Trustees and governance | Avenues Group

Trustees and governance

Avenues is made up of a group of subsidiary organisations, all of which are registered charities and companies limited by guarantee, with the exception of Welmede which is a mutual society, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


Trustees are non-executive directors who work on a voluntary basis to make sure we have a clear strategy, the right actions are being taken to deliver the strategy and legal and financial obligations are met.

The Group operates an overlapping board structure (also known as a common board). This structure provides the opportunity for all of the boards within the group to come together and focus on the business as a whole, working like a fully consolidated board whilst maintaining a group structure.

The structure enables and enhances governance by streamlining legal arrangements, reducing management time spent on governance, speeding up decision making and facilitating the provision of information to board members.

The structure consists of a group of core trustees who sit on every board within the group, and up to two independent trustees who sit on each individual board

All of the trustees on all of the boards, core and independent, meet together and discuss the entire business of the group and individual subsidiaries. If there is a conflict of interest between the individual entity organisations the independent trustees deal with the matter and make decisions.

The boards operate a shared committee structure, and are committed to following the Charity Governance Code, which supports the organisation’s compliance with the law and regulations, and a culture where everything works towards fulfilling the charity’s vision.


– our annual reports and accounts

– our response to the Charity Commission Regulatory Alert – June 2020


Terry Rich
Group Boards Chair (core trustee)

Terry is a consultant in Heath and Social Care who has worked in social care for more than 40 years, for the majority of that time in Local Government but also in the voluntary sector and the NHS.  He is a qualified social worker, has a politics degree and an MSc in Applied Social Studies from Surrey University.

Terry has had a long and successful career in Local Government serving as a Director of Social Services and Housing and Director of Adult Social Care in three authorities over 12 years.  In 2011 Terry was Chair of London Region of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services.

Terry’s experience has been in assisting authorities in turning around performance, having led Bromley Council from a zero star rating in 2001-2005.  In 2012 Terry steered the return of Adult Social Care from the NHS back to Peterborough City Council establishing stronger partnership arrangements with the NHS.  He was instrumental in setting up the Health & Well Being Board, working closely with elected members and the newly formed CCG.

More recently Terry has worked with Northamptonshire County Council reviewing their adult social care financial and commissioning plans and with Norfolk County Council where he managed the reorganisation of mental health social care services, ensuring a stronger partnership approach with NHS partners.  He worked for 18 months with the Local Government Association (LGA) as Care & Health Improvement Advisor for the North West of England, providing advice and support to 22 councils from Cheshire to Cumbria.  This included supporting authorities in developing their Better Care Fund plans, responding to the challenges of Transforming Care and to the move towards service integration.

Terry has experience of working with the NHS.  In 2011 to 2012 he worked with NHS London in the lead up to the transfer of Public Health to Local Government.  He also works with the NHS Leadership Academy delivering sessions for NHS Executives on understanding in Local Government and Politics.  Terry has designed and delivered training and authored a number of briefings on understanding and working with Local Government for the Institute of Health Visiting.

Terry is also an Independent Chair of two Safeguarding Adult Boards and a Local Safeguarding Children Board in unitary council areas in the East and South East of England.

Evlynne Gilvarry,

Evlynne has many years experience of working at senior level in large national organisations – most recently as Chief Executive of the General Dental Council, the UK regulator of Dentistry. Prior to that Evlynne was Chief Executive of the General Osteopathic Council, the UK regulator of osteopathy and before that she worked in senior roles for the Law Society, the professional body for solicitors in England and Wales.  Evlynne’s career has given her a very detailed understanding of the public sector and not‐for‐profit sector and she has also worked closely at intervals with the voluntary sector.  Evlynne led the pro bono effort by solicitors as part of her work at the Law Society which involved several voluntary organisations and through procurement and joint initiatives has had significant involvement with the private sector. As a result of this combined experience Evlynne believes that she has a very good understanding of the separate sectors and how they interrelate.

Avenues’ key purpose is one that Evlynne find’s truly inspiring and worthwhile and she is very keen to use her skills to help Avenues achieve its objectives.  Evlynne’s awareness of the impact of illness on an individual’s quality of life has been raised in part through watching two immediate family members cope with debilitating conditions.  Evlynne is aware that the right kind of support is key to lowering barriers and as a result she is committed to using her time and skills to help organisations provide such support.

Alistair Oag
Group Boards (core trustee)

Alistair is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has worked for the past 20 years for a global distributor of electronics in various European roles including Finance Director, Managing Director and most recently in a global role as Strategy and Business Development Vice President.  These roles have included extensive experience of mergers & acquisitions, change management, process management and IT projects.  Alistair is now working part time in a consultancy capacity.  Prior to this he worked for 12 years for a UK Plc in various finance roles in transportation, logistics and distribution with a bias to change management.

