BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Now a freelance consultant, Gilly was most recently Head of UK Grants at Comic Relief which she joined as a grants officer 20 years ago and where she was responsible for the development, implementation and review of the UK grants strategy. She has always ensured that the needs and rights of marginalised people are reflected in the organisation’s work.
She originally trained as a social worker, and worked in a north London social services department in child protection before moving to the voluntary sector in the early 80s. She worked with young people in a variety of voluntary organisations, and settings including youth offending and homelessness agencies.
Her early housing and homelessness work included establishing the first supported housing for young lesbians. She has previously chaired domestic abuse and housing organisations and was a co-founder of the Ellen Gee Foundation which aimed to provide evidence based research to inform the funding strategies of charitable funders to ensure they met the needs of LGBT people. She was awarded an OBE for services to domestic violence in 2007. Her combined work and volunteer experience stretches nearly 40 years.
Gilly has a strong interest in the delivery, quality and dignity of care for older people, informed most recently by both parents moving to a care home.
James’s career has included time as a teacher in Kenya and Honduras, as a journalist with the BBC World Service and other international broadcasters in Southern Africa, and as an editor at GQ Magazine.
While working in Africa, James realized the potential of generating broadcast material with local communities, leading to the development of new skills and confidence.
In 1994, he established Radio for Development in response to these new opportunities in Africa, the Indian sub-continent, and the Caribbean.
In 2005, Media for Development (MFD) was launched, reflecting the multiple media platforms that the organization was now working with. Through MFD, a range of new initiatives and social businesses has been launched, including Inside Job Productions, Young Dads TV, and Prison Media.
James stepped down as Chief Executive of Media for Development in March 2013. He now chairs the Board of Directors.
Founding Director, Chair of the Board
Until recently Geoff was Principal and Chief Executive of Greenwich Community College (GCC) a large further education college in South East London. In this role he played a prominent part in the development of an international/global dimension to vocational education and training. For a number of years he was the Chair of the British Council’s Advisory Forum on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). He participated in a number of Ministerial visits overseas to promote British TVET and presented at conferences across Europe, in the USA, Canada, Australia and China. At GCC he was responsible for developing award winning partnerships with local employers and served on several regional and national committees for the Association of Colleges.
Geoff was also very active in the Institute of Directors as a member of the Central Committee and played a leading role in engaging young people in developing their enterprise skills through an innovative and competitive approach to business development during Global Enterprise Week. Outside the world of education and training, Geoff had a parallel business career initially in the retail world and subsequently in the entertainment business. In this he was involved with his partner in developing and running what became the largest agency for dancers and singers in the UK as well as a production company and costume manufacturing business.
Geoff is the Chair of Trustees of Bird College – a performing arts college in South East London. He is also the Chair of Trustees of the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival – Britain’s premier outdoor theatre festival.
Alastair is CEO of the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE). SSE supports more than 1,000 social entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs each year with learning and connections, through its global network of 11 schools.
Alastair became a social entrepreneur when he joined SSE’s very first cohort in 1997.
Alastair is also a trustee of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation and the Cabrach Trust, and has previously held trustee roles at Social Enterprise UK, UnLtd, Access and the Akram Khan Dance Company.
Alastair heads up the senior management team at SSE, which includes the managing director, director of programmes and learning, and director of development and external affairs.