The Association of Volunteer Managers is a company limited by guarantee governed by a board of directors:

Ruth Leonard (Chair)

Ruth Leonard is the Head of Volunteering Development at Macmillan Cancer Support, where her role is to consider strategically where volunteers could be involved in providing solutions and to ensure that there is a supportive infrastructure to enable these interventions to be co-designed with and delivered by volunteers. 

Before working with Macmillan she was part of the Samaritans Volunteering Team, which fired her passion for truly volunteer led services and belief in a model of volunteers being managed by volunteers. Ruth feels that volunteer management is about empowering and enabling people to bring creativity and ingenuity to a solution to be able to make a difference in their community. With a background in journalism she is interested in encouraging the voice of volunteers to be heard and fully inform a volunteer programme.

She enjoys collaborative working; bringing together and being involved in networks from the wider volunteer involving and statutory sectors to creatively think about volunteering and community engagement issues and has been involved in several cross-sector pieces of work. 

Her personal volunteering includes being a Samaritans volunteer, a community mediator and a previous trustee with Prisoners Family and Friends Service.

Elected until 2020

Tom Ball (Treasurer)

Tom Ball is a Technical Audit Manager at Grant Thornton UK LLP

Following eight years studying Chemistry at university, Tom joined the Audit Commission to train as a public sector external auditor, subsequently joining Grant Thornton in 2012 and qualifying as a Chartered Public Finance Accountant the year after. During his career Tom has undertaken statutory external audit work at a range of Local Authorities, NHS bodies, Local Government Pension Schemes, as well as certifying central government grant funding and performing value for money reviews.

Tom also has experience of working with charities, limited companies and membership organisations and his career to date has also included secondments and permanent roles in the Department of Health and Ministry of Justice.

Tom’s work experience includes communicating effectively with senior external and internal stakeholders and he has a keen interest in making financial information and technical concepts easy to understand for non-specialists, thus enabling finance to be a key driver of decision making. 

In his current role, Tom provides technical audit training to Grant Thornton’s assurance practice and responds to technical queries from the firm’s auditors, providing support for the firm’s interactions with its regulators and other key external stakeholders. He also plays a key role in enhancing and maintaining audit quality standards across the firm and supports effective risk management throughout the firm’s relationships with all its audit clients. 

Tom has engaged in ad hoc volunteering activity on several occasions and is keen to ‘give back’ when  he can.

Outside of work, Tom enjoys the world of film as a member of the BFI and is a keen follower of Formula One.

Tom is married to Rachel Ball. 

Co-opted until 2019

Rachel Ball (Secretary)

Rachel Ball is the Volunteering Manager at the RAF Museum, London. 

Brought into establish and implement a broad and varied volunteering programme, Rachel has focused on upskilling the staff across both the Museum’s sites to build confidence in involving, working with and supporting volunteers. Through consultation, Rachel has developed the Museum’s first volunteering strategy and action plan, relevant policies, procedures and handbooks and has delivered training in Volunteer Management.

Rachel has recently completed her Level 5 in Volunteer Management, accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management. In previous roles, she has achieved the Investing in Volunteers Award and delivered a successful application for the Queens Award for Voluntary service.

Rachel has experience of volunteer management in museums, mental health and carers charities.

Rachel has a passion for all things film and is always interested hearing recommendations from other cinema goers.

Elected until 2019

Angela Wilson

Angela is Head of Volunteering at Samaritans 

She was Senior Adviser for Volunteering & Community Engagement at Barnardo’s), she is responsible for leading a staff team based around the UK who advise volunteer managers on all matters including recruitment, support and supervision, motivation, reward and recognition, problem solving and disputes, policy and procedural issues, etc. Angela has held roles including Volunteering Policy & Standards Manager at St John Ambulance and Organisational Development Manager at Voluntary Action Westminster.

Angela’s personal experience in volunteering began in childhood, e.g. as a Sixer for her local Brownies group. Aged 18 she undertook a six-month volunteering role in South India as a teacher and carer at a school and orphanage, an experience which shaped and cemented her firm belief in the power of the voluntary sector in promoting fairness. Volunteer management roles in adulthood have included Events Team Leader for the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), Trustee for Volunteer Centre Westminster and Trustee for Westminster Befriend a Family.

