D’Arcy was appointed Chair of the Trust in October 2016. D’Arcy is an experienced independent Third Sector consultant operating at a senior level with Boards, Chief Executives, and senior managers. He has a wide knowledge of and experience in effective strategic development and change processes in not-for-profit and voluntary organisations. D’Arcy has led a number of charities through change and development, working with boards and leadership teams to promote a productive governance culture. He is active in the sector and amongst other things was one of the founders of the Small Charities Coalition and Charity2020. He set up the South East Charity Forum and The Corporate Social Partnership. D’Arcy is also currently Chair of ACO, the membership body for grant-makers that provide funds to individuals, of which the Trust is a member. D’Arcy previously spent eight years working in marketing and business development before going to the independent Kingdom of Tonga in the South Pacific with VSO. This led to work in 32 countries around the world from Africa, the Far East, Europe, the former Soviet Union, USA and the South Pacific. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, a member of various fundraising institutes and a trustee of a number of other voluntary organisations.
Rachael joined the Smallwood board in December 2017 and is the board portfolio lead for communications, fundraising and partnerships. Rachael has a portfolio career, working as an independent governance and fundraising consultant and also as Head of Governance for Booktrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. Rachael has a track record in developing innovative projects in the employment and skills sector, helping strengthen charity and education governance and also with a range of consultancy projects. Previously Rachael worked with Women Like Us for more than 10 years, latterly as part of the senior leadership team as Development Director. Women Like Us supported women to find work that could fit around their family lives and was part of the Timewise Foundation, an award winning social enterprise. As Development Director, she developed a particular interest in supporting women move into work and to progress into better work and also nurturing cross-organisational partnerships as a foundation for innovative project delivery.
Maureen joined the Smallwood board in January 2016, was appointed Deputy Chair of the Trust in October 2018 and is the board portfolio lead for finance. Maureen brings knowledge and skills in housing, finance, and business management with extensive knowledge about how to deploy strategies that deliver sustainable growth and value for money for organisations and the communities and individuals the serve. Maureen currently is Chief Executive of Cirencester Housing, which provides safe, low-cost, reliable housing and related services for local people in communities in Cirencester and the Cotswolds. For several years, Maureen was involved in a paid, voluntary and trustee capacity with the Emmaus network where she gained first hand experience developing social enterprises and creating opportunities for individuals who had experienced homelessness. Her career experience includes for profit, non-for-profit and charitable organisations.
Catherine joined the Smallwood board in December 2017 and is the board portfolio lead for programmes, strategy and innovation. Catherine is Chief Executive of Family Stability Network (FASTN), which works to champion safe, enduring and nurturing family environments for children and adults, whatever their circumstances. Catherine has a substantial track record of addressing inequalities through her work and volunteering, both in the UK and internationally. Prior to joining FASTN, Catherine provided leadership of a team responsible for Oxford City Council's work to engage with and inspire active citizenship in wards facing high deprivation. This post included oversight of a multi-million-pound grant-making portfolio for community work, to support volunteering development in Oxford and improved relationships with the community and voluntary sector. While at Oxfam, Catherine managed a global programme to recognise, demonstrate and inspire exceptional quality across the organisation and their large scale multi-country humanitarian programmes. Catherine also spent time in Tajikistan as VSO’s Country Director, leading a multinational team of staff and volunteers. Catherine is currently completing her MBA from Nottingham University Business School.
Dr Ambreen Shah
Ambreen joined the Smallwood Board in December 2020. Ambreen brings knowledge of policy and strategy development, communications, grant funding and social/evaluative research. Ambreen’s experience is primarily in the public and non-for-profit sector. From 2018-2020 she worked at the Design Council as Director of Policy, Research and Communications. A key part of this role was to evidence and effectively communicate the value of design to business, the public sector and place making professionals. Prior to Design Council she worked for 12 years at the Big Lottery Fund (now National Lottery Community Fund). Here she supported a large programme of evaluative work and was involved in the policy development of a range of multi-million pound grant funding programmes to the voluntary and community sector; including a £45 million programme for the women and girls sector and a £30 million programme aimed at improving financial confidence. As Deputy Director of England, she and her team were responsible for the delivery of £500m of grant funding in England. She is a social researcher by background having completed her PhD on South Asian Muslims: Adjustments to British Citizenship in 2003. Ambreen is a proud mother of two girls and lives in London.
Faeeza Vaid MBE
Faeeza joined the Trust in December 2020. Faeeza has over 10 years’ senior leadership experience in the voluntary and community sector, with a strong focus on gender equality and justice. She has an academic background in Law and Religious Studies, and extensive understanding of the lived experiences of Muslim women in the UK. She has used her experience to bring about social change through research, advocacy, campaigning and policy development in the UK. In the 2019 Queen's New Year's Honours Faeeza was awarded an MBE for Services to Women's Rights.
Paul joined the Trust as CEO in January 2017 and has been working closely with the Board to transform and develop the Trust’s grant-making activities and impact. Paul has 23 years’ senior leadership experience in the voluntary and community sector and was previously CEO of the education charity SHINE and the Samantha Dickson Brain Tumour Trust (now the Brain Tumour Charity). Prior to these roles, Paul was an inaugural member of the senior management team that established UnLtd, a £100m endowed charity that supports social entrepreneurs. Paul also has non-executive board experience with a £500m Primary Care Trust in South London and has sat on the board of a local credit union and CAB. Earlier in his career Paul ran and worked on grants programmes for the National Lottery Charities Board (now The National Lottery Community Fund), Peabody Trust and Community Action Network.