GRAHAM HARTLEY (Chair)

Graham has been Chair of the Groundwork Federation Board for six years, having previously been a trustee at Groundwork South Tyneside. He is actively involved in developing green technology and is also an advisor at Seismic Venture Partners, a family fund manager focused on supporting the development and growth of UK businesses and promoting a more circular economy. Previously he worked at Siemens as Managing Director overseeing the start of the transition from fossil-based energy sources to green energy.

“I was attracted to Groundwork because of what it does to support people, whatever their background and ability, to fulfil their potential. The other driver close to my heart was the protection of our environment, so it was a perfect fit.”

FAIZA AMIN

Faiza is a co-opted board member. She has worked in several civil society, policy and research roles which have ranged from advocating for girls’ rights to education in Nepal to supporting thousands of youth organisations across the UK. Faiza completed an MSc in Social Development Practice at UCL with the support of the Aziz Foundation and is currently a Senior Policy Advisor at the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities.

“What motivates me to support Groundwork is how it works with communities that are often most impacted by the challenges of social inequities, but have the least power in society to overcome them. My personal experience is rooted in such communities where people are often held back in achieving their full capability by their personal circumstances or background. I’m committed to processes that generate greater equity, well-being and empowerment through action that puts people, and their capability, at the centre.”

KAREN BALMER

Karen is Chief Executive of Groundwork North Wales – and its subsidiaries Wild Ground and Refurbs Flintshire – and is Vice Chair of the Federation Executive Team. Karen is a CIPFA-qualified accountant, has served as a non-executive director on the board of Natural Resources Wales for over seven years and is an independent member of the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s audit and risk assurance committee. She is the founder and trustee of the all-ability cycling charity Cycling 4 All.

“In addition to the natural environment, I’m passionate about equity, inclusivity and social justice.”

STUART BONHAM

Stuart is Chair of Groundwork Northamptonshire. He has significant experience in commercial management with a background in corporate finance and running large, complex pan-European businesses. An Associate of the Institute of Bankers, he retired in 2015 having been Senior Vice President of European Operations for First Data, part of the company’s small global leadership team. He held several private and public company Board positions, including Lloyds TSB Cardnet and latterly served as Chair of Amsterdam-based European Monetary Services.

“My passion is trying to create better places for people and improving their prospects. Tackling poverty and giving people a better chance in life is central to everything I want to bring to Groundwork.”

PATRICK HUGHES

Patrick is the Chair of Groundwork East. He is also a trustee of Clarion Futures, the charitable arm of the Clarion Housing Group, and a past Vice-Chair of the disability charity Papworth Trust. Having spent most of his career in DWP running Jobcentre services he now runs a small strategy consultancy focusing on spreading good practices in the employment and employability sectors in the UK and Europe. He also curates a rolling programme of strategy dinners and the annual summit for the Institute of Employability Professionals.

“I feel that environmental resilience and sustainability for communities and individuals are now the top priority. For my generation it’s time to put something back. I want to be able to look my grandchildren in the eye in years to come.”

MARGOT MADIN

Margot is a trustee of Groundwork Greater Nottingham. She began her career as a chartered librarian before qualifying as a chartered accountant with KPMG. She was an audit partner at UHY Hacker Young in Nottingham until 2020 where she became a national specialist for charities and not-for-profit/membership organisations. She has acted as an independent examiner and auditor for a wide range of local and national charities over the past twenty-five years, and helped to set up the Nottingham Charities Forum. Margot has been a trustee of several charities, including the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust and the national charity Home-Start UK. She has spoken at seminars and written articles and blogs advising trustees and directors in the third sector on a wide range of issues.


CLAIRE MARSHALL

Claire is a co-opted board member and Chair of the Groundwork UK Committee. She is the Chief Executive of a charity delivering support services to adults and children experiencing the trauma of domestic abuse and sexual violence. She is an experienced charity leader and was a professional fundraiser for 25 years, having held roles in RNIB, Cancer Research UK, Air Ambulance and the Hospice sector. Claire is also a Trustee of the CareTech Foundation.

“I’m passionate about Groundwork’s role in community regeneration and was originally drawn to the organisation through its work providing green spaces in urban environments.”

