Our Squad

Our Squad

The day-to-day and operational management is led by our CEO, Sarah Webb.

Wooden Spoon’s CEO, Sarah Webb

The management team are supported by our Board of Trustees, who have responsibility for directing the affairs of the charity, ensuring that Wooden Spoon meets its strategic objectives whilst complying with charity law and the Charity Commission requirements. 

The Wooden Spoon Governance Board is made up of 11 trustees, chaired by Quentin Smith. The team has been carefully selected for their breadth of experience and has representatives from the rugby, commercial and charity sectors. Full Board meetings are held every three months.

Get in touch today via our contact form or email charity@woodenspoon.org.uk

Meet the Trustees

Quentin Smith

Chair of Trustees

Quentin Smith

Chair of Trustees
Quentin has been an independent mediator for over 23 years. He handles a wide range of disputes and has been ranked in the top bracket by Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession and the Legal 500, the two principal legal guides, for over 19 years. He started undertaking mediations whilst in private practice as a solicitor and set up as full time mediator in 2007.

He was in private practice for over 22 years and a partner in two firms. His second/last firm was Addleshaw Goddard LLP from 1996 to 2007 where he headed a litigation team and chaired a large Sport Business Group and a Health and Safety team. Prior to a legal career, Quentin managed social work projects with socially disadvantaged/unemployed young people.

He was Chairman of Sale Sharks between 2000 and 2010 before being elected, and then re-appointed, as the first independent Chairman of Premiership Rugby for six years, retiring in 2016. He sat on the Professional Game Board, which superintended the elite/international game, and was a Director of the England Rugby 2015 Limited, the company which delivered the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

He chairs the “Exceptions Panel”, on behalf of The Football Association with a delegated authority from the Home Office, which determines applications from international Managers, Directors of Football and Players for work permits. He also chairs the Professional Football Negotiating and Consultative Committee which brings together the senior officers of the principal stakeholders: The FA, the Premier League, the English Football League and the Professional Footballers’ Association.

Independent Review of Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) investigating allegations of sexism, misogyny, homophobia and racism, and examining the organisational culture and behaviours of leadership at all levels of the WRU. Report published in November 2023. Panel member and co-author.
https://www.sportresolutions.com/assets/documents/231113_-_WRU_Independent_Review_-_Final_Report.pdf/

Nigel Timson

President

Nigel Timson

President
As one of the original founder members of Spoon in 1983, Nigel’s association with the Charity is approaching 35 years, during which time he has served on Council as Deputy Chairman, Regional Co-ordinator and Trustee. He also started the Midlands and Chilterns Regions, and is a past Chairman of both. He remains an active member of the Chilterns Region Committee. On behalf of Council he currently chairs the Projects Committee which has responsibility for managing the approval process of the 70+ requests that the Charity receives for grants each year.

Nigel worked in the security industry for over 20 years, but in 2006 started his own lawn treatment company, Supagrass Thames Valley from which he retired in 2015. He is married to Sue, lives in Maidenhead, and his main interests include rugby, cricket, golf, and, somewhat unusually, a collection of corkscrews!

Peter Scott

Life President

Peter Scott

Life President
Peter was born in 1933. He was educated at Emmanuel Grammar in Wandsworth, and spent his National service as Corporal i/c Transport in the RAF Regiment.

He worked for thirteen years in the oil industry as a Sales Manager for Gulf Oil. In 1967, Peter started a business in Vehicle Leasing and sold his interest in 1986. The next year, he started a new leasing business that he then sold to Hitachi Credit in 1995.

Peter is one of the founder members of Spoon, a former Chairman and in 1996, in recognition of his work for the children’s charity of rugby, he was appointed President. He served as a member of the Wembley Round Table from 1970 to 1975 and acted as their Chairman in 1973. He was a member of the Variety Club of Great Britain from 1977 to 1990 and was the Chairman for the Sunshine Coach Committee. He was a trustee of the charity Drive for Youth during the 1990’s. Peter’s interests include golf, rugby and swimming.

Graham Allen

Trustee

Graham Allen

Trustee
Graham has a number of businesses with the most relevant to Wooden Spoon being a team building company. He believes that the skills that he learned with that company, has given him a greater understanding of why Wooden Spoon strives to obtain the best for children. You cannot help but be captivated and surrounded by the joy on the children and their parents faces when they engage with the new play areas.

Having an older brother who had learning difficulties Graham can see the enjoyment his brother would have had, but also the opportunity for his parents to have even a short amount respite whilst he would have played. For Graham, his brother was a key reason why he wanted to be a trustee.

Rugby has also been a huge part of Graham’s life both as a player and now as an active rugby referee. He is excited that he is now able to combine two things that bring him so much pleasure, Rugby & Wooden Spoon has been a truly rewarding experience.

