Guest Speakers on Current and Past Programmes

Kath Abrahams, Director of Engagement & Fundraising, Diabetes UK

Kath Abrahams FLP

Kath has held a range of senior leadership roles in fundraising and communications in both charities and higher education, including King’s College London & King’s Health Partners, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the NSPCC and ChildLine. She is a Trustee of the Institute of Fundraising and before joining the charity sector, Kath was General Manager at London's Bloomsbury Theatre.


Paul Amadi, Executive Director of Fundraising, MS Society

Paul Amadi

Paul Amadi is a a highly regarded, knowledgeable and progressive fundraiser and not for profit commentator with over two decades in the sector

Over his two decade Fundraising career, Paul is recognised as improving the performance of some of the UK’s most high profile charities. He is currently Executive Director of Fundraising at the MS Society. Prior to this Paul was Director of Fundraising at Diabetes UK where he increased income by over 25% during his three year tenure,  income growth that was facilitated by securing the Tesco Charity of the Year partnership and it’s subsequent extension into a ground breaking consortium with BHF.  Prior to this role, he was Director of Fundraising at NSPCC leading a team of 400 raising in excess of £130m per annum. Before this, he held similar posts at RNIB and Leonard Cheshire.

In addition to these high profile leadership roles, he has always made a contribution to the sector, both as a speaker and most notably as Chairman of the Institute of Fundraising, the representative body for professional fundraisers and more recently as Chair of the International Fundraising Congress– Europe’s largest gathering of fundraising professionals and suppliers. In acknowledgement of this fact, Paul was recently voted the eleventh most influential person in Fundraising in Fundraising Magazine’s annual sector poll.

Paul is known for his well-developed communication and interpersonal skills and his ability to operate within and navigate complex stakeholder environments in both the private and public sectors.

Specialities: strategy development, change management, team building, coaching and mentoring, case for support development, capital appeals 


Jo Anderson MInstF(Cert), Director of External Affairs, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health)

 Jo began her fundraising career in 1995 setting up the highest grossing retail outlet for the NSPCC in her final year of a retail marketing degree. On graduating she secured her first fundraising role as an Area Appeals Manager with the NSPCC covering Greater Manchester.  From there Jo moved to London spending time at both The Migraine Trust and Cancer Research UK where she led the hugely successful ‘Foreign Coin Collection’ with Lloyds Banking Group as the Euro was phased in. Moving to Scotland in 2002 Jo began her first of nine years at CHILDREN 1STworking as part of the fundraising management team growing annual income to £4 million. 

Jo joined SAMH in 2011 to develop and deliver a fundraising strategy, a new venture for the organisation. Positioning mental health as a cause to support, SAMH is now raising in excess of £1.5million each year from voluntary sources. Taking up the role of Director of External Affairs in 2013 Jo leads on SAMH’s work in public affairs, campaigns, communications and fundraising.  

Jo is a fully certified member of the Institute of Fundraising and sits on the IoF Executive Committee in Scotland.  You can catch up with her @JoatSAMH


Lyndon Arnall, Vice President – Commercial Legal, BHP


Shannon Banks, Managing Director, Be Leadership

Shannon Banks FLP

Shannon is a consultant, facilitator and coach with 20 years of experience working with organizations in the commercial sector. She has won international awards for her work in leadership development and is a sought-after public speaker. Shannon has a passion for social leadership and helping executives and teams be more successful in the digital era. Shannon is a Master Action Learning Coach, certified through the World Institute for Action Learning, where she is also on the Board of Directors. She is also certified and experienced in methods and tools that support development, including Hogan Assessments, Open Space, World Café and FIRO-B and MBTI®. Shannon is also an experienced executive coach, certified by the NeuroLeadership Institute and accredited by the International Coach Federation.

Prior to her current work, Shannon spent 17 years as a business and HR leader at Microsoft. As part of her work at Microsoft, she developed Front Lines, an award-winning action learning experience that links learning directly to business impact through work with partners in the developing world.


