Debra Allcock Tyler – Chief Executive, Directory of Social Change

Debra Allcock Tyler

Debra has worked in the charitable and voluntary sector for over 30 years. Amongst numerous other roles, she is Co-Chair of the Soldiering on Awards alongside General the Lord Dannatt. She is a Trustee of In Kind Direct, one of the Prince’s Foundation Charities, and a trustee of the Berkshire Community Foundation. She is also an Africa Advocacy Foundation Ambassador for women and girls at risk of or affected by Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). She has served as a trustee of several charities including being the co-founder of the Small Charities Coalition and was its first Chair. She served on the Charity Commission’s SORP committee for over 7 years and was the Vice-Chair of Governors of Whiteknights primary school for 6 years.


Photo of Piers Martin

Piers Martin is a leadership development specialist working across sport, business and academia. He is Head of Leadership and Workforce Development for the Premier League, supporting the identification and development of leaders across football. He is also a Director of the Podium Performance Group, a leadership development consultancy, Chair of Level Equals, Chair of UK Deaf Sport and DeaflympicsGB, and is a Senior NED and Trustee in a number of organisations. 

For over 25 years, Piers has led and advised a range of Olympic and Paralympic sports, consulted for National Olympic Committees, supported start-ups and established organisations, and coached senior leaders across sport and business. He has an MBA from Manchester Business School, an MSc in Organisational Psychology, and is undertaking a Doctorate in leadership development.


Josie Crossley – Lead Volunteer for Inclusion & Reach, Girlguiding

Josie Crossley

Josie has been involved in Girlguiding since joining as a Brownie aged 7 before moving on to become a Guide, Young Leader and finally an adult member. Over the years, Josie has had several other voluntary roles and in 2018, she took on a regional role to improve membership recruitment and retention. This really opened her eyes to the barriers that potential young members and volunteers faced when joining, which in turn sparked her interest in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I). 

From there, Josie moved to her current national role as Lead Volunteer for Inclusion & Reach in 2020. Working in partnership with the staff team, they are making Girlguiding more inclusive, from introducing their first ever ED&I strategic plan to recruiting a team of specialist volunteer inclusion advisers, and so much more! 

As a volunteer herself, Josie understands the benefits and challenges of working with volunteers and is proud of what they have achieved at Girlguiding to embed their ED&I vision across the organisation.

Aliza Nathoo – Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Girlguiding UK

Aliza Nathoo

Aliza is the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Manager at Girlguiding UK. She’s responsible for overseeing ED&I for all volunteers, young members and staff, whilst also delivering and driving positive change through the organisation’s ED&I strategic plan. 

Throughout her career she’s been passionate about fostering inclusive workplaces and ensuring that equity, diversity and inclusion are pro-actively at the forefront of an organisation’s business practices. Working in partnership with the Lead Volunteer for Inclusion, they’re making Girlguiding a more inclusive and welcoming place for all. 

In her free time, Aliza is also a volunteer herself. She designs and conducts customised training programs for senior volunteers and board members on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. These initiatives aim to empower them to foster inclusive environments not only within their organisations, but also in the broader community.

Sue Shaw – Volunteer Coordinator, Voices in Exile 

Sue Shaw

Sue has been involved in volunteer management for 20 years. She is currently the volunteer coordinator at Voices in Exile, an organisation that supports refugees, asylum seekers and migrants with no recourse to public funds. Her role is to recruit and train volunteers and ensure they are supported throughout their time with the organisation. Her previous work experience includes volunteer development, which involved supporting organisations and volunteer coordinators with volunteer programme development and best practice, covering areas such as recruitment and retention. Her role also included facilitating training in volunteer management and volunteering strategy. 

Rob Baker – Founder and Chief Positive Deviant, Tailored Thinking

Rob Baker

Rob is a specialist in bringing positive psychology to life within organisations. He is the founder and Chief Positive Deviant of Tailored Thinking, a leading and award-winning evidence-based positive psychology, wellbeing and HR consultancy who were named the UK’s HR Consultancy of the Year 2020 by the CIPD.

Rob is a TEDX speaker, author of Personalization at Work, and Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and the Australian HR Institute. He is world-leading when it comes to enabling and encouraging job crafting and personalised people experience and his work, ideas and research has been presented at academic and professional conferences around the globe.

As a senior HR leader and consultant, Rob has delivered sector-leading and award-winning people initiatives and business transformation projects working with companies across sectors ranging from multinational banks, education and healthcare, to manufacturing, housing and digital start-ups.

