Sue is a charity leader, campaigner and commentator who has worked in the social change sector for approaching thirty years.
Previously she was CEO of Women in Sport, where she oversaw a spectrum of campaigns aimed at unlocking the potential of women’s sport. She worked for The Body Shop in the late 90’s where she was responsible for the global roll out of the pioneering Ruby campaign, which first made the connection between body image and self-esteem.
In her twenties, she devised the award-winning Bag ‘n’ Bin It campaign for the Women’s Environmental Network; co-founded the Women’s Communication Centre which hosted the high profile What Women Want campaign; and worked for the British Government supporting their role in the Fourth UN World Conference on Women.
She has an Honorary Degree from Liverpool John Moore’s University for her work in women’s health, and was awarded an OBE for “services to sport” in the 2013 New Years’ Honours list. Sue is a trustee of Grapevine, a charity based in the West Mids, that uses community power to help people thrive. She is a former Chair of 38 Degrees and The Fawcett Society, and a former Trustee of acevo.
Director of Policy and Communications
Chloe has twenty years’ experience of campaigning, public affairs and policy influencing in both the not-for-profit and charity sectors.
Before joining the team at SMK, Chloe worked for various charities and trade bodies including Action for Children and the National Housing Federation. She has campaigned on green energy, social housing, waste reduction, fuel poverty, child neglect and early-years development.
Chloe puts most of her energy into working for greater social justice, seeking clarity of purpose, travelling and Doctor Who – sometimes all at the same time. She will ask you a LOT of questions.
Deputy Chief Executive
Rob’s career mixes nearly twenty years in the social sector, with commercial experience as a strategy consultant. He has worked both for charities and funders and specialises in not-for-profit strategy and strategic philanthropy.
Before joining SMK Rob was Director of Programmes at The Royal Foundation, where he oversaw the separation of the philanthropic affairs of the Cambridge and Sussex households. He was Director of Research & Consulting at NPC for 7-years, leading NPC’s consulting work with charities, foundations and philanthropists. During this time he developed expertise in systems change (authoring Lankelly Chase and NPC’s introduction to the topic) and strategic philanthropy, working with many of the UK’s leading Foundations.
Rob started his career working with young homeless people in Leeds and in community development in North Kensington. He was Head of Strategic Intelligence at Which? during Sheila McKechnie’s tenure as Chief Executive, and then spent some years as a strategy consultant working mainly on public service reform.
Head of Marketing and Communications
Emma has worked in the charity sector over the past 20 years, in the arts, human rights and more recently women’s rights sectors.
Emma began her career in visual arts management and later campaigning and communication projects that focused on prevention, behaviour change and awareness raising in the UK and globally, specifically projects on gender-based violence. More recently, Emma’s consultancy work has focused on the communications, fundraising and campaigning needs of small to medium charities particularly digital asset development and strategic communications.
Emma is a Clore Foundation fellow from the Women and Girls Leadership Programme and works as a communications mentor. Emma is also a Trustee with Oxfordshire based charity Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse.
Events and Programme Manager
Megan joined SMK in January 2015, whilst studying for a BSc in Community Development and Public Policy at Birkbeck University.
Previously working in the NHS as a Diabetic Eye Screener, she wanted to pursue a career within the charity sector that aligned with her real passions – social justice and human rights. Megan has volunteered with children’s charities, facilitating half-term classes for primary school children, and helping to organise large-scale annual Christmas events for vulnerable children and families. At the end of 2019, Megan completed a part-time diploma in Events Management with Event Academy, the only UK events diploma endorsed by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
Digital Marketing and Projects Officer
Rummena joined SMK in 2018, after previously completing a voluntary placement undertaking market research.
Rummena is a graduate from Queen Mary University, and has a degree in BA Geography. Rummena has long been interested in developmental and inequality issues and her experience comes from collaborating with Citizens UK by completing qualitative and quantitative research tasks. Rummena enjoys volunteering in her spare time, she was a long-term volunteer at a youth centre, and also worked with Active Communities Network, a charity that attempts to tackle social deprivation by inspiring young people, through grassroots sports. Currently, Rummena volunteers at a food bank called Charity Begins At Home.
At SMK, Rummena supports the communications and marketing activity, particularly overseeing social media, aimed at growing SMK’s profile and engagement.
Head of Power and Participation
Sarah has twenty years’ experience in the charity sector, working in leadership roles at a range of community and educational projects.
Passionate about inclusive, participatory approaches to social change, Sarah’s work has focused on co-creating services for children and families and for people with disabilities. Her intention is always to foster reflective, collaborative relationships in pursuit of a kinder, more just and sustainable world. Prior to joining SMK, Sarah completed an MA in Power, Participation and Social Change.
Policy and Research Officer
Seth joined SMK in November 2021, having previously enjoyed roles working in human rights and as part of the policy team of his local Brighton MP.