Jenn Barnett, Strategic Change Unit Leader, Grant Thornton UK

Jenn Barnett

Jenn is an experienced people professional and a Brand & Culture Board member at professional services firm Grant Thornton UK. For the last 18 months, she has led her peers in the disciplined execution of a number of commercial people change programmes to time and budget; from technology improvements, the transformation of resourcing and the introduction of a business school. She has also directly implemented Shared Enterprise, a cultural change programme and  a People Manager transformation programme and inspired different thinking and behaviours in leaders. She currently coaches the Board individually and as a team; positively influencing their behaviours and actions. Recently, Jenn has provided leadership, reassurance and direction for the People and Culture practice, and has been a point of reference for advice to the 140 team members. Jenn has expertise in transformational change and organisational design, executive coaching and leadership development, and prior to Grant Thornton worked in senior roles with BAE Systems and BAA at Heathrow, where she led the transformation of people behaviours to improve customer service in preparation for the Olympic Games in 2012. She has a Masters degree in Psychology and Human Resources and is a Fellow of the CIPD, an Accredited Executive Coach Supervisor, and an NLP, Insights, MBTI, GLP and ECR practitioner. 


Derek Browne, Chief Executive, Entrepreneurs in Action 


Catherine Cottrell, Deputy Executive Director, Fundraising, Unicef UK

Catherine Cottrell FLP

Catherine joined UNICEF UK as Deputy Executive Director in November 2012, and in that time has grown their fundraised income by approximately £43m, and is now responsible for £100m+ voluntary income. Prior to this, she was Group Head of Fundraising at the RSPCA from 2008 to 2012, where she led the creation and implementation of a new fundraising strategy bringing high growth in income from individuals and high value partnerships. Catherine joined the RSPCA following a long career in sales and marketing which began in 1994 with Haymarket Publishing after studying History at the University of Aberdeen and marketing as a postgraduate at the University of Strathclyde. She later exhibited an interest in the not-for-profit sector working at Imperial Cancer Research Fund and then later as Marketing Director at King's College London leading the University’s national and international marketing activities. Catherine lives in Hove with her husband and two boys.


Sue Davie 

Sue Davie joined Meningitis Trust in 2002 as its first Finance Director and became Chief Executive in 2007. During her time as CEO, Sue led on the successful merger of Meningitis Trust and Meningitis UK to form Meningitis Now in 2013, and successfully campaigned for the introduction in 2015 of a new life saving vaccine against one form of meningitis. Under Sue’s leadership, Meningitis Trust/Meningitis Now won the National Training Award for Small Employers in 2011 and Charity Times Campaign Team of the Year in 2014.  Prior to joining Meningitis Trust in 2002, Sue worked in the commercial sector with large blue chip companies including ICL/Fujitsu and the Dixons Stores Group. She was part of the team who set up the first free internet service provider, Freeserve, in 1998, and spent nearly three years in California managing Freeserve’s investments in Silicon Valley. Having left Meningitis Now in 2016 to look after her father, she remains an Ambassador for the charity, and uses her experience and knowledge to help other charities such as Pets As Therapy and Child Brain Injury Trust.  


Martin Edwards, CEO, Julia's House

Martin Edwards 2015

Martin Edwards is Chief Executive (since 2005) of the children’s hospice Julia’s House, in recent years awarded Healthcare Charity of the Year at the Charity Awards, Best Employer at the Third Sector Awards and listed in The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Places to Work in the Public & Charity Sectors’ five years running. New breakthroughs include persuading Guy Ritchie and Robert Downey Junior to raise seven-figure sums each for the charity’s new hospice appeal. Martin, a fundraiser by background, is also a former columnist for Third Sector magazine.  

Di Gornell, Director of Fundraising, Centrepoint

Dr Kim Holt, Consultant Paediatrician and Clinical lead, Haringey community team 

Kim Holt FLP

Kim is a medical consultant who has worked in disadvantaged areas in Greenwich, Salford, Chesterfield, Nottingham, and latterly the London borough of Haringey.  She has also spent two years working in Kinshasa, Congo. Her main interests lie in the fields of social paediatrics; child protection and child mental health and her approach has always been holistic, family focussed and collaborative.