Rashpal Saini – Head of Volunteering, West London NHS Trust

Rashpal Saini

Rashpal is a well networked volunteer engagement professional and accredited leader and manager specialising in all forms of volunteering and currently leading the accelerated growth and impact of volunteering with West London NHS Trust. He has worked with volunteer involving organisations across different sectors who are eager to galvanise and catalyse the incredible support of their volunteers to better achieve their organisational aims, values and purposes. Rashpal does this with a fundamental belief that when volunteering is done well it is transformational. 

Louise Shevlane – Culture and Engagement Manager, Alzheimer’s Society

Photo of Louise Shevlane

Louise has worked at Alzheimer’s Society for 8 years, job sharing with Sarah Penfound. She works within the People directorate, focusing on culture, colleague voice, and engagement. Louise and Sarah created a Volunteer Advisory Panel in 2019 consisting of 12 volunteers from across the organisation. They have managed this panel ever since, recruiting new members, raising awareness internally, and ensuring the voices of volunteers are heard at the highest levels. Prior to Alzheimer’s Society, Louise worked for a volunteer reading charity, managing their partnership with Save the Children, and before that spent 9 years at a think tank in Westminster, focusing on improving the world of work.

Sarah Penfound – Culture and Engagement Manager, Alzheimer’s Society

Photo of Sarah Penfound

Sarah has over 15 years internal communications and engagement experience, both in the 3rd sector and within the financial services sector, where she was responsible for communications and engagement activity for charity partnerships, community funds, and corporate volunteering. 

Sarah is Culture and Engagement Manager at Alzheimer’s Society. While at the Alzheimer’s Society, Sarah, together with her job share partner Louise Shevlane, introduced and developed the Volunteer Advisory Panel to ensure the voices of our volunteers were heard within key strategic projects, to improve the experience of volunteering for all.

Heather Potter – Volunteer Advisory Panel member

Heather has a lived experience of over 14 years of being a volunteer and is currently the Witness Service Court team leader for Bradford Crown Court leading a team of volunteers. 

Heather has a core value of fairness and has used this in a practical way working with the Ilkley Pride and Diversity Group. She was a Guide leader for 10 years, actively supporting and championing the inclusion of neuro divergent people so their voices were equally heard. She is a member of the Co-production collective and the Association of Volunteer Managers. 

Heather was appointed onto the Volunteer Advisory Panel in 2021 as an expert by experience where she has been a campaigner for volunteer’s voices and experiences to be heard at the senior level at Alzheimer’s Society. She has been successful at influencing strategic projects, co-created projects, updated volunteer surveys and championed volunteers to be valued. 

Beck Dabscheck – Freelancer and Associate at PraxisCollab

Beck Dabscheck

Beck has over 25 years’ experience in programme development and management, working on children, young people and family programmes (including volunteer programmes) in both voluntary and statutory sectors. 

Children and young people’s voice, involvement and active participation has run throughout her work. She originally trained as a psychologist and worked with young people who had survived childhood sexual abuse. 

Beck has extensive experience of youth programme mobilisation, implementation of evidence-based programmes and designing/iterating for learning and practice/service improvement. Beck’s work now increasingly centres on learning partnership, evaluation and social research, with user voice and co-production at the centre.

Mirabai Ruskin – National Volunteering and Participation Adviser, English Heritage 

Mirabai Ruskin

Mira has over 15 years’ experience working within the charity and community sector as a learning and development and community engagement professional. Creating connections and nurturing others’ development is what drives Mira.

Her career has taken her from community engagement at sustainable transport charity Sustrans, to Partnership Consultant at the NUS to Head of Volunteering at Volunteer Centre Hackney. She’s lived her values starting volunteering aged 9 and spent a year as a professional volunteer with VSO in China as an Organisational Development Adviser.

She has a strong youth engagement background including with the National and International Citizen Service programme and developing a 1,000 strong youth volunteer programme while at Community Matters. Her focus in recent years (including at Girlguiding) has been on the delivery of learning and development leading to her current work on a Level 5 Learning and Development Consultant apprenticeship.

Her work at English Heritage spans volunteer programme growth, developing organisational best practice and nurturing the capabilities and confidence of volunteer managers. 

Sophie Robertson – Territory Volunteer Manager, English Heritage 

Sophie Robertson

Sophie has been with English Heritage since 2019, and loves her role as every day there is something new to learn! 

