Patrons and Trustees

Our trustees are responsible for the overall management of Humankind, its strategic direction and decision making

Board of Trustees


Jim Black

Chair of Trustees


As a Probation Officer in Durham, I was an early member of the original Humankind board when it was starting to expand and offer a range of services to young people in Durham County. I left in the late 1980s but returned in 1999 when I took early retirement from Cambridgeshire Probation Service.

Since retirement, I have served on a number of public bodies including the Mental Health Review Tribunal, the Care Standards Tribunal and the Medical Practitioners Tribunal. As well as Humankind, I am currently Chair of NEPACS, a long established North East charity.

I have been part of the steady growth in scope and scale of Humankind and its services. I am particularly proud of the diversity of services Humankind offers, which allows it to work with complex problems and engage with service users offering a range of help and support.


Eric Feltin

Vice Chair


I am Operations Director of Atlas Mobile, an online marketing company selling digital, physical and financial products worldwide. I am Vice Chair of the industry trade association (aimm) and Industry Liaison Panel member for the industry regulator (PSA). I have a patent in peer-to-peer technologies.

I joined the board of The Blenheim Project in 1997 and have been Chair since 1999. I am delighted to be Vice Chair of Humankind, following its merger with Blenheim CDP, and look forward to creating a national provider of health and social care that is innovative and community-led.


Christopher Matthews-Maxwell



Vice Chair since 1999. Chair of Moretime (UK) Ltd. since Company was incorporated in 2012. Member of Humankind’s Clinical Governance Board since 2015.

Company Director and Chartered Secretary with wide business interests in the North of England. Extensive Board/Senior Management experience in Private, Public and Charitable/Voluntary Sectors. Hold/have held a number of Public Appointments in Health, Housing and Social Care, Tribunals, Judicial and Governance/Regulation, etc. Chairman of Leukaemia CARE, a National Medical Charity together with involvement in a number of National Bodies/Organisations, concerned with Health and Social Care issues.

I am committed to the development of inclusivity and the eradication of social exclusion. Humankind addresses this by providing effective, evidence-based personalised support. This can be clearly seen across the extensive range of services provided and by the high esteem in which Humankind is held by service users, commissioners and the general public. Humankind itself is a model “inclusive” organisation.


Sarah Shepherd



I run a consultancy business working on change processes and leadership development with a range of organisations in health and social services and working with service users, doctors, nurses, managers and leaders, particularly in West Yorkshire and the North East. I also have long experience of governance in further education.

I was acting Chair of SMHS prior to its merger with Humankind and was invited to join the Humankind Board following the merger. I have a long interest in creating services with those using them, so am delighted to be working with this team. Adding clinical services to the wide range of services Humankind provides, creates an interesting opportunity to support communities and people in their aspirations.


Ian Dewhirst



After leaving Loughborough University with an Engineering Degree, I spent most of my life in the commercial and manufacturing world as a Director of Dewhirst Plc., clothing manufacturers based in the North East of England. During this time, I was responsible for developing the Company’s men’s tailoring division and opening an advanced men’s suit factory in Sunderland. Subsequently my responsibilities included a uniform, corporate clothing and retail businesses.

Outside my work with the Dewhirst Company I was Chairman of our Trade Association. A former member of the North Eastern Industrial Development Board, High Sheriff of Durham 2007/08, former Chair of Governors for Highfield Community Primary School and on the Board of our local Hospice. My other interests include sailing, skiing and walking.


Vivienne Holmes



My background is in adult education, teaching literacy and numeracy skills to learners in the community and care settings and providing advice, support and training to staff about good practice when working with learners who have disabilities.

I’ve been on Humankind’s Board since late 2006, having become aware of the charity when some of its staff attended curriculum training events I organised. I remain inspired by people I meet that the charity works with, whose lives I have seen transformed. Also, by the dedication of staff that make this possible. Whilst on the Board I’ve undertaken visits and training to ensure I’m well informed about the work and practices of the charity, in order to fulfil my obligations as a trustee and I’ve represented the charity when it has sought quality assurance measures such as Investors in Volunteers. I recently became a Director of Moretime and am also a member of the Board of Directors at Five Lamps and the Legacy Funding Panel for 2D with County Durham Foundation.