Sadly she experienced considerable hostility to challenging workload difficulties as well as system issues while a paediatrician in Haringey in 2006.  She was kept on enforced special leave for over 4 years, and offered a significant sum of money to sign a confidentiality agreement which she declined to do.  She was eventually reinstated and has been able to maintain a positive working situation, although it has been a challenge.  She founded Patients First with other campaigners in 2012, an organisation which aims to protect NHS whistleblowers and create an NHS where they are no longer needed.


Ben Hunt-Davis, Director, Will It Make The Boat Go Faster?

Ben Hunt-Davis FLP

Since retiring from competitive sport in 2000, I’ve worked as a keynote speaker and performance consultant here at Will It Make The Boat Go Faster? Our clients have included many of the FTSE 100 companies and the exciting growth area of businesses run by entrepreneurial leaders. I still help to run international rowing events and I’ve been involved with five Olympic Games in various roles.


Tufail Hussain, UK Deputy Director & Head of Fundraising, Islamic Relief UK

Tufail Hussain

Tufail Hussain joined Islamic Relief UK in 2016 and has over 10 years’ experience in the humanitarian sector coupled with extensive experience in marketing and campaign management. During these years, Tufail has travelled extensively around the world raising awareness of major emergencies such as the Syrian Crisis and Pakistan Floods. Current Deputy Director of Islamic Relief UK and Trustee at the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF), Tufail was previously the Chief Executive Officer at a leading charity specialising in helping vulnerable children. The charity, which supports thousands of children around the world, saw its income grow from £2 million to over £9 million in three years under his leadership. Prior to this he held senior roles at various organisations where he has established fundraising strategies and has shown a strong track record of growing organisational income exponentially. A sports enthusiast, Tufail lives a very active lifestyle having recently ran the London Marathon, raising over £20,000 for charity.


Claudia R Knights, Development Director, Impetus-The Private Equity Foundation & Registered Craniosacral Therapist

Claudia Knights

Claudia joined Impetus-PEF in 2017 from The Prince’s Trust, where she was Senior Adviser, Campaign and had previously been Campaign Director and Senior Head of the National Philanthropy Team. She has expertise in fundraising and philanthropy, having worked with organisations including King’s College London and Save the Children. Prior to working as a fundraiser, Claudia began her career in the oil and gas sector specialising in supply and distribution. This included working as a strategy consultant for Accenture, primarily with major energy and natural resources clients. Claudia is also a registered Craniosacral Therapist and works with individuals to help them access  alternative approaches to supporting their physical and emotional health. She holds a Master of Engineering in Aeronautics and Astronautics from the  University of Southampton.


Iain McAndrew MInstF, Director of Development & Communications, CHAS


Kathleen Miles, Mind


Nas Morley, Director of Fundraising and Marketing, The MicroLoan Foundation

Nas Morley is a fundraising leader who first developed her commercial, partnership and marketing skills in the financial services industry working for the likes of GE, Prudential and Santander. In 2010 Nas achieved her long held dream to work for an organisation committed to improving the lives of others when she swapped her career in retail finance for fundraising. Nas spent five years leading fundraising teams at Breakthrough Breast Cancer developing corporate partnerships with the likes of M&S, Avon and Adidas. Nas built and led the High Value fundraising team combining the major giving and corporate fundraising streams to maximise the potential of high value relationships. Nas joined MicroLoan in April 2015 and her focus will be to develop and implement a strategy to grow income and engagement from all donor channels.


Paul Nott, Principal Consultant, NFP Consulting

Paul Nott

Having worked in the charity sector for 16 years as a senior fundraiser, founder and recruiter at NFP,  Paul works with charities across the country to help them attract and retain the best staff.

Paul’s passion is long-term career partnership, working with professionals to plan their futures beyond role titles and salary levels and truly valuing work/life balance, beneficiary outcomes and simple day-to-day satisfaction.

Paul advises boards of small and medium charities on fundraising and staffing and mentors a handful of excellent fundraisers. 


Dhivya O’Connor, Chief Executive, Children with Cancer UK.

