Our Team: Trustees, Staff and Patrons

Our team of  TrusteesStaffand Patrons is made of committed individuals all working together for the promotion of the Trust and in bringing about hope and opportunities to young people in South Africa.

Our Trustees

Ray Harding – Chair of Trustees

Ray is a Chartered Accountant who has spent many years in Africa, including South Africa, working in General and Financial management. His experience has been gained in Manufacturing and Process industries as well as Education. Retired from his executive career, Ray holds board positions in the Housing and Health sectors, and continues to take a keen interest in South Africa.

Lucie Pursell – Vice Chair of Trustees

Lucie began her career as a secondary school teacher firstly in London and later in Johannesburg. In 1986, when Soweto schools had been closed by the government due to disruptions in the previous year, Lucie opened up a small school in a disused warehouse preparing students for their state examinations.

This project grew beyond recognition, moved first to an office block in 1988 and later a disused white primary school in the centre of Hillbrow. It was thanks to support from a number of donors including the Bishop Simeon Trust and others that St Enda’s Secondary School, as it became known, became the top performing inner-city school in Johannesburg during her tenure as Principal. Many of the St Enda’s alumni have gone on to take up senior positions in Government and the private sector.  Lucie joined the Gauteng Department of Education in 1997 as a Deputy Director, moving to the UK in 2000. Lucie retired from her position as Director of Administration in the Faculty of Engineering & Design at the University of Bath in June 2014 to move to Portugal.

Vicky Harris - Vice Chair of Trustees

Vicky Harris, a lawyer, is currently Head of Legal at Clarivate Analytics. Vicky has extensive legal experience with particular expertise in Commercial Contracts and Mergers & Acquisitions.  

Vicky spent 4 months teaching at a school in Malawi in 2004 and travelled through Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya. This brought about a love for Africa and its people, and she joined the Bishop Simeon Trust to help support its programmes in South Africa. In her spare time Vicky enjoys playing with her two children, reading and going to the cinema. Vicky is also a governor at a local infant and junior school.  

Fernanda Dezotti - Treasurer

Fernanda is a Chartered Accountant and brings extensive international financial management experience to the Board of Trustees, gained both in the private and not-for-profit sector. 

Fernanda is Deputy Director of Finance for MAG, Mines Advisory Group, a global humanitarian and advocacy organisation that clear landmines, cluster munitions and unexploded bombs from places affected by conflict. She holds a Masters in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and currently serves as Treasurer to the Bishop Simeon Trust.  

Jan Fredrickson

Jan Fredrickson’s professional background is in education, ranging from project-managing cross-phase learning programmes to postgraduate teacher training, including many years’ experience of secondary school teaching and leadership. 

In 1980 she established the Slough and Windsor Anti-Apartheid Group as part of an international network campaigning against Apartheid in South Africa. In 1995 she set up an educational exchange programme between a group of schools in the Thames Valley, UK, and a consortium of schools in the Cape Flats townships in South Africa; this then evolved into a Global Curriculum Schools Partnership, in part funded by the UK government’s Dept. of International Development. From that was born the Hlanganani Learning Partnership – the name means the spirit of working together and the organisation encourages collaborative learning between teachers and learners in SA and the UK; its focus is on global citizenship education, human rights and the development of young leaders in the community. 

Marie Heyes 

Marie Heyes was a Director of the Redbush Tea Company, and during her 18 years with the company she was instrumental in raising funds and awareness both for the Kalahari San, but also working with 2 AIDS projects in South African townships.  

“Supporting the communities in finding sustainable employment as well as vital health care and education for their families has been an amazing experience for me, “ said Marie Heyes. ‘I became more and more interested and keen to help those in particular affected by the HIV and AIDS viruses, which in turn lead me to my trustee role with the Bishop Simeon Trust, where I hope to make a great and positive impact.” Marie is part of the Bishop Simeon Trust’s Communications working group, bringing her many years of writing and marketing experience to advise on ways to better promote the trust and to raise awareness about life for young people in Gauteng, South Africa. She was presented with the BITC International Award by HRH Prince Charles for their work supporting the Bushmen in 2012. 

