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

Senior team

Ian MerrillIan Merrill
Ian Merrill
,
CEO

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.

Kerryn HuckKerryn Huck
Kerryn Huck
,
Director of Operations

Kerryn has been a manager, trainer and practitioner in substance misuse and homelessness charities. She brings skills gained from managing peer mentoring schemes and has also worked as a volunteer manager, phonics teacher and project manager.

Our trustees

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

Michael Wemms
,
Chair

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
,
Treasurer

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.

Barry Porter
,

Following a 26 year career in social work and community care management in local authorities in London, Barry worked for 13 years for Blind Veterans UK, the ex-services charity. Latterly, he occupied the role of Director of Operational Welfare Services with responsibility for a network of services throughout the UK.

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.

Ellen Coady
,

Ellen is a Human Resources (HR) professional by trade and worked for 36 plus years mainly in 2 organisations, the Post Office, and HM Prison and Probation Service, in a range of generalist and specialist roles. Ellen is currently Head of HR for the South-Central group of public sector prisons. During a 3-year break from HR, she retrained as an adult literacy teacher and taught on Probation contracts, in a prison and in a local community education centre.

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.