Dhiyva O'Connor

Dhivya has extensive experience with HNWIs, Corporates and Development Boards. Dhivya joined Children with Cancer UK as Head of Philanthropy and Partnerships in July 2017. She quickly moved up to be Chief Operating Officer and Chief Philanthropy Officer, before taking up the CEO role in July 2018. Over the past 12 to 18 months, Dhivya has led Children with Cancer UK through a strategic transformation, including launching a new brand image, a complete organisational re-structure and implementing an ambitious plan for growth.  

Before Children with Cancer UK, Dhivya worked with The Prince’s Teaching Institute (The PTI). Dhivya joined The PTI from the Banking sector when the charity was very small, and spent 7 years building up and establishing the entire fundraising function, generating five-fold organisational growth. The primary focus was in creating a very successful tiered Major Donor programme, securing recurring 5 and 6-figure gifts over a rolling 5-year period. When Dhivya left The PTI, over 70% of non-statutory income came through the Major Donor income stream. Prior to joining the charity sector, Dhivya spent 10 years in commercial and strategy / business development roles, across Banking, Financial Services and Travel.

Twitter: @DhivyaOConnor


Rob Paxman, Founder, Paradigm Training Solutions and Talking2Minds 

Bob is the Founder of Paradigm Training Solutions and the Charity Talking2Minds and has spent many years studying alternative approaches to creating positive mental health. Bob spent over 20 years in hostile and high pressure environments as part of both the Royal Engineers and 22 Special Air Service.

In 2008 Bob decided to dedicate his time and energy to his life’s purpose of helping those still suffering from PTSD, assisting them back to health and helping them to regain their self worth, self-identity and realise their full potential in life.


Tom Rippin, CEO, On Purpose

Tom Rippin 2015

After some years researching cancer, Tom started his non-academic career at management consultants McKinsey & Company, where he worked across the private, public and non-profit sectors. He transitioned into the social enterprise space, first advising the CEO of Comic Relief on private sector matters and then working at (RED), the business founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver to help eliminate AIDS in Africa, where he was Managing Director for Europe and Director of Business Development for (RED) International. As well as running On Purpose, Tom is the Chairman of Spice,  a Trustee of The Global Action Plan and an Advisory Board Member of Big Society Capital.


Lucy Sargent, Director of Philanthropy, WWF-UK


Claire Singlehurst, Director of Relationship Fundraising, Macmillan

Claire joined Macmillan in 2012 and is the Director of Relationship Fundraising, with responsibility for teams specialising in raising funds for people living with cancer through corporate partnerships, major gifts, challenge and special events, all regionally based fundraising and supporter care. Before joining Macmillan, Claire worked in leadership roles in the private sector, including Boots. 


Bruce Tait, FInstF, Chief Executive of BTA and Director of Charity Careers Ireland, Scotland, North West and Canada

Bruce Tait FLP

Bruce Tait has worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years as a Fundraiser, a Chief Executive and as a Consultant to charities in the UK, Canada, Ireland, USA, Sweden, Holland and Spain.   

Following an early career in Marketing and PR, Bruce became a fundraiser and held roles as Director of Fundraising and Chief Executive at several Scottish charities.   Bruce set up BTA in 2003 to provide consultancy services to Scottish charities and he now leads a team of consultants providing strategic advice, fundraising and communications planning and digital development strategies for a range of Scottish charities.

BTA also has a recruitment arm has grown to become Scotland’s largest recruiter of charity staff, with sister companies in Liverpool, Dublin and Toronto.

Bruce is a former Chair of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland and was made a Fellow of the IoF in 2016. He is Chair of Scotland’s largest outdoor education charity (SOEC) and has served as Trustee with numerous Scottish and Canadian charities.

He is also a full member of EU Consult – the European organisation for ethical charity consultants.


Sonya Timms, Director, Magic Bus UK

Sonya Timms 2015

Sonya has 18 years experience as a senior fundraising and relationship manager. She has led teams to grow income from special events, major giving and community fundraising at NSPCC, Marie Curie Cancer Care, CLIC Sargent, The National Autistic Society and Save the Children.

In addition to her current role as Director of Magic Bus UK, Sonya is active within the wider voluntary sector as Chair of the Institute of Fundraising Major Donor Special Interest Group and has been a Trustee of Endometriosis UK for four years. She is a passionate champion of small charities.