With a particular interest in learning and development, Angela recently obtained an MSc in Human Resource Development (CIPD), and won awards for “best student” and “best module result” with her dissertation entitled “Influencing Volunteer Commitment and Contribution: the Impact of Transformational Leadership, Personal Motivation and the Functional Benefits of Volunteering”.

Elected until 2019

Daniel Ingram

Daniel describes his mission in life as helping people reach their full potential. He began working in the third sector in 2008 

However, Daniel’s love of volunteering began while studying Social Work at The University of Manchester. As part of Student Action, the students’ union’s community volunteering society, he supported projects involving vulnerable children, the homeless and elderly. Daniel continues to volunteer by coaching junior cricket.

He says: “AVM is member driven. That’s why I became a member, and what drove me to get more involved. With your help we can increase the number of people, organisations and causes that can benefit from AVM’s work.

“What’s your feedback about AVM today? How can it improve for the future? I’m keen to hear what you think as your Director. Tweet me or message me on LinkedIn if you’d like to share your thoughts or get more involved in AVM.”

Daniel lives in Cambridgeshire with his partner Heidi and two guinea pigs Crackle and Pop.

Elected until 2020

Jo Gibney

Jo is Strategic Volunteering Manager at Anthony Nolan where she is leading the development of the volunteering strategy, as well as providing support to volunteer managers.

Like many volunteer managers, Jo fell into it almost by accident, even though she has been volunteering for a lot of her life

Prompted to think about a career change following a redundancy, she was introduced to AVM at a conference and realised she had found a role that suited her, as well as a community of people who are there to support and share with one another,and has been a member of AVM ever since.


Prior to working at Anthony Nolan, Jo was part of the national volunteering team of The Royal British Legion, supporting volunteer managers and promoting volunteering in the organisation. At the Legion, Jo led on the development of volunteer management training and the annual volunteer engagement survey, among other projects.

Outside of work Jo has been a trustee for small charities, was a volunteer for St John Ambulance for almost a decade, and likes to volunteer for different charities at events.

Jo lives in London, is married to Tony (also a volunteer manager), is looking for a cat and possibly tweets more about cheese and cute animals than volunteer management.

Elected until 2020

Karen Ramnauth

Karen Ramnauth is the Voluntary Services Manager at South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust 

Her role focuses on designing and implementing policy and governance infrastructure for volunteer activities to flourish, and fostering best practice in volunteer management throughout the Trust. Karen is a non-practising solicitor who is passionate about social action and the ability of volunteers to improve health outcomes in local communities.

Elected until 2020

Rachael Bayley

Rachael is interim Director of Delivery & Development at the Ramblers

She was the Head of Volunteering Development at Save the Children UK. She leads on developing the volunteering strategy, framework and culture to ensure volunteering is embedded across the whole organisation. She originally moved into the sector (from investment banking) to be Director of Service at Volunteer Reading Help. 

Rachael was the Director of Volunteering at CSV (Community Service Volunteers), where she led a team of 15,000 volunteers who are supported by 28 staff.

Rachael has also been Director of Volunteering Development at the Alzheimer’s Society; and Head of Volunteering at Samaritans with 18,000 volunteers and 202 branches each led by volunteers – a highly successful model of volunteers managing volunteers. Rachael is also a Trustee of Barnardo’s and is training to be a qualified Pilates tutor.

Co-opted until 2019

Alan Murray

Alan Murray is Head of Volunteering and Employee Engagement at the RSPB

The RSPB is Nature’s Voice and at the RSPB, I’m the voice of volunteering. I’ve spent all my working life, already longer than I care to remember, working to enthuse, inspire and enable people to put their time and talents to best use for nature and the environment.

This passion came about from being a full time volunteer myself with the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers way back in 1989 – fab times. Today I’m very fortunate to be Head of Volunteering and Employee Engagement for the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) What’s that mean? Well in short, I’m the strategic lead for Volunteering at the RSPB and head up internal communications as after all our volunteers are part of our organisational ‘family’ along with our employees and together we are all One Team for Nature.

My role is all about making sure we create impactful volunteering opportunities that make the best use of people’s time, passion, skills and knowledge. We also want to make sure people have such a great time volunteering with us they would be happy to recommend volunteering with us to a friend or family member.

As well as that small challenge I’m responsible for internal communications at the RSPB ensuring everyone (paid or unpaid) knows what is going on, why and how they can get involved.

