Our vision is a South Africa where all people benefit equally from the fruits of democracy and where poverty and HIV/AIDS do not prevent people from achieving their full potential in life.

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 young people in South Africa.

Our Trustees

Jonathan Ellis – Chair of Trustees

Jonathan Ellis – Chair of Trustees

Jonathan is an independent campaigner and teacher supporting charities and not-for-profits to campaign for change around the world – see http://jonathanelliscampaigns.comHe has built a strong and successful track record of leading successful advocacy campaigns over the past 20 years. 
Among his voluntary roles, Jonathan is Chairman of the Bishop Simeon Trust (supporting orphans and vulnerable children in South Africa) and National Vice Chair of City of Sanctuary (building a national movement in defence of asylum seekers and refugees).

Born in South Africa, he was educated at Durham (BA Hons History), Leicester (PGCE), Loughborough (MBA) and City (PG Certificate in Academic Practice) universities. He is a qualified teacher and a fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Twitter: @JonathanMHEllis 

Jonathan led one of OXFAM GB’s global campaigns, has led successful UK campaigns on refugee and housing issues, and until recently led policy, research and advocacy for the British Red Cross. He has extensive experience of supporting the development of advocacy campaigns across the world including: the Balkans, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Peru, Senegal, Somaliland, South Africa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand and across Europe. He was also a visiting lecturer at City University in London on the MA in political communication from 2012-2015.


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. 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.

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.

Ray Harding - Treasurer

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.

Vicky Harris 

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 is excited to join Bishop Simeon Trust to help support its programmes in South Africa. In her spare time Vicky enjoys playing with her 2 year old, reading and going to the cinema. Vicky is also a governor at a local Junior school. 

Marie Heyes 

Marie Heyes is a Director of the Redbush Tea Company, and during her 18 years with the company she has been 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 has joined 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.

Rebecca Macklin 

Rebecca Macklin is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Leeds and 2017-18 Fulbright Scholar at Cornell University. With a background in literary and academic publishing, she has a pervading interest in sustainable development and the role of participatory arts in international development contexts, having led filmmaking and youth leadership workshops in South Africa.  

Rebecca became involved with the Bishop Simeon Trust in 2016 after visiting South Africa as a workshop leader for the Changing the Story project, where she observed the tangible impact that the work of Bishop Simeon Trust has on the lives of children across Guateng. Rebecca’s research is focused on indigenous and postcolonial literatures, with an emphasis on contemporary South African and Native American writing. 

Jan Fredrickson – Staff Staff support and education

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.

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 passion, commitment and understanding of supporting the poorest and most marginalised people in Africa to his role as Director for the Bishop Simeon Trust. 


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: Charity Administrator

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.

Tegan Jones: Fundraising and Communications Officer

Tegan has worked in both national and international charities in communications, fundraising and volunteer management and has a strong interest in Bishop Simeon Trust’s work with young people as a volunteer in the youth sector in her spare time.

Tegan brings broad experience of digital communications, marketing and funding research and has been successful in securing grants and organising events in previous roles. Tegan’s work at the trust is key to building upon restricted funds to further support the organisation’s work and to create engaging communications to raise awareness of both the charity and issues in South Africa.

Bafana Kunene: Safe Park Programme Co-ordinator, South Africa

Bafana has spent his entire career to supporting children and the their communities in South Africa. He brings real insight to our work and has a great understanding of the needs of the communities and the lives of the people who work to develop the Safe Parks we support. He is devoted to helping to bring about change within the communities we serve through helping them to provide independent and sustainable support for children.

Jackie Mukwevho: Safe Park Programme Officer, South Africa

Jackie brings extensive experience of providing support to communities and individuals who have experienced some of the worst impacts of the HIV/AIDS epidemic to her role with the Bishop Simeon Trust. This allows her to provide passionate and knowledgeable support that helps our community partners to confront the challenges they face with great determination to assure that children can break the cycle of poverty and suffering. 

Sinethemba Makanya: Peer Education Programme Officer, South Africa

Sinethemba, better known as Sne, leads our Peer Education Programme in South Africa from within our partner organisation Themba Interactive.  Sne is a renowned drama therapist in South Africa and is a Fulbright Alumnus, having completed her MA in Drama therapy at New York University in 2012. Sne is committed to supporting children and adolescents use creative means to explore the big issues in their lives in a way that helps them finds solutions that they can share with their peers to influence change. Sne brings great skill to this important role. 

Our Patrons

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."

Zerbanoo Gifford

Lord Harries of Pentregarth

Sir Simon Hughes

Fergal Keane 

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."

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          

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. "

Archbishop Khotso Makhulu

How you can help?

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

Latest News

  1. Working together in 2018 Martin Keat 20-Feb-2018
  2. A new take on things Martin Keat 29-Sep-2017
  3. From Tea to Trustee Martin Keat 19-Sep-2017

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