Mr Speaker, The Rt Hon John Bercow MP
Rt Hon John Bercow MP was elected 157th Speaker of the House of Commons on 22 June 2009. He was elected Member of Parliament for Buckingham in May 1997 as a Conservative, serving on the front benches as spokesman for Education & Employment and Home Affairs. He was appointed Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2001 then Shadow Minister for Work & Pensions in 2002 and from 2003 to 2004 as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development. He then became a member of the International Development Select Committee and served as co-Chair of the All party Parliamentary group on Burma, vice-Chair of the APG on the prevention of genocide, Africa and Sudan. He was Secretary of the All Party group on Human Rights and established the All Party group on Brain Tumours. In September 2007 he was appointed by the Government to lead a review of services for children and young people with speech, language and communication needs. Appointed to the Speaker’s Conference on Parliamentary Representation in November 2008 he became Chair of the Conference on becoming Speaker.
Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE
Baroness Grey-Thompson is Britain’s greatest Paralympian, winning eleven gold medals over five Paralympic Games, and now sitting in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer with specialist interests in sport, disability, health and youth development. Since retiring from athletics, Baroness Grey-Thompson has been active in speaking out on issues including benefit reform and accessible transport. During heated debates in the House of Lords, she has been instrumental in moving several amendments to the Welfare Reform Bill, making insightful contributions and pushing the Government to making concessions. Baroness Grey-Thompson is the President of NCVO and has a longstanding association with the wider voluntary sector, and was appointed in 2011 as the President of the Leadership 20:20 Commission for developing emerging leaders in civil society,. She is a patron of numerous charities including Sportsleaders UK, and is a trustee of vInspired, a charity that helps young people become volunteers. As well as this she is the Patron of the Jane Tomlinson Appeal and is a board member of the Tony Blair Sports Foundation.
Sir Martyn Lewis CBE
Martyn Lewis CBE is the chairman of NCVO’s Trustee Board. His knowledge of the voluntary sector spans 29 years and includes being a founder and chairman of YouthNet; chairman of the Awards Committee for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service; chairman and co-founder of Families of the Fallen; trustee of the Windsor Leadership Trust; president of United Response; deputy chair of the Lord Mayor of London’s Dragon Awards; and vice-president of Help The Hospices, Macmillan Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care. His career as a television journalist includes 32 years presenting mainstream television programmes for the BBC and ITV.
Sir Lynton Crosby, AO
Dubbed ‘the Wizard of Oz’ in the UK press, Sir Lynton Crosby is an internationally renowned campaign strategist and co-founder of the C|T Group. Sir Lynton’s intuitive grasp of what it takes to win has been finely honed through years of providing high-level advice to prime ministers, premiers, opposition leaders and senior business figures. In 1998 and 2001, he led successful campaigns for Australian Prime Minister John Howard. In 2008 he masterminded Boris Johnson’s campaign for the London mayoralty, beating Ken Livingstone, the UK Labour Party’s most electorally successful politician, against the odds. Bucking the Conservative Party’s national trend, he then repeated the feat in 2012. During the 2015 UK General Election Sir Lynton steered the Conservative Party to an historic victory, taking the party from a 12-point deficit to a near 7-point lead. This was the first time a Conservative government had been returned to office with an increased share of the vote since 1955. Sir Lynton holds a degree in Economics from The University of Adelaide
John O’Brien is a highly reputed campaigner within business, government and the charitable sectors. He has created a wide range of philanthropic campaigns and worked extensively with various UK Governments on partnerships to benefit key issue in the UK and overseas. John has founded several national and international programmes, including many under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales. These include a Cumbria response to the 2000 Foot and Mouth crisis; the Prince of Wales’s North East fishing community initiative; The Muslim-led Mosaic Network and The Mosaic international youth summit; The Prince of Wales’s Pakistan Recovery Fund and The National Industrial Cadet initiative. He is the founder of The Jubilee Hour, recognised as the largest collective mobilisation of volunteers in the UK since World War Two with two million participants. John is also is co-founder of REMEMBER WW1, part of the UK’s national commemoration of The First World War.