I’m still volunteering myself as Chair of the AVM Conference Planning Group and I was a founding member and Director of AVM when it started. I am delighted to re-join the Board at a time of significant change and opportunity for AVM. I’m really looking forward to working with Ruth, my fellow Directors and you our members to ensure AVM continues to grow and flourish. As John F Kennedy said:
“Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.” My mantra is to just keep trying!

Co-opted until 2019

Alex Beaumont

Alex is currently the Volunteering Manager at LTA / British Tennis, overseeing the engagement of over 25,000 volunteers in tennis clubs, within communities, schools and at competitions and events.

Alex’s passion for volunteering started at Uni in 2001 where he began volunteering with Samaritans as a listening volunteer, a role he does to this day – taking on various additional roles over the years (outreach, training, mentoring and at festivals). After a couple of years in the city, he worked his way over to volunteer management at the MS Society, with a focus on helpline and support service volunteers, and at Missing People where he delivered a new strategy, database and training programme. He completed a ILM Level 5 in Volunteer Management in 2016.

Some of the best moments of Alex’s life have come about through volunteering – whether that be from leading a bunch of teenagers in the rainforests of Costa Rica, being part of the 2012 Olympics or, through Samaritans, meeting his husband Lee.

Elected until 2021

Sarah Merrington

Sarah is Senior Development Manager at CIPD

Sarah Merrington has over 18 years experience in project, event and volunteer management with her main area of expertise is in managing and delivering projects that promote and engage people in positive health and environmental behaviours. The majority of these have been established to increase communities’ physical activity levels and to improve nutritional habits.

She has developed programmes across a range of different settings and population groups within local communities, schools and youth groups, workplaces and higher education.

Volunteers have always been at the heart of her programmes, whether student representatives running sports clubs in universities, community volunteers and activists driving forward local change or members of an organisation looking to give back to their sector.

Over the last year she supported Cycling UK to write their new 5-year volunteering strategy and ensure that volunteers were central to their organisation.

Now at CIPD (the professional body for HR) as Senior Development Manager leading on mentoring, she recruits HR professionals as volunteers to support job seekers and those who want to develop in their careers.

Elected until 2021

Annabel Smith

Annabel is Head of Volunteering and Participation Development at the National Trust

She works as part of a central team to create an environment where everyone feels welcomed, inspired and supported to make a positive difference to the places that matter to them. Her particular
responsibility is building the capability and confidence of the organisation to work with volunteers, so every gift of time is mutually beneficial. Current focus includes developing ways to work successfully with emotions in volunteering, and supporting volunteer managers to lead change and transition.

She was part of the team that delivered the headline hitting, award winning LGBTQ histories programme ‘Prejudice and Pride’ in 2017.

Annabel was first introduced to the often rewarding, sometimes challenging, always worthwhile
world of volunteer management in 2004 when she first joined the National Trust. Since then she’s
worked in operational, regional and project roles, all focused on volunteering and participation.

Annabel has volunteered to support lots of causes over the years – as a student buddy, lifeguard, carol-singer and museum educator amongst other roles. She is currently a Trustee for Voluntary
Action North Somerset. Annabel lives in Somerset with her husband, two young children and a very old dog.

Elected until 2021

Jolene Moran

Jolene is Head of Volunteering at SAFFA the Armed Forces charity.

She is responsible for leading a staff team based around the UK who advise volunteer managers on all matters including recruitment, induction & training, support and supervision, reward and recognition, and problem solving. Jolene has held roles including Volunteering Business Partner at Guide Dogs and Volunteer Manager at Make-A-Wish Foundation UK.

Jolene has a strong passion for volunteering and the mutual benefits that it can bring to both the individual and the organisation. This is also driven by her desire to help others and give back to her community. Previous volunteer roles that Jolene has held include wish-granter for Make-A-Wish Foundation UK, dog boarder for Guide Dogs and volunteer counsellor for Childline. All of these roles have given her the opportunity to gain experience outside of her day to day employment.

One of her greatest achievements in her career to date has been leading a project group to attain the Investing in Volunteers quality standard at Guide Dogs. This was no mean feat, with over 16,000 volunteers and 1,000 employees but as an organisation we achieved the standard in January 2017. She is also keen to develop and has also completed the Essential Management of Volunteers study course at Queens University, Belfast.

Elected until 2021