Our Team: Staff , Trustees and Patrons
Our team of staff, trustees and patrons is made of committed individuals all working together for the promotion of the Trust and in bringing about hope and opportunities to those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and poverty in South Africa.
Jonathan Ellis – Chair of Trustees
Jonathan Ellis is head of Policy, Research and Advocacy at the British Red Cross and a visiting lecturer on the MA in political communication at City University in London. Previously he had been director of advocacy at the British Refugee Council where he led the team working on research, policy, campaigning and communications.
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He is also author of Campaigning for Success- how to cope if you achieve your campaign goal (NCVO 2007), is an external adviser on the Certificate in Campaigning and leads advocacy training for international audiences with INTRAC (International NGO Training and Research Centre) having recently returned from running training for Saferworld in Somaliland and Christian Aid in Haiti.
He is a member of NCVO’s Campaigning Effectiveness advisory group and is a campaign coach and trainer for the Sheila McKechnie Foundation. He is also community advocacy tutor for the Africa Educational Trust’s empowerment course for refugee and migrant leaders and runs the UK Corridors of Power course for Bond.
He was for five years the chief executive of the Empty Homes Agency, an independent national charity. He led the successful campaign for new legislation on empty homes, which resulted in major changes to the Housing Act 2004. Previously he had been a campaign manager for OXFAM, where he worked on a campaign with the Refugee Council and the Transport and General Workers’ Union, which led to the abolition of the asylum vouchers scheme.
He is a trustee of the Bishop Simeon Trust (supporting projects for orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa), the national City of Sanctuary network (creating a movement to welcome asylum seekers), DENS – action on homelessness in Dacorum, Lift (formerly Brent Homeless User Group), and the Migrant and Refugee Community Forum (MRCF) in West London.
Born in South Africa, Jonathan was educated at Durham (BA Hons History), Loughborough (MBA) and Leicester (PGCE) universities.
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.
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- 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. 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 is now the Director of Administration in the Faculty of Engineering & Design at the University of Bath.
Jan Fredrickson – Staff support and education
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.
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- 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.
Mark Millar - Treasurer
A Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) and now a member of ACCA Council who has worked as Chief Executive and Finance Director across organisations within the UK National Health Service. As a member of the ACCA Council and a past Chairman of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA), Mark has undertaken a number of overseas study tours on their behalf and has
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- written and lectured on health systems in a number of European and African countries, as well as Australia, China, New Zealand and United States.
Paula practises as a Coach in London, working with senior leaders across various industry sectors. Prior to setting up her coaching practice she was in Banking where she was Head of Marketing for Standard Bank International and before that, in Strategy Consulting with Bain & Company.
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- In addition to coaching, Paula works with CWR, a Christian charity, as a Tutor, responsible for developing the women's ministry. Paula holds an MBA, a certificate in Professional Coaching and Psychology Honours degree. She is South African, but has lived in the UK since 2010. Paula is passionate about trying to make a difference in South Africa and has great hope for the future of this nation.
Vicky Harris, a lawyer, currently wors for Thomson Reuters as Associate General Counsel for its IP & Science business. Vicky has extensive legal experience with particular expertise in Comercial Contracts and Mergers & Acquisitions. Vicky spent 4 months teaching at a school in Malawi in 2004 and travelled through Malawi, Tanzania and Kenya.
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- This brought about a love for Africa and its people, and she is excited to join BST to help support its programmes in South Africa. In her spare time Vicky enjoys reading and going to the cinema and helps at a local Brownie Unit.
Sarah has worked with and for the Trust over may years, first as a volunteer and then fundraiser and manager. After having a couple of years out to care for family and help out in her husbands business Sarah is pleased to rejoin the Trust as a trustee and says
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- ' I have always enjoyed the close friendships that we have had with our partners in South Africa and supporters here in the UK, I've seen the Trust grow from strength to strength over the year and so was delighted to be asked to be a Trustee and be apart of the continuing process of the Trust moving forward.
Angela Dawson has recently joined our board of trustees and brings a wealth of experience with her from both the commercial world and through her staffing positions within the Church.
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Judith Scott – President and founder
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.
