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The Barrow Cadbury Trust is an independent charitable foundation, committed to bringing about socially just change. We provide grants to grassroots community groups and campaigns working in deprived communities in the UK, with a focus on Birmingham and the Black Country.  We also work with researchers, think tanks and government, often in partnership with other grant-makers, to overcome the structural barriers to a more just and equal society. The Trust was founded in 1920 by Barrow Cadbury and his wife Geraldine Southall Cadbury.


Barrow was the grandson of John Cadbury, the founder of the family-run chocolate business in Birmingham, where Barrow worked for almost 50 years, succeeding his uncle George as Chairman in 1918. He and Geraldine were committed Quakers who chose to live modestly themselves and establish the Trust. In time, their children became Trustees and their son, Paul Cadbury, took over as Chair in 1959. Paul, his sisters and many of their descendants have all given time to being Trustees and added generously to the Trust’s endowment. In 2013 the Trust published ‘A History of the Barrow Cadbury Trust: Constancy and Change in Quaker Philanthropy’. Our current Chair is Helen Cadbury, a great grand-daughter of the founders.




Meet the Trustees


Meet the Staff

Max Rutherford
Criminal Justice Programme Manager

Max Rutherford is Criminal Justice Programme Manager. His primary responsibilities are the Trust’s criminal justice policy and research work, supporting related grant-making activities, and developing and implementing the work and recommendations of the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance. Prior to joining the Trust in April 2010, Max was Policy and Strategy Officer for the criminal justice programme at the Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health. He has also worked for an MP in the House of Commons.

Sara Llewellin
Chief Executive

Sara Llewellin is Chief Executive and therefore responsible, with the Board of Trustees, for the strategic direction and social justice impact of the Trust. Sara is on the Governing Council of the European Foundation Centre, is the Vice-Chair of the Association of Charitable Foundations, and is a trustee of Charity Bank and serves on its Credit Committee. Sara was formerly at the City Bridge Trust for a number of years and before that was the Chief Executive of St Giles Trust in South London. Her background is in social justice activism.

Madeleine Rooke-Ley
Executive Assistant to Sara Llewellin and HR Officer

Madeleine Rooke-Ley is Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive and Human Resources Officer. Alongside providing executive support to the Trust’s CEO, Sara Llewellin, she provides human resources support and advice to Trust staff. Before joining the Trust, Madeleine worked at Amadeus Capital Partners, a venture capital company focussing on IT innovation as Office Manager and Director of Operations and HR at SustainAbility. Her voluntary sector experience includes working for The Wishing Well Appeal for Great Ormond Street Hospital and the King’s Fund.

Debbie Pippard
Head of Programmes

As Head of Programmes, Debbie has overall responsibility for delivery of the three funding programmes and also leads on our strategic relationships in Birmingham. She has responsibility for some of our special initiatives, for example chairing the Board of The Foundry Ltd, which owns a building in Vauxhall, London, funded through social investment from the Trust and others. The Foundry will provide office and conference space for human rights and social justice organisations, and will open in 2014. Prior to joining the trust, Debbie worked for the Big Lottery Fund, ran a charity and worked in the NHS. She is trustee and advisor to several charities.

Asma Aroui
Programme Administrator

Asma Aroui is Programme Administrator joined the Trust in 2008. As well as being the main point of contact for grants enquiries, Asma manages the Trust’s grant database system and supports the programme team for the delivery of the Trust’s programmes. She previously worked for the Central and North West London NHS Mental Health Trust. Asma is also a Trustee for a supplementary school which operates in Westminster and provides positive activities for young people from diverse backgrounds.

Clare Payne
Resources and Resilience Programme Manager

Clare Payne is the Resources and Resilience Programme Manager, where her responsibilities include developing proposals with applicants, creating links between grassroots and research and policy work and building networks to ensure that learning is shared and disseminated as widely as possible. Before joining the Trust, Clare was a Development Manager at UnLtd – the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs – where she worked on a range of funding programmes, including UnLtd Sport Relief and a funding scheme in New Deal for Communities areas.

Ayesha Saran
Migration Programme Manager

Ayesha Saran is Migration and Europe Programme Manager, managing and actively contributing to the Trust’s research and policy work as well as its grant-making in the UK and internationally. Prior to joining the Trust, Ayesha worked for intergovernmental organisations for eight years, in both the UK and Albania. She also spent some time working as a freelance journalist in London.

