and five trustees are of global majority heritage.