Four years ago Alistair was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Medway Community Healthcare CIC (MCH).  MCH was created as part of the NHS transformation on 1st April 2011 as a Social Enterprise to deliver community based healthcare in Medway and the surrounding area.

Alistair is married with a son and daughter and three grandchildren who all live in Kent.

Mark Pittaway
Group Boards (core trustee)

Mark has a background in IT and Telecoms specialising in linking people and technology to help aid improved organisation performance and enhancing learning for all.

Previous roles include Chief Learning Officer for Sun Microsystems in the UK & Ireland, CEO for Learning Light, and a Senior Manager for British Telecommunications.  More recently Mark’s focus has been centred on running businesses in the renewable and sustainable construction sectors, while maintaining links and research interests in the IT sector.

Bruce Calderwood
Independent trustee of Group Board

Bruce is a retired civil servant with particular interests in mental health, learning disability and autism, and equality more generally.

Bruce is married with three grown up children and lives in North London.  His free time is spent reading, working on his allotment, watching films and baking bread. He also loves hill walking and, increasingly, cycling – though not up hills.

In his life as a civil servant Bruce specialised in social policy, and in his last job he was Director for Mental Health, Disability and Equality in the Department of Health where he was responsible for developing England’s mental health strategy and its statutory autism strategy, and for reviewing services for people with behaviour described as challenging following the abuse at Winterbourne View Hospital. Before then he was the Government’s Director for the Office for Disability Issues, as well as the Director responsible for policy on disability and carer benefits.

Since leaving the civil service he has chaired CQC inspections of NHS mental health trusts and qualified as an instructor in Mental Health First Aid for the Armed Forces.

Cathryn Law
London independent trustee

Cathryn is an experienced Whitehall Civil Servant with substantial policy experience at a senior level.  Cathryn’s current role is at BIS as the Head of International Science and Innovation Strategy.

Cathryn has been looking for a new challenge in the not for profit sector, having recently been on the Board of a start‐up charity focussed on community development in Uganda.  Cathryn also has a strong personal interest in the work of Avenues as her niece suffers from Phelan McDermid Syndrome.  This is a very rare genetic condition of which there are only approximately 500 known cases globally.  This has left Cathryn’s niece with significant special needs and it is very unlikely that she will ever be able to live unassisted.  The work of Avenues is therefore very close to Cathryn’s heart and she welcomes the opportunity to bring her years of experience working in the public sector to bear in support of its cause.

Martin Owen
East independent trustee

Martin has a background in providing technical and strategic IT consultancy, managing complex IT projects.  He previously worked in BT for 19 years working on a wide range of IT and change management projects, heading up a programme office, and managing a major research programme. He enjoys applying his experience and knowledge to different domains in challenging environments. He has a strong interest in technology innovation and leadership. He first became interested in how technology innovation can be applied within mental health and adult and social care when he was offered a part time role as a European project manager on assistive technology for Suffolk County Council in 2012. He then joined full-time as a business development specialist in 2015. Martin welcomes this new challenge and opportunity to bring his years of experience to Avenues East.

Martin is married with two grown up sons and lives in Woodbridge, Suffolk. When he is not working, he enjoys reading, travelling, photography and listening to jazz.

Myles Kaplan
Welmede independent trustee

I have been working in the Social Housing sector for the past 7 years supporting a variety of residents with a variety of different needs.  Combined with private sector experience both at strategic and operational levels I believe I can help support Welmede achieve its goals over the next few years.

Currently, as Head of Customer Liaison for The Guinness Partnership, my team and I recognise the need for supporting customers through services that meet their own needs.

As a trustee for Welmede, I look forward to using my experience to help deliver the amazing work Welmede does for the people it supports.

Peter Hepburn
Welmede independent trustee

Peter Hepburn is a consultant who advises charity trustees and management. He has spent many years in the sector, including a period in housing as a local management committee member, and also as a senior manager. He is currently Trustee of two charities and works across the UK and the rest of Europe. He also spends time with his family including children and grand-children.​

Paul Newton
South East independent trustee

Paul is an experienced qualified lawyer and senior executive with strong talent, risk management, performance management and organisational capabilities acquired in the health and care sector over many years with a strong passion to make a difference to customers and the wider community.  Paul believes that strong governance can and does support outstanding business performance and who is able to provide effective challenge and oversight in a way which is both constructive and supportive.

Paul has recently retired after a long career at Bupa with his last role being the Chief Legal Officer where he played a key role in helping to lead the whole of the Bupa organisation. The role involved helping to develop and implement strategy, overseeing and managing enterprise-wide risk, helping to drive out-performance, and developing talent particularly in relation to the senior executive community.

Paul is keen to use the skills and capabilities he has used over the last 29 years at Bupa to benefit the voluntary sector and believes that his skills and experience make him a good fit for Avenues.

Executive trustees