Kim Hope 

Kim Hope B.Ed, M.A. is a theatre/drama teacher, trainer, theatre director and voice coach. She was engaged in theatre for change in South Africa where she founded and ran the Themba HIV&AIDS Organisation, an NGO for young people using interactive theatre for HIV prevention, and human rights. Themba worked with more than 500,000 people helping them to make informed choices about their lives, their relationships and their sexual health.  

Prior to this Kim was Head of Theatre Arts at the Waterford Kamhlaba United World College of Southern Africa in Swaziland, and has been Head of Drama/Theatre at schools and colleges in West Sussex. Kim has been an actor, theatre director, journalist, public relations officer, and fundraiser. She recently completed a further M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester. She runs drama classes for adults, and writing retreats in the UK and France. Her book, ‘The Bullet in the Pawpaw – Theatre and AIDS in South Africa’ will be published by John Hunt Publishers in February 2020. The book traces Kim’s personal journey and her relationship with South Africa, and gives an account of how Themba was created and the success it achieved.   

Sarah McDowell;

Sarah has been involved with the Bishop Simeon Trust since 1994 when students visited her local church in Devon. She was so inspired by these young people from very troubled townships in and around Johannesburg that she committed to supporting them however she could from the UK.  
Over the subsequent years Sarah has been involved in virtually every area of the Trust's work in the UK and South Africa and has spent many years fundraising with local community groups. Being involved with the Bishop Simeon Trust has had a profound effect on Sarah and her family and she was very honoured to be asked to be a Trustee in 2014. Sarah lives in Devon with her husband and a mad springer spaniel. Her background is in agriculture and she and her husband have run a motor accessory shop for the last 38 years.  

Michael Angus 

Michael is Director of the Barons Court Project, a homelessness and mental health charity in London. He has worked in the 3rd sector throughout his career, including a spell working in South Africa which he thinks of as his second home.

President and Founder

Judith Scott–

Judith Scott

Judith Scott has lived and breathed South Africa since she visited as a teenager in 1953, which turned out to be a life-changing experience for her. In the early 1980s she worked with Bishop Simeon Nkoane in South Africa and became embroiled in his township projects.


She witnessed at first hand the cruelty of the apartheid regime and the battles with the youth in the townships. She returned to the UK determined to try and do something about it and so it was that in 1989 the Bishop Simeon Trust was formed. Initially it brought to the UK some of the youth from the townships whose education had been disrupted. Scholarships were obtained at leading schools and the programme ran until shortly after South Africa became a democratic nation. At which point it was felt that money raised could more usefully be employed in South Africa itself and so today the Trust is involved in education and welfare in South Africa. Judith was Director for many years and since her In retirement Trustees invited her to become Life President. In 1995 Bishop David Beetge the Bishop of the Highveld awarded both Judith and Clive Scott the Bishop's Medal for the establishment of the Bishop Simeon Trust and for the assistance the Trust has given to so many whose education is still affected by the legacy of apartheid. In 2008 Judith had the great honour of being proposed by Archbishop Khotso Makhulu and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to receive the Archbishop of Canterbury's award the Cross of St Augustine for her work in South Africa.

Our Staff

Martin Keat: Director

Martin brings a strong commitment and understanding of supporting the poorest and most marginalised people in Africa to his role as Director for the Bishop Simeon Trust. 


Martin started his career as a volunteer in Tanzania in 1993. This was where his passion for Africa began. After returning to the UK he worked with the Charity Commission as well as volunteering for a charity working in West Africa. Martin then spent seven years working in senior management of two charities working in West Africa working on gender rights, livelihoods and the rights of the child. He also contributed to the British Government’s Commission for Africa Report in 2004. In 2006 Martin returned to his hometown of Leeds to manage an project which increased participation and representation of minority communities in the city in the wake of the London bombings. He then went on to act as International Programmes Director for a charity working in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East for six years before joining the Bishop Simeon Trust as Director in 2014.

'I believe that the Bishop Simeon Trust has an important role to play in South Africa, helping young people to claim their rights, prosper and build a better future. By doing so South Africa can act as a beacon of hope and possibility for all of Africa.' 


Deborah Redding: Finance and Administration Officer

Deborah Redding brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise within the charity sector to her work with the Bishop Simeon Trust. Her attention to detail and keen understanding of the work of the Trust keeps everyone informed and updated to the needs within South Africa. Deborah also volunteers for another local charity within her community. 