She directly recruits and manages volunteers who support English Heritage’s unstaffed sites with maintenance, administration and guided tours. At the staffed sites, site managers are largely responsible for the development and management of their local volunteer programmes, and Sophie’s role is therefore to support and empower those colleagues in this work, providing a sounding board for advice and practical input to deliver recruitment and training. She also supports the central volunteering and participation team in the development of national projects, such as delivering modules for the Volunteer Manager Essentials training.

Prior to joining English Heritage, Sophie coordinated volunteers on a National Lottery Heritage Project with the Northumberland Archives and also worked as a volunteer coordinator for the Hylton Castle Project, where she is now a trustee.

Laura Lowther – Vision for Volunteering

Laura Lowther

Laura Lowther is the Lead for the Vision for Volunteering. She has 15 years’ experience in the North-East charity sector from her role as Head of Volunteering at St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle, as well as a Trustee with VODA North Tyneside and TimbaDash Theatre.

Laura is most proud of her work with specialist Lymphoedema Service staff and volunteers during the pandemic; delivering a volunteering programme which meant shielding patients could still receive expert care at home, winning a Hospice UK Award for ‘Innovation in Care’. One of the best things she has ever done is volunteer for a year from her mobile phone for Newcastle West End Food Bank, helping mobilise Newcastle United fans to support their local community. 

Aside from her children, partner and dog, her great loves include bobbing about in the North Sea and listening to BBC Radio 6. She believes volunteering makes the world go round.

Sarah Tranter – Vision for Volunteering

Sarah Tranter

Sarah Tranter is the Learning and Storytelling Officer for the Vision for Volunteering. Before moving into the voluntary sector, Sarah worked in the public sector across Oxfordshire, Swindon and London. She worked mainly in policy, strategy, performance management and engagement, working on anything as varied as potholes, community safety, children’s social care and more. They had a particular focus on corporate social responsibility and equity and diversity. 

During lockdown, Sarah had what she describes as a ‘Covid crisis’. She quit her job to do some soul-searching and write a sci-fi novel (still unfinished, sadly) and from there went on to run a small local charity providing free hot cooked breakfasts for those experiencing food poverty or homelessness in Swindon. 

In their spare time, Sarah can be found playing video games, watching women’s football or drinking tea. They bring a love of stories and a love of brilliant people doing brilliant things. 

Rachel Monaghan – Programme Manager, Centre for Better Ageing

Photo of Rachel Monaghan

Rachel works in the Homes team at the Centre for Ageing Better, working to make homes more age-friendly so more people can remain living independently, healthily and happily as they grow older. 

Previously, she managed a grant programme at Ageing Better run in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. This Age-friendly and Inclusive Volunteering programme supported five organisations to develop, pilot and share new approaches to enable more people to contribute their skills, time and knowledge to their communities in later life in ways that work for them.

Rachel comes from a background of developing and delivering projects across the health, environment and community participation sectors. 


Dr Manish Patel – Co-founder & CEO, Jiva

Photo of Dr Manish Patel

My early academic career coincided with the completion of the human genome
project and so I pursued the natural path of progression into bioinformatics and
systems biology where I invented the seed of what is now the algorithmic
fundamentals of what we use in Jiva. At doctoral level I explored the requirement for
model integration in simulations of cancer – the idea that models that represent
different parts of a system need to be integrated together to create bigger, better
and more predictive simulations.

I have spent almost 10 years in investment banks and hedge funds building complex
data systems, coding fast algorithmic trading engines and managing large
international teams of developers.

I am also a determined entrepreneur, having started two other tech startups in
hospitality and software engineering, as well as joining a medical device startup as
CTO before starting up Jiva in 2019.

As CEO I am responsible for executing the core vision and mission of Jiva – one that
will see the democratisation of multimodal AI systems in healthcare and beyond. I am
proud to be leading such a capable team through these development and product
stages and steering the company towards commercial viability.

Dr Rolf Herbert – Head of Technology and Product, TeamKinetic

Photo of Dr Rolf Herbert

Rolf cut his teeth developing computer software whilst performing computational fluid and finite element modelling on insect wings for his biomechanics PhD.

After leaving University for the last of three times! Rolf started his career as a full-stack developer (though in those days it was just called the website stuff). Whilst being a freelancer for five or so years gave Rolf a lot of freedom, he eventually settled down to some real work with Chris in Manchester and started developing what would become TeamKinetic.

Rolf has a wide range of practical knowledge across various programming languages and systems and acts as the glue holding all the various moving parts of TeamKinetic together.

Rolf has volunteered regularly since leaving school, from wet and cold Scotland to wet and warm Borneo, and loves the fact that he has been a part of building something that helps others volunteer.