Chair of the Board of Trustees
With over 25 years working in the City for three US broking houses and risk consulting firms, Stephen made a career change in 2015 to pursue charitable interests including as the former regional chair of the Samaritans. Stephen is also formerly a trustee of Mind and the Citizens Advice Bureau.
He currently also volunteers for Caritas and Cafod, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference Agencies. His particular focus is on finance, strategy, risk, and governance.
Stephen is married with children, two grown up, the eldest having graduated and other almost completed, and two at school. He enjoys sports and has completed marathons, is a qualified skipper, and plays golf. Stephen is also a Crisis at Christmas volunteer.
Robert Lanyon became a trustee in January 2017. His day job is regional public affairs director for the energy company ExxonMobil. During 20 years with the company, he has worked in the UK, Brussels, and Texas in a range of management roles, from corporate and government communications to corporate social responsibility and crisis management.
Before taking up his current role he oversaw the company’s global charitable programmes, including major initiatives in malaria eradication, empowering women in developing nations, and promoting STEM education.
He is a member of the Surrey Business Leaders Forum. A modern languages graduate and keen traveller, Robert lives in Bentley, Hampshire, and is married to Harriet, who wrote the first ever Alpha Course cookbook for Holy Trinity Brompton. They have three daughters and are active members of the local church, including hosting the Marriage Course.
Rt Revd John Packer
John’s career has been as a minister in the Church of England, mostly in northern industrial towns, often struggling with issues of deprivation and unemployment. He was the Vicar of a South Yorkshire mining parish during the 1984-85 Miners’ strike, and later Rector of a large council housing estate parish in Sheffield following the decline in the steel industry.
A member of the House of Lords from 2006 to 2014, he took a major interest in welfare issues, including benefit changes. He was the Bishop of Warrington, in the Liverpool diocese, from 1996 to 2000 and then Bishop of Ripon and Leeds until retirement in 2014. During that time he chaired the Church of England’s Stewardship Committee and its Remuneration and Conditions of Service Committee, and was a member of its Finance Committee.
Since 2014, he has lived in Whitley Bay, as an assistant bishop in the diocese of Newcastle. For part of this time, he acted as chair of the Trustees of the Newcastle West End Foodbank, and he chairs the Trustees of ‘Together Newcastle’, a joint venture of the Church Urban Fund and the diocese. He is married with three adult children.
Natalie grew up in a working class family in one of the most deprived towns in the country. She has a background in journalism and media relations and has worked with the Trust’s press team, writing a number of articles to highlight the need to tackle food poverty in the UK.
She currently works for the national charity Jubilee+ helping churches of all denominations care for the poorest in our communities, as well as overseeing social action at King’s Church Hastings and Bexhill (which includes Hastings Foodbank).
Natalie is the co-author of The Myth of the Undeserving Poor (2014) and A Church for the Poor (2017).
David is the Senior Minister at the Baptist church in Kirkintilloch, which he developed to become a leading organisation in community transformation: the church was also responsible for establishing the East Dunbartonshire Foodbank. David’s ministry has included work in the Isle of Man and in Belfast, time as a prison chaplain, and being part of the wider Baptist leadership in Scotland.
Derek has over thirty years’ experience in the third sector in both in voluntary and senior staff positions, including working at regional and national level with the Scottish Government. He has been involved in the leadership of a large church in Dundee, is a trustee of both Dundee and Angus food banks (the latter also as founder), and has set up and run a number of social enterprises in the area.
Paul works as a policy advisor to the Baptist, Methodist, and United Reformed Churches, and the Church of Scotland, on issues of poverty and inequality. His current focus is on the benefits system and ensuring that those who experience poverty are included in every aspect of its design and development.
Previously Paul was a postdoctoral researcher at Imperial College focusing on viral infection and vaccine design. He also held roles in political parties both in his native Northern Ireland and later in Great Britain, working on policy and campaigns around peacebuilding and poverty reduction.
He is married to Nicola, a Methodist minister, and they have two wonderful primary school-aged children.
Louise Hickman is a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Ethics at Newman University, Birmingham. She researches and teaches philosophy and ethics, with a focus on the history of philosophy, science and religion, and the philosophy of religion. She is a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion.
Louise is deeply concerned about social justice, and wanted to join the board so she could be part of the Trussell Trust’s work to actively challenge the structural causes of poverty. As a teacher of ethics, she’s looking forward to putting that into practice as the charity works towards ending the need for food banks.
Following her first trustee meeting, Louise is really warmed by the commitment and energy of the team and looking forward to being part of an organisation that’s working to change things for the better.
Revd Bev Thomas
Bev Thomas was born in Birmingham to Jamaican parents and moved to London in 1995, then back to the Midlands in August 2008. Bev studied theology at the Ebenezer Bible Institute (1978-81) and religious studies at the Birmingham Bible Institute (1986-89). Bev is an ordained ecumenical minister and has an honorary MA in Divinity (2014).
She has worked for the last 25+ years in the UK and internationally as a trainer/speaker on social justice and ‘race’ issues. She is also an experienced administrator, team leader, projects and events manager. She speaks on numerous issues, which include the following; diversity awareness, youth work, sexuality, singleness and politics.
Bev currently works as a freelance consultant, project manager, speaker and lecturer. Previous to this Bev was the p/t Administrator for Amott Baptist Church while they were interregnum for four years, Project Development Officer for Churches’ Commission for Racial Justice (two year contract) and the Director of Evangelical Christians for Racial Justice for four years. Other employers have included secondments to Evangelical Alliance and Christian Socialist Movement, Youth for Christ, Oasis Trust and W&T Avery Ltd Senior Banking Clerk/Accounts Clerk for seven years.
Bev enjoys genealogy research, keeping fit and singing for recreation.