John Pienaar is Radio 5 live’s Chief Political Correspondent and joint presenter of Weekend News. A well-connected and respected figure at the heart of the Westminster scene for two decades, both on Radio 5 live and BBC television, John combines sublime explanation of the key themes of politics with the authority of a seasoned insider. His political podcast, downloadable from this link, analyses the main themes of the week.
Farmida Bi is a partner at legal practice Norton Rose Fulbright where she specialises in debt capital markets and is also European Head of Islamic Finance.
Jon is the Manchester Office Senior Partner at KPMG. He is responsible for leading the 750 staff and partners in Manchester and driving KPMG’s strategy to deliver excellence to their private and public sector clients. Jon takes an active role in expanding partnerships with the local community and supporting the social and economic development of the City and the North West region more widely.
Zishan is an Executive Director at Ernst & Young, London where he works on audits of privately owned business and small listed companies and supports EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year programme. Zishan has also spent time working in Dubai and in industry in leading financial institutions. Zishan is a keen supporter of mentoring, working with the London leadership team of Mosaic, a Princes Trust charity where he has spent time mentoring and help shape the direction of the London region.
National Advisory Board
Yasmeen Akhtar (Representing 3FF)
Yasmeen manages the Three Faiths Fourm (3FF) mentoring programmes. Yasmeen is from a British Pakistani background and closely involved with building capacity in faith communities across the UK to support civic engagement. Her experience developing sustainable projects and engagement programmes has shaped her vision for a strong and diverse leadership across different sectors of society. This motivated her to work on 3FF’s Mentoring Programmes. She is a trained facilitator and mediator, experienced in developing and delivering engaging seminars, workshops and training to diverse audiences.
Andrea is the former Director of UpRising. She joined UpRising from the BBC, where she worked for 3 years as a Business Manager on the £600m Digital Switchover Help Scheme , and as a Project Manager on the £800m New Broadcasting House project. For 6 years previous to that, she was an Operations Director at Common Purpose – a not for profit leadership development organisation – with a focus on North West and London regions. She started her career with Procter & Gamble, where she worked for 7 years in a variety of commercial roles. She was a Graduate Training manager for 2 years, and led on various community relations initiatives to develop young people’s skills. Andrea is a Trustee of three charities: Street League, Initiatives of Change, and the Irene Prestwich Trust.
Lucy Caldicott (Representing UpRising)
Lucy started her career in international financial services marketing roles for American Express and MoneyGram International. She has worked in a range of voluntary sector organisations over the last twenty years campaigning against inequality and injustice.
Her first charity sector role was for the Prince’s Trust where she raised funds for a mentoring programme for young care leavers. She led the fundraising and partnership development teams at VSO, the international development charity, and was responsible for the delivery of a successful Lord Mayor’s Appeal in the City of London in 2007. She then moved to become Director of Fundraising at CLIC Sargent, the children and young people’s cancer charity, leading teams throughout the UK raising funds for four new homes from home and delivering successful corporate partnerships with Tesco, Santander, and JD Wetherspoon. She was then interim CEO at Diversity Role Models, which works to eradicate homophobic bullying in schools through curriculum-based workshops and teacher training.
Lucy is also on the board of the Fundraising Regulator, Hope and Homes for Children which seeks to eradicate institutionalisation of children worldwide and Fair For You, which supports financially-excluded people with access to loans for household goods.
Stephanie Leonard (Representing Citizens UK)
Stephanie Leonard is a community organiser for North London Citizens and NCOT, organising in the boroughs of Camden and Islington. Stephanie leads on the Blood, Sweat and Tears (BST) campaign developing young diaspora leaders to challenge how migrants and refugees are perceived and treated in the Unites Kingdom. Stephanie played an instrumental role in ensuring the government committed to bringing 1000 Syrian refugees to the UK before Christmas in 2016. Before working for Citizens UK, Stephanie spent some time overseas in Kenya organising disabled residents in the slums of Kisumu, to participate and claim their rights from local government. Stephanie grew up in London, studied Geography at University College London, and completed an MSc in Social Development Practice at UCL and was awarded a distinction. Her thesis ‘The Negotiated City: A reflection on participation, conflict and hegemonic resistance’ is a required reading for UCL MSc ‘Social Development Practice’ students.