Our Patrons

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu 

"The burden of HIV/AIDS falls greatest on the children of South Africa.  These are the children on whom the vision of a prosperous, peaceful, inclusive and just future for South Africa depends.  It is this new generation of children that the Bishop Simeon Trust remains as fully committed to as it was 25 years ago."

Sir Michael Parkinson CBE

"I filmed in South Africa for Comic Relief which is when I first came upon the Bishop Simeon Trust and the remarkable work it does.  I am particularly interested in the school in Lethi’themba and it was then I began to understand the enormity of the work done by the Trust and the extraordinary way in which it attempts to help in what seems to be a hopeless situation.  It’s that determination to effect change in the most dire circumstances that enables outsiders such as myself to offer a helping hand.  Long may it prosper.”

Baroness Helena Kennedy QC

"The Bishop Simeon Trust has been a beacon of light in South Africa. Its work, with really vulnerable children; many of whom have lost parents, others who have disabilities and all of whom are poor, is inspirational. The Trust has played a leading role in showing how civil society has a part to play in building nations by developing invaluable social programmes and organising highly professional ways of working. I am proud to be a patron and send all my good wishes.”

Baroness Glenys Kinnock 

"South Africa has the highest HIV/AIDS prevalence in the world and there is still a real need for the treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV. The Bishop Simeon Trust certainly deserves and needs to continue its life-saving work and its unstinting support for orphans and vulnerable children and those who are affected by HIV/AIDs."

Lord Dennis Stevenson CBE

"It’s extraordinary that you’ve reached the milestone 25 years.  It seems only the other day that Douglas Board, I think it was, asked me to become involved.  I’m very glad I have been involved and am happy to continue to be a Patron into the future as I fundamentally believe in the work."

Jonathan Scott 

"Being exposed to the great man, Simeon, was a fundamental inspiration to my life.  He showed me the gift of service and giving – not just talking!  Through the way he conducted his life he offered hope to me and showed me my responsibility to live it and share it with others.  Simeon stood up against the injustices within society and defeated what was said to be impossible, something that Bishop Simeon Trust (inspired by his life) continues to do." Find out more about Jonathan's work on his Big Cat People website.

Rt Hon Sir Simon Hughes

“I want people to know the fundamental difference the Trust makes to the children and young people who are helped. This is no big, impersonal, remote organisation. The work in Gauteng is work at the heart of the most needy urban communities in South Africa. We need advocates and action for change in South Africa. The more people who hear the stories and see the pictures of what the Trust does, the more people will respond. Every £10 donated can mean the difference between a future for a child with health and hope, and a future with neither."

Terry Waite CBE          

“'It is a disgrace that today there are still thousands of children who are brought up in poverty. One of the greatest things anyone can do is to give young people happy memories of their childhood and over the last twenty five years the Trust has done just that and more besides. Many youngsters have gone forward to make a success of their lives and this has been made possible through the active help of the Trust's many supporters. As a long standing Patron of the Trust I would like to congratulate it on what has been achieved and pledge my support to giving what help I can in the coming years."

Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP

“The more countries I have travelled in my work as an MP and a Minister, the more I am impacted by the effects of poverty, HIV/AIDS, treatable illnesses, and the children left behind. Education and project work are the way forward, and the Bishop Simeon Trust has the expertise to make real lasting impact in South Africa."

Archbishop Khotso Makhulu

“Bishop Simeon Nkoane was a really courageous man working in an area that was difficult and dangerous. He had attempts made on his life. In a fragmented society he was even-handed in how he responded to need, underpinning his love of justice. He stood courageously for justice.”

Zerbanoo Gifford

““Being a patron of the Bishops Simeon’s Trust for the past 25 years has made me know when good people come together they can change the world for the better. The empowerment of people who have been cruelly discriminated against and especially the young is one of the most noble things that any person can undertake. The trust has been groundbreaking in its vision. I am among the millions worldwide that wish to say thank to everyone at the Bishop’s Simeon Trust who has dedicated their lives to work at the grass roots to make a kinder, safer and more just South Africa.”

Lord Harries of Pentregarth

Fergal Keane 

Sir Trevor McDonald OBE

How you can help?

If you would like to support BSTrust  there are a number of ways to do so:

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