VCM Foundation Trustees

Roy Blackwell (Chairman)


Roy Blackwell is Clerk to the United Westminster Schools/Grey Coat Hospital Foundation, an ancient (1594) charity which has strong links with Westminster Abbey. He is also Clerk to the governing bodies of the schools which make up the Foundation, an unusual mixture of independent and maintained schools with the latter being inner city

He started his working life as a teacher, after which he became Education Officer for a Local Authority before spending ten years in the civil service which led to him travelling around Europe negotiating bi-lateral and multi-lateral treaties for HM Government.


Sally Cantello

Sally Cantello 1

Sally’s career spanned over 30 years in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. For eight years she was Chief Executive of The Whitehall & Industry Group (WIG), a high-profile not-for-profit membership organisation with a pivotal role interfacing between business and government. Prior to entering the not-for-profit sector her career was in international strategy consulting, chiefly with KPMG where she focused on the telecoms and space sectors.

Sally has served as a Trustee of The Scout Association, an independent member of the Steering Board of the UK Space Agency and as Chair of the Surrey Space Incubator at Surrey University.

Sally has a degree in languages and an MBA from Cass Business School. She is a keen sportswoman (particularly in the fields of yacht racing and dinghy sailing), sings with the Parliament Choir and is a supporter of charities focusing on music and young people’s development.


William Conner

Wolfson College London Lecture 2015

Bill Conner has spent more than 35 years transforming the fundraising results of the organisations with whom he has worked in both the UK and the US. His expertise is in leading organisations through institutional strategic planning for large fundraising campaigns, building high value relationships leading to successful fundraising, and crafting institutional visions and associated narratives to support fundraising initiatives. Bill is a founding partner of Conner & Associates and a Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Oxford where he is the Development Director.

His particular interests include new philanthropic ventures and encouraging robust donor engagement with philanthropy and social investment. He has held board roles with the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving and EUConsult.

Bill began his consulting career in 1999 and in 2001 became a director of Brakeley Ltd where he served a wide range of clients in the UK, Continental Europe and the US. He
has also served as Director of Development at New College, University of Oxford and the Ashridge Business School. Prior experience includes senior management and fundraising roles with the London Business School, the San Francisco and Miami Operas, the Castle Hill Foundation and the Boston University School for the Arts.


Peter Dart

More info to follow – website update in progress


Sarah Holford

More info to follow – website update in progress


Lord Lisvane KCB DL

RobertRogers2 (2)

As Sir Robert Rogers, Lord Lisvane was Clerk of the House of Commons from 2011 to 2014 after a career spent in the service of the House. In addition to being the principal constitutional adviser to the House, he was Chief Executive and Head of the House of Commons Service of 2,500 people. He was knighted in 2012 and on his retirement was appointed a Cross-Bench peer.

Robert is the Master of the Skinners’ Company 2018-19; the Company is responsible for seven schools and academies. He is an Honorary Bencher of the Middle Temple, an Honorary Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, a Deputy Lieutenant for Herefordshire and Chief Steward of the City of Hereford. He is the joint author of the standard textbook How Parliament Works, and author of two Parliamentary miscellanies, Order! Order! and Who Goes Home? He is a keen amateur organist and choral singer.


John Smith


After studying in Durham and Oxford, John Smith was ordained in the Church of England to serve in the diocese of Hereford. He left full time ministry and for the next 30 years committed his energies to making prisons better and more humane places. After holding senior management positions in Wandsworth and Coldingly prisons he was governor in charge at Manchester, Strangeways and Walton Gaol Liverpool. After moving to the private sector John held board level roles with responsibility for change and HRM, strategic planning and operations for the companies’ custodial contracts globally.John has been a trustee within several charities including chairman and treasurer roles. Now retired from full time work he energetically supports the work of VCM.


Duncan Souster

Duncan Souster-1-5

Duncan is the Chief Executive of the Jubilee Sailing Trust an international charity that supports a diverse range of people facing challenges (including those with physical disabilities, intellectual disabilities and mental health issues) by providing liberation from their restrictions and allowing individuals to explore their ability, place and potential in the world.

The JST achieves this by creating a safe, inclusive and non-discriminatory community environment onboard two unique tall ships, which sail the high seas with a crew of all ages, backgrounds and abilities.

Over the past 40 years, the JST has taken nearly 50,000 people to sea and has been accredited by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for its within this community.

Before his appointment as Chief Executive, Duncan was a long-standing volunteer for the JST, working for eight years as Trustee, including two as Vice Chairman. In his previous life, Duncan was Global Sales Director for ManpowerGroup, a Fortune 500 business services firm, where he was responsible for $6bn of revenues across their footprint of 86 countries and diverse business lines, including outsourced services and HR consulting. He is also a co-founder and board member of Brooks Quayle, a leading international executive search business focused the appointment of board-level positions within financial services and risk technology.

Duncan was educated at University College London and throughout his career, has travelled extensively including extended secondments to the United States, Japan, Latin America and Australasia.

Duncan is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights. He is also an active member of The Royal Thames Yacht Club. Sailing remains an important part of his life along with food, wine, travel and other outdoor pursuits.


Lord Wallace of Saltaire

William Wallace

William Wallace (Lord Wallace of Saltaire) is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords.  He was a minister in the 2010-15 coalition government, where amongst other things he was engaged with charities law and regulation.  He was a chorister at Westminster Abbey; he has sung in a number of choirs since then (including with Paul and Barney Smith when they were trebles), and is now a second bass in the Parliament Choir.  His professional career was in international politics, as director of research at Chatham House, teaching at Manchester and Oxford Universities and at the London School of Economics.  He was the first chair of trustees for the VCM Foundation.


Eleanor Wardle

As a keen choral music enthusiast and amateur singer, Ellie is honoured to serve as a
trustee of The VCM Foundation. A long-time supporter of the ensembles of the
Foundation, she is delighted to be offering a formal contribution to help the organisation
deliver its charitable aims of inspiring people through music.

Her background is in retail marketing – specifically fashion; a sector where she has spent
more than 10 years travelling Europe and lending expertise to build and grow beloved
footwear brands.

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