Shabir Randeree CBE (Representing Prince’s Trust Mosaic)
Shabir Randeree is Chairman of the DCD Group, an investment company with 30 years of experience in Real Estate, Venture Capital, Banking and Finance. He is also the Deputy Chairman of Al Baraka Bank South Africa and served as Chairman and founding director at EIIB, European Islamic Investment Bank plc (2006-12) and as founding director at IBB, Islamic Bank of Britain plc (2003-07). Shabir is an Advisor to the UK Government’s Asia Task Force and the IFTF, Islamic Finance Task Force (2013). He served on the Ethnic Minorities Business Task Force (2007-09) and co-founded Edutrust, a multi Academy sponsor. Recently he was elected Chair of Governors at the Westminster Academy and Deputy Chairman of the HRH charity MOSAIC. He is also a champion for 3FF, Three Faiths Forum. Shabir was awarded a CBE in HM The Queen’s New Year’s Honours List 2013 in recognition of his services to both business and education, as well as for his philanthropic support of charitable causes.
Sophie worked as a Community Organiser with Citizens UK for six years. Sophie was Lead Organiser for North London Citizens, an alliance of 40+ civic institutions across 5 boroughs of North London, with a special focus on organising in schools. While at Citizens UK, Sophie co-authored the Citizens Inquiry into the Tottenham Riots and Sophie pioneered the Living Wage in football campaign which led to Chelsea FC accrediting as the first Living Wage Premier League Club at Christmas 2014. Sophie is now an Associate Consultant at Bain & Company, a leading management consultancy firm.
Simon Woolley (Representing OBV)
Simon Woolley is one of the founders of, and Director of Operation Black Vote (OBV). OBV is the first comprehensive campaign that addresses the Black political democratic deficit. Simon sits on the board for the National Coalition for Black Volunteering; is an Executive Member of String of Pearls; is a member of the London Commission for Sustainable Development; sits on the GLA Equality Commission, and is an ECHR Commissioner. Simon was one of the founders of the London Civic Forum and is a contributor to Equanomics UK, which has seen him participate in a UK tour with Reverend Jesse Jackson. He has a number of awards and accolades to his name, including being voted onto the Grassroots Powerlist 2002, which was published by the Big Issue; being awarded the Men of Merit Award in 2003; and being listed in the Telegraph’s Top 100 Left List in September 2007 and 2008. Simon has a broad range of expertise including political empowerment; Black civil rights; policy research and development; campaign strategy; fundraising; public speaking; and the implementation of citizenship programmes within the community. Many government departments such as the Home Office, the Electoral Commission, Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Justice call on Simon Woolley to advise on areas of race and politics. Simon has written for the National news publications such as the Guardian, The Independent, and The Express. He is also a regular contributor to African, Caribbean and Asian press here in the UK. Simon appears regularly on national TV and radio programmes, discussing issues relating to the Black community.
Yasmin Waljee OBE (Representing Bite the Ballot)
Yasmin Waljee is a solicitor and full-time Pro Bono Manager at international law firm Hogan Lovells LLP. Yasmin’s appointment in 1997 was the first of its kind by a City law firm. Since then she has worked with partners in the firm to develop an international pro bono programme providing free 15,000 hours of legal advice to over 200 charities and individuals a year unable to afford legal advice. She is an immigration lawyer but now regularly works on human rights cases including compensation for the July 7 victims, Article 2 issues and compensation for British victims of crime and terrorism abroad. In May 2005 Yasmin was short listed for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and in April 2000 Yasmin was awarded The Times Woman Solicitor of the Year. Yasmin was awarded an OBE in The Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2010 for her services to the Muslim community.
