Board of Trustees
John McLean, Chair
John has a long-standing relationship with several charities and has played a key role in a number of fundraising initiatives, including sitting on the Lord Mayor’s Appeal Board and chairing Carers Trust’s inaugural carol concert board in 2017.
His recognition of the vital role that carers face and the prospect of himself or his family and friends becoming carers prompted him to find out more about the role of carers and to consider how he could contribute to help improve their lives.
John says he is acutely aware of the increasing ageing population and has seen the effects of caring on a number of his friends and colleagues.
John was a member of Voluntary Overseas (VSO) Federation Council (2012-2015), Chairman of VSO China (2010-2015) and an active VSO fundraiser. His commitment to young people stems from his work with VSO and ultimate interest in young carers, as a result.
Outside of his charity work, John is a chartered accountant, who brings a wealth of expertise to the role of chair of Carers Trust, having led growth in a number of medium-sized organisations. He has held senior posts in numerous international and UK organisations, with particular interest in China, where he chairs several companies.
He was awarded an OBE for services to British business interests and the development of civil society in China in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list.
John’s other interests include abseiling, travelling and singing. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.
Veronica Stonor, Vice Chair
Veronica is currently Chair of Newcastle Carers, having joined their board in 2012. She represents the Carers Trust Network in the North East.
She became involved with Newcastle Carers as she was keen to pursue a role that she could combine with looking after her young family, and was drawn to this charity in particular having undertaken a caring role for her parents who both had different types of dementia.
This experience of caring for her parents while also working and looking after four young children has made her aware of the issues and pressures facing carers.
Veronica's career was as a general manager in the NHS, working in several major teaching hospitals. Her roles covered medical, care of the elderly and paediatric services.
Linda Main, Treasurer
Linda is a chartered accountant and a partner in KPMG LLP where she leads the UK Capital Markets Group, working with clients of all sizes and sectors seeking to list their shares in London. She also oversees HR issues for a group of around 750 people.
Linda’s interest in Carer’s Trust stems from her experience of caring for her elderly parents as well as her (now adult) son who has complex learning difficulties, autism and epilepsy and required full-time care. She is acutely aware of the demands caring puts on a family and the challenges of balancing work, caring and family life.
When she is not working or caring Linda enjoys walking, gardening and trying to keep fit.
Jackie Ashley, Trustee
Jackie Ashley has been a political journalist for more than 30 years working for the BBC, ITN, Channel 4 News, the New Statesman and the Guardian and has been a full-time carer.
In 2015 she became President of Lucy Cavendish College at the University of Cambridge, a post she held for three years. During this time, Jackie espoused several causes, including women in leadership, women in tech and women in sport, holding conferences and seminars and inviting guest speakers.
Jackie is currently working as a consultant, advising a range of organisations including the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee. Jackie is an experienced media consultant and a successful fundraiser.
Joanna Dodd, Trustee
Joanna Dodd has worked in PR almost her entire career and currently runs her own PR consultancy, Rochester PR Group, which specialises in helping international brands and companies launch in the UK. Her clients have included the Royal Hospital Chelsea (home of the Chelsea Pensioners) and work on other companies’ CSR programmes.
Joanna has undertaken pro bono work for several charities with a focus on messaging, stakeholder engagement and reputational issues. Joanna recently completed eight years as a trustee of The Clothworkers' Foundation.
Natasha Mutch-Vidal, Trustee
Natasha Mutch-Vidal is a young adult carer and is passionate about supporting other carers under 25. She graduated in 2017 from University of Leeds with a 1st class degree. During her time at university, she was a trustee and elected student officer at Leeds University Union advocating equality and diversity on campus as well as being a member of University Council.
Natasha now works at City, University of London leading a dedicated support programme for young adult carers and other student groups to ensure they succeed while at university. In her free time she enjoys painting and plays the violin in West London Sinfonia.
Senior Management Team
Gareth Howells, CEO Carers Trust
Gareth joined Carers Trust in 2019. He previously worked for four years as the CEO of Carers Trust South East Wales. He has a wealth of relevant experience having also held senior management positions within the Mind network, housing, local government and the private sector.
Having been a young carer himself, Gareth is acutely aware of the challenges facing unpaid carers across the UK. Gareth is motivated and committed to ensuring unpaid carers have their voice heard and access to the right information, advice and support.
He has also been a trustee of a number of charities including a local Mind partner and a Welsh County Voluntary Council, and has a real commitment to highlighting the integral role the charity sector plays in improving the lives of people in the UK.
Simon Hatch, Director of Carers Trust Wales
Simon is from Mold in North Wales and started his career working for the newly elected Chris Ruane MP in the Vale of Clwyd in 1997, before becoming Welsh Labour’s Head of Organisation a year later. In 2001 he left politics to spend several months abroad carrying out health research in five global cities before returning to Wales and becoming the Wales Director for Parkinson’s UK. Simon spent seven years in this role focusing on working with the Welsh NHS, social care and voluntary sector to improve the lives of people living with Parkinson’s disease and their carers and families.
Before joining Carers Trust, Simon was Executive Director for Wales at Samaritans for 4 years where he also worked alongside volunteers and staff, Local Health Boards, Local Authorities and the Welsh Government. Simon was a Trustee of Cardiff Foodbank from 2013 to 2017, is a Welsh learner and lives in Cardiff with his wife and two children.
Kathryn Hill, Director of England
Kathryn joined Carers Trust in 2018 and was previously Head of Engagement, Participation and Involvement at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, where she was also carers lead. Prior to that she was Director of Planning and Business Development at Mind and before that Director of Programmes at the Mental Health Foundation.
She is currently Chair of a charity called Bright who support staff on acute mental health inpatient to work holistically with their service users. She has experience of working with a network, policy (both local and national), grant giving and programme development and delivery. Kathryn has direct experience of being a carer.
Svetlana Kirov, Director of Fundraising and Communications
Svetlana joined Carers Trust in May 2018. Svetlana has extensive fundraising experience and has held senior roles at Beating Bowel Cancer, Samaritans and Diabetes UK as well as working at several leading charities including NSPCC, Comic Relief and The Prince’s Trust.
Svetlana oversees our individual giving, events, corporate, major donor and trusts teams. Svetlana also leads our Communications team. In her spare time, Svetlana loves travelling particularly in Central and South America.
Louise Morgan, Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland
Louise worked for Carers Trust and previously PRTC for almost 14 years. During that time as Young Carers Development Manager, Louise’s role has included working with all of the young carers services in Scotland to develop and roll out various national initiatives, including the annual Festival. The job also included working in a strategic role alongside the other national carers organisations in Scotland and with relevant departments in Scottish Government.
Louise is delighted to be taking up the Director post for Scotland and Northern Ireland and is looking forward to the new challenges this role will bring.
Louise lives in Ayrshire and cares for her mother who has advanced COPD. She has 3 grown up sons and an undying passion for horse riding.
Judith Wilson, Director of Corporate Services
Judith joined Carers Trust in May 2017 and she is a qualified chartered accountant with extensive experience of accounting, financial systems and tax across a range of private sector and not-for-profit organisations.
Operating at a senior management levels and maintaining stakeholder relationships Judith has developed effective teams in different companies. She has a sound grasp of business processes, internal controls and systems needed to operate smoothly to deliver strong finance, corporate services and performance functions. In addition, Judith has led a number of improvement projects and change projects through to successful implementation.
Judith is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (FCA).