Caroline Gitsham



I have over 30 years’ experience working in the public sector, including 15 years working at an executive level. I am passionate about customer service and making a difference and have worked with a variety of partners across my career including working in an advisory capacity to the government and other bodies.

My experience includes managing a range of complex services. A number of new, innovative and award winning services have also been developed under my leadership, including Gentoo Living. I am an active member and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing. A member of the NECC and Chair of Women In Social Housing (NE).


Alex Boyt



I was an intravenous drug user for 15 years, having extensive experience of receiving treatment in rehabs, in the community and in prison. Being an expert by experience, between 2009 and 2017 I was employed in Camden to deliver service user involvement and peer support projects. Before my work in service user involvement, I spent 20 years building international IT networks for financial institutions, as well as writing plays and articles about the drug treatment system.

I joined the Blenheim board in 2014 and am delighted to be joining the joint Board following our merger with Humankind in April 2019.


Jim Foyle



I am a Chartered Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years experience in the NHS in London as a Psychologist, and in a management role in NHS trusts and as a Commissioner of local services. I have always worked closely across Government, Local Authority and third sector agencies in a number of care settings including mental health, substance abuse, learning disabilities and clinical psychology post graduate training.

My work as a Psychologist has focused on cognitive and systemic approaches, working with clients, staff groups and parent groups in statutory and third sector organisations.


Ian Macqueen

Chair of EDP Board

Ian is an experienced businessman who has spent his career within the retail industry having been involved with a number of well-known UK companies. Since retiring as Group Managing Director of Fiskars Brands UK Ian has founded an online retail company based in the West Country. Alongside his role as Chair of The Board of Trustees for EDP Ian is a trustee of the St John Ambulance County Priory Group, a fundraiser for Children with Cancer UK and Chairman of Exmouth Chamber of Trade.

Ian is keenly aware of the impact problematic drug and alcohol use has on the individual, their family and friends, and the wider community, which is why he believes the work EDP does is so very worthwhile. As Chair, Ian sees his role as helping and supporting EDP to achieve its aims and objectives in every respect alongside their central belief in the ability of all people to change and make a positive difference.


Janet Bilbie


Janet Bilbie is EDP’s Treasurer, having served on the Finance & Audit Committee for 2 years. She holds the FCA accountancy qualification which she gained in professional practice, and subsequently worked in senior positions in the private and charity sectors. Before she retired, Janet was Director of Finance at The Dulwich Estate, a charity in South London, and brings to the Board experience of sound financial management and strategic planning within the charity environment.



Lord Ramsbotham


Lord Ramsbotham was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade, later the Royal Green Jackets, on coming down from Cambridge in 1957. He retired from the Army in 1993, in the rank of General.

Between then and 1995 he chaired the Hillingdon NHS Hospital Trust, and worked for a Private Security Company on post-conflict reconstruction including demining.

From 1995 to 2001 he was HM Chief Inspector of Prisons during which period he published a thematic review entitled ‘Patient or Prisoner?’ recommending that responsibility for prison healthcare should be taken over by the NHS, which was achieved in 2003.

He was appointed a crossbench member of the House of Lords in May 2005, where he focuses on all aspects of penal reform.


Tracey Crouch MP


Born in 1975, Tracey grew up and was educated in Kent. Tracey studied Law at The University of Hull and after graduating worked as a researcher to a Conservative MP.

After two years of working in Parliament for various MPs including Michael Howard, Tracey left to work as a political consultant. In 2003, Tracey was asked to return to Parliament to become Chief of Staff to the Shadow Education Secretary Damian Green, before moving to become Chief of Staff to Shadow Home Secretary David Davis shortly after. Having seen David Davis’ majority treble in the 2005 General Election, Tracey once again left Parliament to work in the City for insurance giant Norwich Union and its FTSE parent Aviva.

Tracey was selected for Chatham & Aylesford in November 2006 and became the Member of Parliament there in the 2010 General Elections.

In 2012 Tracey was elected as a committee member of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee, and in 2013 she was elected as a member of the Political & Constitutional Reform Select Committee. Previous Chairmanships include Chairman of the All Party Alcohol Misuse Group and Vice Chairman of the All Party Groups for Dementia and Women in Sport. Tracey is also a member of the Women in Sport Advisory Board set up by the Secretary of State Maria Miller and in May 2015, and held the position of Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport and Civil Society from 2017 to 2018.


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