Seth traces his campaigning roots back to 2003, when he was nestled on his dad’s shoulders for the duration of the ‘Stop the War’ protest in London.
More recently, Seth achieved a First Class Degree from the University of Essex in Elections, Public Opinion and Political Parties, which he invariably shortens to ‘Politics’.
While passionate in his convictions, Seth loves nothing more than talking with – and attempting to understand – those who view the world differently.
For this reason, he often ponders the Abraham Lincoln quote included in SMK’s Social Power report:
‘I don’t like that man, I must get to know him better.’
Head of Programmes
Kath has two decades experience in the not-for-profit sector, as a campaigner, learning partner and trainer. She cut her teeth at Oxfam campaigning for universal primary education before working on UK ageing issues and championing drug education in Central America.
Kath has worked as a freelance consultant for the last ten years for diverse organisations including Mencap, the Criminal Justice Alliance and the Trades Union Congress (TUC). She convened the civil society coalition of 350 organisations against the government’s policing bill (now the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Act 2022). Since 2021 she has been the Course Director for SMK’s Campaign Carousel training programme. Kath is an RSA Fellow and a critical friend of Playing Out, a social enterprise championing street play.
Knowledge and Insight Manager
Shaan has spent the last decade undertaking different roles and courses to better understand social change and how we can make it happen.
Starting as a Listening Volunteer with Samaritans, she became interested in understanding what it would really take to solve some of the issues she came across on calls. She joined Bexley Voluntary Service Council, working in Impact Development, Digital and Communications, and Project Support roles where she developed her insight into the charity sector and the difficulties it can face.
Following this, she began looking at the political context our charities exist in, volunteering with a proportional representation campaign, and studying both Political Philosophy (short course, Birkbeck) and Public Policy Analysis (LSE).
Before joining SMK, Shaan studied MA Power, Participation, and Social Change (Institute of Development Studies).
Operations and Systems Manager
Lorna joined SMK in October 2022 and focuses on the internal operations.
Lorna began her career as a Town Planner in the Northeast and Edinburgh, working on housing policy, developing governance experience and project management qualifications. Lorna loves to travel and after a 2-year sabbatical, travelling and working her way around the world, Lorna moved into the travel industry where she managed large sales teams for a high-end tour operator for 7 years.
Lorna has always had a strong interest in project management and operations in her previous roles and was seeking a new challenge when she was offered the role of Operations Manager at SMK. Lorna is excited to learn more about campaigning, while supporting the team on their work on social change.
SMK is very lucky to have such a highly skilled and dedicated Board of Trustees that bring with them a rich and diverse variety of perspectives and experiences. Most are campaigners and social change experts in their own right working across civil society.
Global Communications Director – Content, External Channels & Community
With over a decade’s experience building powerful digital communities, Patrick has a passion for harnessing the voices of many to change the opinions and policies of companies, regulators and governments.
At Which?, he built a digital innovation team that grew one of the largest supporter bases in the UK, and helped pioneer data-led engagement tools which influenced positive social change for UK consumers. Whether in mobilising half a million people to change the law on nuisance calls, or collecting evidence of the millions lost to bank scams, the consumer actions Patrick has led have resulted in high-profile media and tangible policy outcomes. In addition to advising The Law Society and FTSE 250 company Capita, Patrick most recently partnered with Purpose Union. At this social purpose agency, Patrick specialises in advising global clients on digital movement building. This includes leading the social media release of a global climate action song which engaged people in almost every country of the world.
Zainab Ali Khan
Documentaries at Netflix
Zainab joined Netflix in 2019, working in the commissioning team for Original Documentaries. Zainab has held several roles across non-profits, The World Wide Web Foundation and The ONE Campaign.
As Chief of Staff at the Web Foundation, Zainab worked closely with the CEO and co-founders Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Rosemary Leith to manage global campaigns including the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web.
At ONE, Zainab worked across media, advocacy and project management – coordinating national, regional and global projects including ONE’s involvement in the G7 and G20 summits. She also worked closely with the Youth Ambassador programme, managing their 2017 annual gathering in Brussels.
Zainab began her career at ITV News as a researcher for current affairs programmes ‘Tonight’ and ‘On Assignment’.
External Affairs at StepChange
Richard leads the External Affairs department at StepChange, the UK’s largest debt charity, who help more than 600,000 people a year with their financial problems. His role oversees the charity’s policy, campaigning, marketing, communications and digital functions.
Richard has worked across the charity sector in a number of roles, including leading the communications and campaigns teams at the national disability charity, Scope, and working on campaigns and public affairs at the LGBT charity Stonewall where he worked on the equal marriage campaign and the national Rainbow Laces campaign to tackle homophobia in sport.
Prior to working in the charity sector Richard worked at the Fabian Society, a leading think tank on social justice issues, PoliticsHome supporting their US politics coverage, and spent time working on the 2008 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Partner, Rights CoLab and Freelance Consultant
Deborah is a partner at RightsCoLab where she works on the future of civil society. She has appeared as a spokesperson across radio and television, and blogs for the Guardian.
