Trustees and governance - Avenues Group
30 - 1993-2023

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 Avenues South (previously known as 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.


Terry Rich
Group Boards Chair (core trustee)

Terry is a consultant in Heath and Social Care who has worked in social care for 50 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, and in 2014, Mental Health social care from the NHS back to Norfolk County Council – in each case establishing stronger partnership arrangements between the council and local NHS.

As a consultant, Terry has supported councils across the country reviewing their commissioning plans and strategies, progressing service transformation and building partnership arrangements between local government and the NHS. He has also worked with the Local Government Association as a Care & Health Improvement Advisor, and for the Association of Directors of Adult Social Care supporting their Learning Disabilities and Autism policy network.

In 2021 Terry led a major review of Building the Right Support funding flows for the Department of Health and Social Care, Subsequently Terry has worked with the LGA and individual councils on learning disability and autism funding and services.

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 worked for 10 years 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 was also an Independent Chair of two Safeguarding Adult Boards and a Local Safeguarding Children Board over 10 years between 2013 and 2023.

Evlynne Gilvarry
Group Boards Deputy Chair (core trustee)

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.

Jonathan Hardy
Group Board (core trustee)

Jonathan Hardie has over 35 years’ experience in the UK real estate sector covering strategic asset and development management of properties, as well as financing.  For the last two years, Jonathan has been Executive Chairman of Autism Hampshire having been involved in the charity for 10 years and has overseen the recently completed merger.

Jonathan named his real estate business IKS after three values that he feels are also particularly relevant to the care sector, Integrity, Knowledge & Stewardship.  And as a parent of an autistic child is particularly keen on making sure that people on the spectrum receive advice and support in their locality and have the ability to take a greater part in society.

Alistair Brown
Group Boards (core trustee)

Alistair is a Chartered Management Accountant and a career civil servant who currently works for the Department for Work and Pensions.

From 2011 until October 2019 he was a trustee of the Railway Housing Association and for the last 7 seven years chaired its Audit and Risk Committee.

He is married and lives in Newcastle upon Tyne. In his spare time he enjoys walking (mainly with his dog) and cycling.

Rina Pandya
Group Boards independent trustee

Rina has over 15 years’ HR experience in the NHS with broad skills involving strategy, leadership and talent development and EDI and wellbeing.  Rina’s expertise lies in transformational change and driving business performance across complex environments.  In her current role as Head of People Transformation & Culture at NHS Property Services Ltd she’s leading the implementation of their new ‘Customer at the Heart’ operating model.  Rina previously worked at the Department of Health & Social Care and Centrica Plc.

“The work of Avenues Group is really close to my heart, my young brother has a learning disability and autism, I understand how good person-centred support can genuinely make a difference to quality of life, so I’m very passionate about supporting people to live their best lives in their community.”

Nicola Bannister
Independent trustee of Group Board

Nicola Bannister has over 20 years’ experience in Financial Services with broad skills including risk management, strategy and planning, people and operational leadership and culture change.  In her current role she leads Financial Support for TSB helping customers who are in financial difficulty.  Nicola also has experience of working externally with regulators, politicians and the media.  She holds a PhD in Classics and a post-graduate degree in Economics.

Nicola is passionate about education, mental and physical health, adult social care and supporting people of all backgrounds and abilities to live their best lives.

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.

Rich Hodgson
London independent trustee

Rich is a finance consultant and portfolio CFO who advises and leads several SME organisations.

After becoming a Chartered Professional Accountant and Certified Internal Auditor, and starting his career with KPMG Canada, Rich moved to the UK and has worked with professional services companies at the director level for over 10 years. Combining a broad range of skills, including finance, law, HR, and risk, his experience spans high-growth multinational corporations to local and national charities, where he volunteers as a director/trustee.

At Avenues, Rich chairs the finance committee and sits on various special interest groups including digital transformation and mergers and acquisitions.

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.

Lauren Stoner
East independent trustee

Lauren works in the third sector as a Chief Executive and brings a wealth of experience to Avenues. She has spent most of her career working in health and social care with a focus on person centred support, rights, and voice.

Lauren’s leadership career has been externally focused on income generation, public affairs, and communicating charity impact. This has involved developing and supporting partnerships with stakeholders across the statutory, voluntary, and community sector.

Lauren lives in Nottingham with her partner and their pet rats.

Peter Hepburn
South 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.​

Emma Keegan
South East independent trustee

Emma has 25 years experience working in the housing sector, most recently as Managing Director of Rochford for Sanctuary Housing. She currently works as a customer services manager for an electrical company.

Emma is an experienced board member and has been chair of a small London-based housing association since 2019 and a trustee with Citizens Advice Colchester since 2020. Emma holds postgraduate diplomas in housing, management studies, and systems thinking and practice, and is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Housing.

Emma lives in Essex with her husband and daughter.

Sireesh Nallanthighal
South independent trustee

Sireesh has worked for 16 years in retail, having had a successful career at ALDI Stores Ltd working across Operations, IT, innovation and transformation. Having been a National IT Director for the retailer he has extensive experience of shaping IT to enable and support the wider business. More recently Sireesh has been appointed the Chief Technology Officer for TheCarCrowd a financial services business that is growing rapidly. He joins Avenues with a passion for the services we provide and a desire to use his experience to make a difference to the organisation.

Sireesh lives in Nottingham with his wife and two daughters (9 years old and 6 years old) where they enjoy weekends filled with activities, in particular trying to improve their Parkrun times!!


Jeff Boateng
South East independent trustee

Jeff is a Digital Consultant who currently works for Genesis Digital which is his own business.

He has been within the public sector for 20 years. His most recent appointments were at Camden & Islington NHS Foundation Trust as the Executive Director of Digital Services from 2019-2022 and Interim Director of System Transformation at Kent & Medway NHS & Social Care Partnership Trust between 2022-2023.

He is married with a toddler and lives in Thanet, Kent. In his spare time he enjoys cycling the coastal paths and attending theatre shows.

Jayne Turnbull
Autism Hampshire Independent Trustee

Jayne has over 40 years experience in direct management and strategic development of health services across hospital and community elements with a period at the Department of Health and Social Care. Her time working within services for people with Learning Difficulties in her early career, secured a passion to support and encourage those less advantaged, to reach their individual potential.

Since leaving the NHS full time Jayne became a Trustee and subsequently Chair of a local social housing association for a number of years and currently remains Trustee of Autism Hampshire (now part of Avenues Group).
Jaynes interest and commitment to health and social care continues through her role as Lay member to NHS England (South) Medical Directorate Professional Standards, involving oversight of performers covered under GP, Dental and Ophthalmology local regulations.

Executive trustees