Garaham said, ‘It has been my privilege to be a Trustee of the Wooden Spoon for the last four years and to have the opportunity to work with an organisation that specifically goes above and beyond to ensure that children at need and their families are the heart of our charity.’

Adrian Alli

Trustee

Adrian Alli

Trustee
Adrian is Chief Financial Officer at London Irish Rugby Club, a member of the Bank of England’s Decision-Maker Panel, and is also trustee for the London Irish Foundation.

Before joining London Irish, he spent 11 years as Finance Director at Premiership Rugby working closely with the Board, Chief Executives and Finance Directors of the Premiership Rugby Clubs. During that time he also sat on the Finance Sub-Committee of the European Professional Club Rugby Board. Having worked in elite club rugby at a European, league and club level, he has a holistic perspective of the sport at a business level.

With over 30 years accounting and leadership experience, Adrian was previously Financial Controller at Kinnarps UK (a Swedish owned, global workspace solutions provider) and Chief Accountant for MCA Records Ltd., one of the world’s leading record labels.

He was previously a trustee of children’s charity, Touraid, which helped disadvantaged children from across the globe through rugby.

Adrian has a passion for introducing more people to rugby and using its values for positive social change.

Brett Bader

Trustee

Brett Bader

Trustee
Brett is currently the Chair of Wooden Spoon Dorset and Wilts as well as taking up the role as trustee.

He has a background in education working in schools in senior management roles, as well as being a medical educator and serving as a senior officer in the army reserves.

Brett has founded and currently manages three businesses – one in educational training, one in expedition training and one in sport coaching, where he works in collaboration with a range of sports.

Brett says “My philosophy is to enjoy what you do. I hope I bring passion, new ideas and energy to the Wooden Spoon Board. I am looking forward to working with like-minded people and I want to really add value so we can continue to help others.

“I have supported Wooden Spoon for a while now. As well as heading up the Dorset and Wilts region, I have played in the Guinness World Record breaking Longest Match in August 2019, I took part in the recent Vets tour and have been involved a range of challenges for the charity.

“I think outside the box and hope I can bring some innovation to the Board. I am also keen to use my skills of bringing people together, alongside with my enthusiasm to support Wooden Spoon in delivering sustainable projects that help vulnerable children.”

Becca Brackwell-Slade

Trustee

Becca Brackwell-Slade

Trustee
Becca is a business leader with 20 years experience across both private and public sectors. An Army Veteran and self-confessed ‘business generalist', she has experience in operations and strategy roles working for one of the largest global management consultancies, as well as UK Defence companies. She is currently the Director of a high-tech manufacturing company. As a passionate community spirit, Becca balances work with her charitable pursuits and, amongst other volunteer roles, is a Trustee for Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

In joining the Wooden Spoon board, I will be combining my love for rugby with a passion for delivering support to enrich the lives of children that need it most. I have personally benefited from initiatives supporting children with learning disabilities and life limiting conditions, and am excited about supporting Wooden Spoon as it embarks on its next chapter.

Her most important role, however, is being mum to her 3 boys who guarantee that she is never far away from the sidelines of a sports pitch!

Christine Braithwaite

Trustee

Christine Braithwaite

Trustee
A marketeer by trade, Christine brings 20 years of marketing, CRM and business improvement experience to the Wooden Spoon Board of trustees.

When she returned to work after having her daughter, she spent over three years working with Beanstalk charity, who provide reading helpers to children in schools, supporting the charity in a number of ways from marketing to volunteer recruitment, training and management.

Nowadays, Christine works as a freelance Marketing Consultant and Trainer and is passionate about helping businesses and charities make the most of digital opportunities.

An avid rugby player, who has played since her early teens, Christine is currently retired from the back row but staying involved with the game as Chair of Women’s Rugby at Firwood Waterloo Rugby Club. She is keen to bring her sporting passion and her love for charities together by supporting Wooden Spoon.

Christine said: "Last year I heard first-hand from the Head Teacher of a school for children with special needs. The school had benefited from a sensory room, funded by Wooden Spoon, which was having an amazing impact on their pupils. I loved the charity and really wanted to get involved, so when I saw the trustee role come up, I applied immediately.”

“What can I bring to the role? My digital skills, over 25 years of being involved in rugby and a background working both in the charity and commercial sectors. I have a real passion for making a difference.”
Jo Coombs - Trustee

Jo Coombs

Trustee

Jo Coombs

Trustee
Jo is the Chief Operating Officer of Publicis Groupe UK, one of the worlds largest media & marketing companies, and home to some of the world's most famous agencies - Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, Zenith & Starcom.

