News and views


Shannon Trust Appoints New Chair of Trustees

Amy Longstaff
4 May 2021

The Shannon Trust are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Wemms as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Michael joins us from a career in business having been a board member of several retail and other customer facing companies in the UK and overseas, including more than 10 years as an executive director of Tesco PLC.

He has also held Trustee positions with Government bodies and several charities, including the Basic Skills Agency. More recently, he has chaired one of the UK’s largest Multi Academy Trusts.

Michael has a lifelong interest in causes that enable people to overcome barriers to progress and a particular understanding of the value of literacy. 

His appointment follows the end of Sue O’Hara’s almost 5-year tenure as the Chair of Trustees.

CEO Ian Merrill said: “I am delighted to welcome Michael as our new Chair, and would like to congratulate him on his new role. His skills and experience will be key in guiding us to deliver our new strategy, helping us face the challenges and opportunities posed by the evolving needs of the prison sector.

“I’d also like to thank Sue O’Hara for her dedication and support as a Trustee over 9 years, 5 of those as Chair, during which she worked tirelessly to champion prison literacy.

Regarding his new role, Michael Wemms added: “I am passionate about the great work that The Shannon Trust does to increase literacy amongst the prison population, and look forward to working with my fellow trustees to further our impact.

“I know I speak for the rest of the Board when I say that we welcome the challenge to guide the organisation through the next chapter, making sure that our learners are the key focus in everything we do.”