Sharon Wellington
Corporate Affairs Manager

Sharon Wellington is Corporate Affairs Manager joined the Barrow Cadbury Trust in March 2004, having previously worked in the private sector, and was the first member of staff at the Trust’s first London office in Tavistock Square. Sharon has held a number of responsibilities, and her current role focuses on the Trust’s governance and supporting the Board of Trustees. This includes facilitating the quarterly cycle of Board and Committee meetings where key strategic decisions are made. Sharon also acts as facilities manager, ensuring the smooth running of the office space and the very many meetings held here.

Mark O’Kelly
Head of Finance and Administration.

Mark is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience in the voluntary sector. Before joining the Trust in February 2011 Mark was Finance Director of Childhood First. He also spent a number of years working for organizations supporting the development of programmes for disabled people around the world, including several years working and living in Peru.

Dorota Szabat
Finance Officer.

Dorota joined the Trust in July 2011 as Finance and Administration Assistant. She works with the Head of Finance and Administration on the day to day financial management of the Trust. She previously worked for the Campaign to Protect Rural England which campaigns for a beautiful and living countryside. Dorota is a Member of Association of Accounting Technicians and is studying with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants towards her ACCA qualification.

Diana Ruthven
Communications Manager

Diana is the Communications Manager at the Trust. She is responsible for the Trust’s strategic communications, website, social media, media relations, publications, and communications support to grantholders. She has more than 20 years experience in the voluntary sector, primarily in the criminal justice and family sector. Prior to working at Barrow Cadbury she worked for eight years in a number of communications and publishing roles at infrastructure and membership organisation Action for Prisoners’ Families. Before that she was Publishing Manager at campaigning charity Prison Reform Trust.

Clare Gilhooly is Interim Programme Manager covering the Migration and Resources & Resilience Programmes during Ayesha Saran’s and Clare Payne’s maternity leaves. Clare has most recently covered maternity leave at SHINE, an educational grant making trust and previously was the Chief Executive of Cambridge House.

Helen Cadbury
Helen Cadbury joined the board of the Barrow Cadbury Trust in 1998 and served until 2008. She was chair of the Investment Management Committee and Chair of the Inclusive Communities Programme Committee. After a three year sabbatical, to focus on post-graduate study, she rejoined in 2011. Professionally, Helen’s background is in the arts and social justice. She has worked as a teacher, Education Director and consultant on young people and the cultural sector. For the past five years she has worked in prison teaching. She is also a lead trainer for Artswork, a national youth arts development agency. Helen is a published author and poet. She became Chair of the Trust in March 2013.
Helen says: From grassroots experience I know what huge challenges we currently face as a society, which is why I am so excited to take on the responsibility of chairing the Trust

Anna Southall OBE
Anna became a Trustee in 1974 and chaired the Trustee Board from 1996 to 2006. She worked for 40 years, largely but not exclusively in the cultural sector, initially in paintings conservation. After 17 years at Tate Gallery, she became Director of the National Museums & Galleries of Wales (1996-2002) and Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council (2002-2003). Anna has held a range of non-executive roles with government advisory bodies and voluntary sector organizations. These currently include: Vice Chair of the UK Board of the Big Lottery Fund; Vice Chair of the Wales Millennium Centre; Trustee of the Clore Social Leadership Programme; Member of the Governments Spoliation Advisory Panel. She was awarded an OBE for public and charitable services in HM Queen’s 2013 Birthday Honours List.
Anna says: Working with others to overcome the structural barriers to a more just and equal society is what excites me about being a Trustee of Barrow Cadbury.

Erica Cadbury
Erica became a Trustee in 1980. She and her partner John McConnell and their family have lived in Sri Lanka and Thailand. In Sri Lanka Erica and John worked as the representatives of Quaker Peace and Service with various peace oriented NGOs. In 1998, having studied law as a mature student, Erica started working in Craven Citizens Advice Bureau, a small rural bureau serving the Yorkshire Dales, first as an employment rights specialist and now as its Manager. She also sits as a lay member of the Employment Tribunal.
She is an active member of her Quaker Meeting and Convenor of Trustees of a Quaker property charity. She and John also run a small education charity with projects in South East Asia (Scholarships for Street Kids).
Erica says: I see my trusteeship as service but also as something which widens my vision and my experience immensely. I feel I have been privileged to meet some extraordinary people through the Trust and am constantly humbled by the vision and energy of the people and organisations we work with.