Former Board Members
Daniella is the former Policy and Public Affairs Manager at Three Faiths Forum (3FF). Her role encompassed leading on policy initiatives and political messaging, championing 3FF’s work to decision-makers and overseeing the Undergraduate ParliaMentors (UP) programme. Daniella joined 3FF in 2007 when she launched UP, a UN award winning parliamentary leadership and mentoring programme for upcoming leaders of different backgrounds. UP is now a leading example of intercultural innovation and enjoys a strong support base in Parliament. Daniella is passionate about ensuring a diversity of voices gets heard at the highest levels. Before working at 3FF, Daniella advised community organisations on policy and developed grassroots interfaith initiatives. She holds an MA in Ethnicity, Globalisation and Cultures.
Alice Memminger was the Chief Executive of UpRising, a UK wide youth leadership development organisation. Alice has been working in the third sector as a consultant and senior manager for the past nine years with a wide variety of charities across the country. She joined UpRising from Sue Ryder, where she worked as Head of Strategic Planning and Programme Delivery. Other recent roles include Head of Planning and Performance for Parkinson’s UK, Managing Director of Hammersmith and Fulham Circle and Head of Trading and Social Enterprise for Age UK Barking and Dagenham. Alice has an MBA in strategy, finance and not-for-profit management from Yale University and a BA in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan. She is a Trustee for Age UK Islington and Reach Volunteering as well as a Director for Creative Lifestyles CIC in East London.
Imran Sanaullah (Chief Executive Officer)
Imran is a young leader who has been part of Patchwork since its inception as a volunteer, but through his passion and determination become the CEO of the foundation. Imran was the inaugural winner of the Naz Bokhari Award for his hard work in his local community and school. His work has expanded to working with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to increase youth interaction and transparency of the FCO which has led to the creation of the Youth Inspiration Group. Imran studied Law whilst at university. He has a strong background in the charity sector, especially with the aim of helping young people with his previous roles at the University of Westminster Students’ Union and Mosaic (part of the Princes Trust) and continues to help young people become future leaders and is committed to the continued improvement and expansion of the Patchwork Foundation.
Hilda Asiedu (Head of Opperations)
Hilda Asiedu is a final year student at Coventry University studying International Relations. She first joined the Patchwork Foundation in 2014 where she participated in the 9 month masterclass programme. Volunteering in a number of charity organisations in her community, she has valued the importance of political education as a tool to empower people, particularly the youth. Hilda has taken part in social action campaigns within her community to encourage voting registration. She is passionate about domestic and international politics, and continues to promote the importance of voting among young people within her role in the Patchwork Foundation.
Oliver Kasin (Head of GetInvolved)
Oliver’s background is diversity and equality having read Religious Studies and Theology at the University of Manchester, worked for Stonewall UK and travelled around Malawi working on HIV programmes. He is Patchwork Foundation’s Joint Deputy Chief of Staff and within his capacity oversees the organisations flagship MP of the Year Awards. He also manages the Party Conference Programme that takes young people to the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP conferences and runs numerous of their other events. Aside from working for Patchwork Foundation Oliver is involved with The Challenge, a social enterprise organisation that runs the government funded programme National Citizen Service.
Jonathan Freeman (Chief Strategy Officer)
Jonathan has extensive senior experience spanning the Civil Service and charitable sector, with a powerful commitment to social justice and community cohesion. Jonathan was Managing Director of Mosaic, HRH The Prince of Wales’ mentoring charitable initiative at The Prince’s Trust, with which he was involved since its earliest days. Prior to that, Jonathan was Government Relations Director at Business in the Community. Jonathan was previously a member of the Senior Civil Service in the UK Government, in which capacity he was responsible for significant policy and operational delivery in areas of social justice of the highest importance and political sensitivity in a range of departments including the Ministry of Justice, Cabinet Office and Department for Communities. Jonathan also has significant experience of the UK justice systems, including working directly with the most senior levels of the UK judiciary. Jonathan is also Senior Mentoring Adviser to the Careers & Enterprise Company.
The Patchwork Foundation Ltd is a not for profit limited by guarantee company registered in England and Wales. Registered No. 08487395. Registered Office: Highdown House, Highdown Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV311XT.