• Living Wage


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 Trust’s Transition to Adulthood (T2A) programme. He has worked at the Trust since 2010. He previously worked in policy and research roles relatied to criminal justice and mental health, both in the voluntary sector and within central government. He serves on a number of boards and committees, including as a member of the Reducing Reoffending Third Sector Leadership Board (RR3). He is a trustee of a small brain injury rehabilitation charity.

Max says: “Working at the Trust enables me to make a contribution to achieving social justice at the interface of practice, policy and research, and to act as a broker between those whose voices are rarely heard and those in positions of power”

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 non-executive director 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, particularly in the domestic violence movement and in local community provision.

Sara says: It is an extraordinary privilege to lead an organisation which works to create structural change. Our trustees and staff are all driven by our common values and a shared optimistic vision for the future.

Madeleine Rooke-Ley
Internal Affairs Manager

As Internal Affairs Manager Maddy’s remit includes executive support, governance and HR. Having started out as a nurse, she has also worked in the private and voluntary sectors. Prior to joining the Trust, she worked at Amadeus Capital Partners, a venture capital company focussing on IT innovation, then as Director of Operations and HR at Sustainability. Her charity sector experience includes working at the Wishing Well Appeal for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the King’s Fund.

Maddy says: “Apart from working with some amazing people, I feel the Trust’s values and Quaker ethos Trust resonate with my own beliefs and values”

Debbie Pippard
Head of Programmes

As Head of Programmes, Debbie is responsible for the 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 social justice centre in Vauxhall, London, funded through social investment from the Trust and others.
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.

Debbie says: “My background in activism, health and equalities means that working for the Trust provides the perfect opportunity to put my values into action with a social justice funder”.

Clare Payne
Resources and Resilience Programme Manager

Clare Payne is the Resources and Resilience Programme Manager. Her responsibilities include developing proposals with applicants, creating links between grassroots and research and policy work and ensuring 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.

Clare says: “It is important to me that those who are furthest from power have the opportunity to improve their own lives and have their voices heard. The Trust does this by placing the experiences of communities at the heart of its grant making. “

Ayesha Saran
Migration Programme Manager

Ayesha Saran is Migration 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.

Ayesha says: “I feel lucky to be able to work for an organisation with an impressive history of making a difference to people’s lives.”

Mark O’Kelly
Head of Finance and Administration.

Mark joined the Trust in 2011. He is a qualified chartered accountant with over 25 years experience in the voluntary sector. He was previously Finance Director of Childhood First, and has also spent a number of years working for organizations supporting the development of programmes for disabled people around the world, including several years working in Peru.

Mark says: “Having been a great admirer of the work of the Trust (and having raised funds from it in the past), it is a privilege to now be part of it and contribute to achieving change in society.“

Dorota Szabat
Finance Officer.

Dorota joined the Trust in July 2011. 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. Dorota is a Member of Association of Accounting Technicians and is studying with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants towards her ACCA qualification.

Dorota says: “It is a privilege to work for an organisation with such a long history of leadership in social justice.”

Diana Ruthven
Communications Manager

Diana is the Communications Manager at the Trust. She is responsible for the Trust’s strategic communications, including 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.

Diana says: “Coming from a career in the voluntary sector, moving to the Trust seemed like a very natural next step. Communicating about the trust’s unique way of working and the far-reaching work we support is challenging and stimulating in equal measures.”

Tim Soule
Tim joined the Trust in the Autumn of 2015 and oversees the day to day running of the Trust’s office, as well as supporting our communications work. He has worked in the charity sector for the last 5 years, mainly for organisations that provide support and assistance to vulnerable adults. Prior to this he worked in a variety of roles in both the public and private sector..

Tim says: “I am really honoured and pleased to be working for the Barrow Cadbury Trust. I am impressed with the hard work the Trust is putting in to help shape changes in society and to make a positive difference to the lives of people up and down the country”.

Sohaib Malik
Sohaib joined the Trust in October 2015. He previously worked as a Mentor at a Sixth Form in Tower Hamlets, with responsibility for students’ pastoral care and academic interventions. Prior to this, Sohaib worked for youth and community charity The Challenge on the National Citizen Service initiative.

Sohaib says: “Throughout my career I have endeavoured to give young people the cultural capital that they need to succeed. The Trust has an impressive track record in social justice leadership and I am excited by the opportunity to contribute to structural change in society.”

Helen Cadbury
Helen Cadbury joined the board of the Barrow Cadbury Trust in 1998 and served on it 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 and since March 2013 has been Chair of the Trust. 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. She worked for several years in prison teaching and is now a published author.

Helen says: “From grassroots experience I know what huge challenges we currently face as a society, which is why I am so excited to be chairing the Trust.”

Anna Southall OBE
Anna became a Trustee in 1974 and chaired the 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 moved to Wales in 1996, initially as Assistant Director of the National Museums & Galleries, becoming the Director in 1998. In 2002 she returned to England as Chief Executive of the Museums, Libraries & Archives Council until 2003. Since then, Anna has held a range of non-executive roles with government advisory bodies and voluntary sector organisations. In 2004 she joined the joint Board of the Community and New Opportunity Funds which oversaw the merger to form the Big Lottery Fund in 2006; Anna served as Vice Chair of the UK Board from 2006 to 2014. Her current positions include Vice Chair of the Wales Millennium Centre, Trustee of the Clore Social Leadership Programme and membership of the Government’s Spoliation Advisory Panel. She is also the Interim Chair of Arnolfini in Bristol, where she lives. 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 worked in Sri Lanka and Thailand in the 80’s and the early 90’s on peace related projects. In 1998, having studied law as a mature student, Erica started working in Craven Citizens Advice Bureau and is now CEO of Citizens Advice – Craven and Harrogate Districts. 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 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 Worcestershire.

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.”

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
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.

Jack 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
Steven Skakel is one of four current trustees who are not direct descendants of the founders. Steven has spent most of his career working in the IT business holding senior leadership positions in the UK and Europe. He 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.

Steven says: “I hope my experience in business leadership, strategy, financial management and good governance, and my passion for Birmingham and West Midlands, will complement Barrow Cadbury Trust’s work in the region.”

At 24 Binita Mehta is one of the youngest council group leaders in the country, having recently been elected Conservative Group leader at Watford Borough Council. She is also trustee of charity Progressive Women, committee member for No One Ever Told Me About Politics and Governor of a local free school in Watford. Professionally, Binita works as a consultant in communications, public affairs and public relations.

Binita says: “I am very much looking forward to serving as a trustee of the Trust and helping to support organisations to achieve social justice and equality in our society. This duty will allow me to develop my skills and add a youth and diversity perspective – because of my background and political ideology – to the board. Attending a West Midlands university, and having been involved in community social action whilst there, also provides an empathetic link to the Trust’s work.”

Cathy Pharoah
Cathy Pharoah is Visiting Professor of Charity Funding and co-Director of the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School. She is an expert on the funding of the voluntary sector, specialising in research on philanthropy. She produces the annual Family Foundation Giving report, with the Pears Foundation, now into its seventh edition and is collaborating with the Association of Charitable Foundations on a new series of annual Briefings on trends in foundation spending. She has carried out research for government and many charitable clients, works with the donor advisor community, and was Research Director at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) for 11 years. She is a founder and Policy Editor of Voluntary Sector Review, and presents widely on giving and philanthropy.

Cathy says: “I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the work of a family foundation at the leading-edge of voluntary activities in some of the most challenging rights and equality issues of our time.”