Gordon Mitchell
Gordon joined the Trustee Board in 2009 as one of the first Trustees who are not members of the Cadbury family. Having worked extensively in the public sector, including serving as a Programme Director in the Cabinet Office and as Chief Executive of Nottingham City Council. Gordon now combines contract and interim management roles with a variety of board positions. He chairs several social enterprises in the creative sector and serves on the board of a large acute health Trust.
Gordon says: The Trust has done some great work to support grassroots groups who often are beyond the reach of the mainstream agencies. Helping people to develop their voice is a very powerful aspect of bringing about change in policy locally or nationally and I am excited to be offered the opportunity to help develop that potential impact. The Trust and its work needs to be well connected to the system, but is not part of the it and I am convinced that we can use this pivotal position to bring lasting change for some of the UK s most vulnerable people.

Harry Serle
Harry became a Trustee in 2009. He is a great-great-grandson of the Trust’s founders, Barrow and Geraldine Cadbury, and the son of Anna Southall. Harry is a teacher at a boarding school in Wiltshire and a director of a small language school in Shropshire.
Harry says: I feel very privileged to help ensure a little slice of wealth benefits many rather than few. The Cadbury founders believed in the absolute equality of everyone, irrespective of their history, their nationality, their religion and so do I.

Nicola Cadbury
Nicola was appointed as a Trustee in 1998. She has a background in international development, having worked in fundraising, communications, policy and campaigning. She currently works for ActionAid, coordinating schools’ campaigns on international issues.
Nicola says: I very much enjoy being part of a team using our grants to achieve positive social change. The process of channeling resources into areas of need, taking calculated risks, and drawing out the learning is something that I find very rewarding.

Ruth Cadbury
Ruth has been a Trustee since the 1980s and took over as Chair from Anna Southall in 2006. Ruth has a professional background in community development and town planning, working in both the third sector and in local government. She has been an elected councillor in Hounslow since 1986, taking lead roles at a local and national level on the Environment and on Children and Life-Long Learning. Ruth stood down as Chair of the Trust in March 2013, but remains a Trustee.
Ruth says: Our great-grandparents took risks in the organisations they funded, and we are committed to continue that tradition. Their mission was to make an active difference to peoples lives and, in particular, to support people and organisations excluded from mainstream funding. We remain dedicated to that founding ethos. We look for organisations with a clear vision and strong leadership and people who have respect within their community. We also believe that in order to bring about change it is important not just to fund grass-roots organisations but to facilitate them to link with policy-makers to allow their experience to shape policy.

Tamsin Rupprechter
Tamsin was appointed Trustee in 2007 and lives in Austria. She is currently working as head of finance and administration at a property and facility management company. She is also working on a degree in English and American Studies.
Tamsin says: I feel really honoured to be able to be part of the Barrow Cadbury Trust, especially being an Austrian member of the family. What excites me is, on the one hand, having the opportunity to gain more experience and knowledge of the charitable sector in the UK and on the other, actually meeting grassroots groups, seeing what they achieve and being inspired by their work

Jack Serle
is an award winning journalist at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism – an independent, not for profit organisation dedicated to journalism in the public benefit. He has worked at the Bureau since February 2012. On taking up appointment he said: “It is a privilege to be a part of an organisation helping make a change for the better, not just for individuals but structural change to enable us all to build a more just society.”

Steven Skakel
is one of two current trustees who are not direct descendants of the founders. He works in a senior leadership role for Dimension Data – a global IT business with a passion for finding ways to use ICT to make businesses work better. Steven has deep roots in the Birmingham business community having worked in the region for nearly 30 years. Increasingly, this has involved working with local organisations to encourage more effective collaboration between the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. By joining the Trustee Board, Steven said he hoped to bring his experience in business leadership, strategy, financial management and good governance aligned with a passion for the Barrow Cadbury Trust’s focus on the Birmingham and Black Country region.