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- 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.
Martin Keat: Director
Martin brings a strong passion, commitment and understanding of supporting the poorest and most marginalised people in Africa to his role as Director for the Bishop Simeon Trust.
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He started his career as a volunteer in a community project in Tanzania in 1993, where his passion for Africa began. Upon his return to the UK he developed his knowledge in charity management by working with the Charity Commission and acting as a Voluntary Projects Officer for a charity working in West Africa.
Martin eventually spent 2 years as Executive Coordinator for this agency, before moving on to act as Director with another charity in West Africa for a further 5 years. In each case he coordinated the management of partnership programmes in Africa focussed on supporting gender rights, livelihoods and the rights of the child. He also had oversight of UK operations and fundraising, as well as contributing to the British Government’s Commission for Africa Report in 2004.
Martin then returned to his hometown of Leeds for two years to manage an organisation established to increase participation and representation of minority communities in the city in the wake of the London bombings in 2006.
Following this Martin spent 6 years as International Programmes Director for a UK based volunteer sending development agency working in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. He restructured partnership models, global strategy, operational management, monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management systems for the organisation. He also helped secure more than £11m of funding.
Martin is a keen advocate for human rights, particularly for the rights of children and adolescents. As an ardent supporter of African development his passion is to support young people in South Africa to build a better future for themselves, to claim their rights, build prosperity and justice within their nation and in doing so assure that South Africa acts as a beacon of hope and possibility for all of Africa.
Deborah Redding: Finance Officer and Trust Administrator
Deborah Redding comes to BSTrust with a wealth of knowledge and expertise within the charity sector. 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.
Maz Brown: Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator
Maz Brown is passionate about seeing individuals flourish in their lives and this has been the driving force in all of her career decisions. Maz is a qualified teacher and loves seeing children reach their potential.
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- She has taught in schools both in the UK and in Africa; enabling children of all ages to become excited about their learning and the opportunities it can open up to them. Having studied for her degree at Southampton University, Maz went on to start a school in Malawi before teaching back in the UK. Maz also has her own greetings card business in which she has a growing team; allowing others to develop their own careers within the business. The role of Community Fundraiser for BSTrust continues Maz´s career. It provides the opportunity to allow people to realise that the amount of time or money they can offer (whether that is a large or small amount) is significant in enabling BST to help create an environment in which people can flourish; highlighting the strapline: Investing in people – Transforming Communities!
Helen Chaloner: Fundraising and Events Coordinator
Helen has always worked for organisations that make a real difference to people's lives. She led a writers’ charity concerned with helping people from all walks of life to access their creativity and then an educational charity, offering a unique programme of learning outside the classroom for urban children.
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- Helen is a Full Member of the Institute of Fundraising and a Licensed Mentor for PQASSO, the Charity Commission-endorsed quality standard for the third sector. Before working in the charity sector, she specialised in public relations for the arts and in publishing. She planned and executed a range of publicity campaigns for internationally-renowned writers and poets and for arts organisations in the South West of England. Helen also works as a freelance consultant to charities, helping them to develop and thrive by assisting with strategy, with fundraising and with project management. Helen lives on Dartmoor in West Devon. She maintains a lifelong passion for reading; she loves France and the French language, and she is a regular runner.
Bafana Kunene: Programme Co-ordinator; South Africa
Bafana has been working for one of our partners for many years and has a real insight into his work and the needs within the projects themselves. He is devoted to helping to bring about change within the communities that the projects serve through equipping them with resources and capable staff.
Bishop Simon Barrington-Ward
Rt Hon Alistair Burt
“In this year of celebrating 25 years of the Bishop Simeon Trust I wanted to reiterate my support for the Trust and the excellent work the whole team continues to carry out. 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 BST has the expertise to make real lasting impact in South Africa."
Lord Harries of Pentregarth
Sir Simon Hughes
Baroness Glenys Kinnock
Baroness Helena Kennedy QC
"Congratulations on a 25 years success story. It is a magnificent tribute to your staff and supporters. 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.”
Sir Trevor McDonald OBE
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.”
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."
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."
Terry Waite CBE
"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. "