ANTONY NELSON

Antony is a trustee of Groundwork Yorkshire and Chair of the Groundwork in the North Committee. Starting his professional career as an occupational therapist, he has worked in several service improvement, modernisation and programme management roles across various NHS organisations. He has also worked as a consultant implementing change initiatives in the NHS, local authorities, public bodies and businesses. He was most recently the Managing Director of the General Practice Confederation Conexus Healthcare CIC.


GRAHAM PARRY

Graham is the Director of Youth, Employment & Skills for Groundwork London and Groundwork South and is Chair of the Federation Executive Team. Since joining Groundwork in 1993 on a 12-week student work placement, he has held positions in five Groundwork Trusts across the Midlands, North and South of England. In that time he has pioneered the development of intermediate labour markets in ex-mining communities and led teams delivering a major Future Jobs Fund programme in Greater Manchester and bespoke programmes in London to support people with disabilities, refugees & asylum seekers and young people at risk of gang violence.

“My commitment to Groundwork is down to the organisation’s unparalleled ability to innovate, change, and find new ways of supporting people and communities, with no two days the same.”

NIGEL READER CBE

Nigel is the Chair of Groundwork North Wales. A chartered management accountant, he has had a long career in public service and environmental management, including 15 years as Finance Director for The Environment Agency. Before that, he has roles with Wessex Water Authority and the National Rivers Authority. Since retiring, Nigel has developed a non-executive portfolio including roles on the boards of the Marine Management Organisation, Natural England, Natural Resources Wales and the Animal & Plant Health Agency. He currently chairs the Welsh Government’s Health & Social Services Group’s Audit & Risk Assurance Committee. He combines this with a “showbiz” career as a singer at care homes in Somerset! Nigel was awarded a CBE for services to the environment in 2003.

“Being Chair of Groundwork North Wales is the best job I’ve ever had. It has brought an enlightening social dimension to my passion for the environment, and I am blessed to be part of an organisation whose leadership and staff exude energy, enthusiasm and genuine care for people in the communities we serve.”

PAUL ROOTS

Paul is a trustee of Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire & Merseyside. He has worked with the Environment Agency on increasing investment in river catchments to improve local environments and has advised the government on embedding environmental sustainability into local growth programmes.

“I am passionate about social enterprise and the capacity of environmental programmes to provide young people with stepping stones into employment”.

ANNE-MARIE SIMPSON

Anne-Marie is the Chair of Groundwork West Midlands. She owns an independent hospitality business and a gin production and distribution company. She was formerly an advisor to Frontier Development Capital, an alternative investment fund management company driving growth in accessible home ownership. Anne-Marie has a background in public sector land, development, housing and business practice, working at a senior level within several Government organisations across the Midlands. She is a Council Member of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Chamber of Commerce.


ALAN SMITH

Alan is the Chair of Groundwork London. He was a councillor in Lewisham, standing down after 24 years, with a particular interest in environmental and planning issues. He served as Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Regeneration, focusing on development, employment and transport. He was the lead member for London Councils on the Thames Regional Flood and Coastal Commitment, leading for London on flood issues within the Thames basin. He is now a programme board member at a local sixth-form college, helping to set up their engineering T levels.

“Although I came to Groundwork because of my role on the local council, its ethos chimed with me having been homeless for around 18 months in my early 20s.”

ANDREW THURSTON

Andrew is Chair of Groundwork North East & Cumbria and a trustee of Groundwork South & North Tyneside. He has 35 years of management experience across the public, private and voluntary sectors, including posts with the East Midlands Development Agency and as CEO of Lincolnshire Enterprise, delivering the Agency’s agenda in the county. Andrew is a member of the Institute for Economic Development.

“I have a passion to promote the regeneration and reinvigoration of ‘left behind’ communities and the environment in which they live.”

JACK WHITE

Jack is a co-opted board member. He currently works at Urban Green Newcastle, the charitable trust that manages Newcastle’s parks, as a Community Engagement Coordinator. He is also studying his Legal Practice Course before he starts as a trainee solicitor at Womble Bond Dickinson. Outside of work and studies Jack is a keen runner and volunteers weekly as a Cub Leader.

“I’m passionate about getting younger people into trustee positions through working with the Young Trustees Movement.