Behind the scenes, our team makes sure Shannon Trust can transform even more lives through learning to read.

Senior team

Ian MerrillIan Merrill
Ian Merrill

Ian has considerable experience of the charitable sector, gained in roles ranging from volunteer to CEO. His operational background is in substance misuse services, criminal justice, homelessness and mental health. Ian has a track record in business development through competitive tendering, fundraising and corporate partnerships. He has held senior roles at national charities, and was previously CEO at Tempo, where he led the development of a social currency used to increase volunteering and social action across England and Wales.

Chris MorganChris Morgan
Chris Morgan
Director of Business Support

Chris has a professional background in accountancy and has many years’ experience in financial and operational roles in a variety of different organisations, in the private, public and third sectors. Prior to joining Shannon Trust he held a business support role in another charity within the criminal justice sector.

Karen RyanKaren Ryan
Karen Ryan
Director of Operations - North

Karen has extensive experience of project implementation and management of services within the homelessness sector in Merseyside. Previous roles have included adult social work, services manager and team manager. Before stepping into the director role, Karen worked as a regional manager at Shannon Trust for 4 years delivering services across the North of England.

Amanda SegelovAmanda Segelov
Amanda Segelov
Director of Operations - South

Amanda has over 20 years’ experience in working in the Criminal Justice System, including with defence lawyers, constabularies, a Police and Crime Commissioners office and joined Shannon Trust from a national role with His Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service. She has worked regionally and nationally on devising and implementing reducing reoffending strategies, and specialises in partnership working within a whole systems setting.

Our trustees

Our Board of Trustees has a wealth of relevant experience to help guide and direct Shannon Trust.

Michael Wemms

Michael joins Shannon Trust 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.

Andrew Reid

Andrew was formerly the Director of Finance of the University of Cambridge. He was a Syndic of Cambridge University Press and of Cambridge Assessment. Prior to joining the University, he spent 11 years in the telecommunications industry in various financial management roles. His earlier career was with KPMG where he qualified as a chartered accountant, before joining the Hongkong-based Jardine Matheson group.

Brenda Bates

Brenda's career in brand, marketing and communications spans almost 30 years in the private sector. She has worked both nationally and internationally, holding a number of senior and leadership positions. Her experience covers strategic marketing and communications, public affairs, brand development and delivery, including employee culture and communications. She is a member of The Market Research Society of Great Britain, specialising in qualitative research and has won numerous awards for her work.

John Bensted

John is a former Chief Probation Officer and now works as an Independent Consultant in Community Justice. He had a long career in the Criminal Justice System, working for over 40 years in probation and social work in London, Bristol and Gloucestershire. He has experience of working in many different settings including prison, courts, public protection, drug treatment and youth justice.

William Payne

William was a civil servant before retiring, a prison governor by trade. He worked mainly in prisons in the South East, but also worked at HQ developing policy and legislation, and did a stint in the unit managing high-profile and high-risk offenders in the community. William is a trustee of 2 other charities as well as Shannon Trust; and he is a member of a Research Ethics Committee and the editorial board of the Prison Service Journal.

Ceri Goodwin

Ceri’s career has encompassed numerous roles across financial services, originating in client facing retail roles through operations, finance, risk and IT. She is motivated when finding creative solutions to diverse challenges, and bringing individuals and teams together. Ceri is looking forward to supporting Shannon Trust in expanding education opportunities to increase the number of learners.

Cristalina Fernandes-Bates

Cristalina has over 25 years working in a range of inner London secondary schools. Her subject specialism is English and she is still passionate about teaching because of the impact great teaching can have on the futures of young people. Much of her time in education has been in senior leadership and her most recent role was as Head Teacher of a turnaround school.

Caroline King

Caroline has been the partner in a commercial law firm since 1997, with her specialist area being commercial property. Caroline is particularly passionate about Shannon Trust's work supporting mentors and learners who may have been previously deprived of opportunities.

Pank Sethi

Since his release from prison, Pank has established himself as a public speaker, sexual health specialist and HIV advocate. Forming a partnership with HIV charities, he delivers HIV awareness, support, advocacy and pushes for policy change across the prison estate, and is a Fast Track Cities HIV ambassador tasked with helping London to become the first city globally to reach zero new transmissions by 2030.

As a former Shannon Trust mentor, past area coordinator and now trustee, Pank has integrated himself throughout Shannon Trust, and through his lived experience of the criminal justice system, is able to offer a very unique, useful perspective from ground through to board level.

Jo Marston

Jo started her career in the arts, mostly in education from primary to undergraduate level. Following a return to study, Jo has worked in the criminal justice system for 20 years. First in the national probation service as a practitioner, and then as a manager in field teams and Home Office Approved Premises, residential environments for prison leavers. Jo transferred to the prison service 6 years ago, and after working in a number of prisons, is currently working nationally on the design and delivery of reducing reoffending policy. Jo is passionate about supporting those in the CJS, and wants to ensure they have the best possible opportunities to move on positively with their lives. 

Tom Saunders

Tom has been a career technology and transformation professional since the earliest days of commercial use of computers. Tom’s career includes IT Director for the Home Office, CIO for TMF Group, the MoD, Aldermore Bank, the Coop Bank, St Mary’s University and Group CIO and Transformation Director for British Standards. Tom is CEO of a professional services business assisting organisations with M&A, transformation, and implementation of regulatory changes. Tom is passionate about bringing his experience to benefit Shannon Trust and the communities we serve.