Prior to joining Rights CoLab, she was Director of the Funders’ Initiative for Civil Society (FICS), a private philanthropic collaborative working to create a more enabling environment for civil society. Earlier roles have included Director of the World Development Movement and founder/Director of the Corporate Responsibility Coalition (CORE) of 120 NGOs in the UK that achieved ground-breaking changes to UK Company law, to embed social and environmental accountability. She also held leadership roles at WWF and the New Economics Foundation.
She has been a trustee of numerous organisations, including the Fairtrade Foundation, and is currently a Director of Finance Uncovered.
Pete Moorey (SMK Chair)
Head of Campaigns and UK Advocacy at Christian Aid
Pete Moorey, recently joined Christian Aid and was previously Head of Digital Impact & Sustainability Campaigns at BT, responsible for BT’s Skills for Tomorrow campaign, which aims to help 10 million people to make the most of life in the digital world. Pete is acting interim Chair at SMK.
Before joining BT, he was Director of Advocacy and Public Affairs at Which?, where he ran the consumer champion’s campaigns – securing changes to laws, regulation and consumer behaviour in the financial services, utilities, transport and retail markets. Pete was previously the Head of Public Affairs at the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Head of Campaigns & Communications at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations. As a consultant, he has advised numerous organisations on their campaigns and comms strategies including Scope, Save the Children, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Royal College of Nursing and the Rail Ombudsman.
Director at Stuart Davis Consulting
Stuart runs a consultancy that specialises in advising charities with finance and operations, and is qualified Management Accountant (CIMA).
Previously Stuart has been Finance Director at ClientEarth, Head of Finance at Elrha and held finance roles at other international NGOs such as VSO and Amnesty International. He has extensive prior experience in the private sector.
Kimberly Garande (SMK Deputy Chair)
Youth Development Lead, We Belong
Kimberly joined as Outreach Officer at We Belong in October 2019, now Youth Development Lead, and is dedicated to changing how society relates to marginalised groups.
Kimberly was born in Zimbabwe and migrated to the UK aged 9. She applied for student finance in 2015 and realised that her immigration status became the barrier to going to university because it meant she wasn’t eligible for a student loan. In the same year, Kimberly attended a Leadership Academy, which provided support and importantly awareness that she was not alone. In 2018 she started university alongside work as a Culturosity Facilitator; promoting youth development through creative learning of equality and diversity principles. She recognises the importance of young people seeking out opportunities for further development and challenging societal constraints.
Our founding five patrons all knew Sheila personally and have each played an important ambassadorial role for the Foundation over the years. .
Rt Hon Gordon Brown MP
Gordon Brown was a friend of Sheila McKechnie for over thirty years and became a patron of the Foundation at the time it was established in 2005. Gordon Brown hosted the Foundation’s reception for the Sheila McKechnie Awards 2007. He has emphasised the importance of campaigners contribution to democracy in Britain and continues to support the Foundation’s work to develop the next generation of campaigners.
“To fight for justice is not some abstract idea – it is far more important than that. It is a practical demand that real wrongs must be righted, that injustices be rectified, that abuses be removed and unfairness’s remedied. Let Sheila’s energy, Sheila’s unending courage and, Sheila’s lifetime dedication to justice, inspire us and drive us forward in the days and years ahead”.
Broadcaster and writer
Jon Snow is an English journalist and television presenter. He is best known as the longest-running presenter of Channel 4 News, which he has presented since 1989. Snow has held numerous honorary appointments, including Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University from 2001 to 2008.
“We want to make it possible for another Sheila, another passionate informed campaigner, to break out and raise a voice from beyond organised politics on behalf of those denied rights and opportunities.”
Baroness Morgan of Drefelin
Delyth has over 20 years experience as a campaigner and was the first Chief Executive of Breakthrough Cancer responsible for orchestrating the high level of awareness and momentum behind the issue of breast cancer in the UK. Sheila was a hugely important role model for Delyth throughout her career.
“It’s time we recognised the campaigners out there whose efforts help create a better future for their communities – the people who can be bothered, who write that letter and ask that question, who organise that petition and who could do even more with support, help and recognition. The Sheila McKechnie Foundation hopes to support, empower and name these campaigners and thank them for what they do for us all.”
The Lord Rogers of Riverside CH (deceased)
Richard Rogers was an award-winning architect and the 2007 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate. As chair of the Architecture Foundation, he worked with Sheila McKechnie and others to ‘put architecture on the political map’ as a force for urban improvement and social change. He was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1986, knighted in 1991, and made a life peer in 1996.
Sheila’s partner and formerly champion of education at the Financial Services Authority.
“Sheila’s eye for an issue worth campaigning about may have been largely intuitive, but her campaigns were always based on careful research of the facts, identifying practical solutions, and absolute integrity.”