Jo is a graduate of 'probably the best university in the world' Exeter (BSc in Chemistry and Law). From there she started her marketing career in Bristol before moving to London in 1998 when she joined the WPP advertising network, working for Ogilvy, Wunderman and Y&R. Jo became CEO of OgilvyOne in 2016. In 2018 she jumped ship and moved to her current role at Publicis Groupe.

Jo's most important role however is mum to a hyperactive 8 year old boy (who can't get enough of sport - especially Battersea Ironsides Rugby (2,3!) and a 7 year old daughter (who loves ponies and her hamster Toby). As a west country farmer's daughter Jo is a Bath fan, much to the chagrin of her ex Bristol playing brother-in-law. Jo and her children spend as much time as possible on the farm, but call London their home for now.

As a single working parent Jo is committed to creating a flexible and inclusive working environment for all. As an adopter Jo believes that all children deserve an equal opportunity for health, education and happiness. Jo has been a proud Wooden Spoon Trustee since 2017.
John Gibson trustee

John Gibson

Trustee

John Gibson

Trustee
John has lived in Worcestershire for over 50 years and is a Partner in Firmingers LLP who are Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers. John has been a Trustee since 2003 and acted as chair for 5 years; he currently chairs the Projects team which assesses applications from beneficiaries and awards grants and also sits on the Governance committee.

John has been involved in Wooden Spoon for over 20 years as has been Chair of Worcestershire region for that period. Worcestershire have raised over £400k in that time and the committee are delighted that they have been able to support so many children and young people who are disadvantaged. John also acts as a Trustee for St Richards Hospice Trading, Worcester Warriors Foundation & RGS Foundation.

John is a huge Rugby fan and convinced that Rugby is a catalyst that can bring huge benefits to the wider community. John also Chaired the benefit seasons for Jonny Arr and Craig Gillies who both appeared for Worcester Warriors over 200 times.
Ali Gilbert Wooden Spoon Trustee

Ali Gilbert

Trustee

Ali Gilbert

Trustee
Ali’s passion for rugby was ignited when one October afternoon in1972, her Llanelli based school closed for the afternoon, to enable school children to go to Stradey Park to watch Llanelli beat the All Blacks – that moment was unforgettable for her and ever since rugby has been integral to Ali’s sporting passions and life.

Born in Swansea, South Wales, Ali now lives in beautiful Suffolk near the Eastern coastline.

Ali went to Kings College in London graduating in Pharmacy which then led her into the NHS as a Hospital Clinical Pharmacist. She realised at an early stage in her career that the care of patients and interventions were disjointed and not person centred, so she evolved her career into NHS operational management and then into the world of health and care change and transformation to lead making a difference in how the NHS all work together.

Ali has been a board executive over the past ten years in health and care public sector and has been responsible for the delivery and commissioning of children and young people’s services in several organisations.

Ali said, ‘My love for families and children is integral to my home and working life and as a keen sports lady, I coach local children in netball and am so committed to sharing and helping in any way I can to make life a little easier for many.’
Rufus Hack Trustee

Rufus Hack

Trustee

Rufus Hack

Trustee
Rufus is the CEO of Sony Sports and sits on the Boards of Hawk-Eye, Pulselive and Beyond Sports. In his role he works with 23 of the world’s top 25 sports leagues including World Rugby, FIFA, NBA, NFL, ICC and ATP.

Previously Rufus was the COO at the PGA European Tour and Ryder Cup (despite being a self-confessed pretty average golf player!)

He has a huge passion for rugby having played his whole life as a Lawrence Dallaglio‘esque ball carrying number 8 – unfortunately not with quite the same level of competence. Rufus has long been a fan of Wooden Spoon as a brand and the work that it undertakes to make a real impact with young people, fully supported by the amazing rugby community.

Rufus said, ‘I am incredibly proud and energised by the opportunity to serve as a trustee and help apply my strategic background, sports knowledge and passion for rugby to help take Wooden Spoon to a bigger and bolder future!’

Jane Harwood

Trustee

Jane Harwood

Trustee
Jane has operated as a senior executive in a number of organisations, both public and private sector, and has also run her own consultancy business. Much of her career has been spent in the world of policing and she retired in 2019 from Surrey Police as an Assistant Chief Officer. During her working life she has been responsible for all aspects of corporate management ranging from strategic planning and performance management, people services, communication and marketing, and corporate governance and risk.

No stranger to voluntary roles, Jane is also Vice Chair at Missing People and leads on policy and research, safeguarding and HR, and is a Non Executive Director and SID at University Hospital  Southampton.

Jane said: “I have chosen to be a trustee for Wooden Spoon as I don’t want to stop doing things just because I have retired.

“The trustee role at Wooden Spoon pulls a lot of my interests together – rugby is a sport I love and enjoy; my husband used to play and my son still does play. More importantly though, the work of Wooden Spoon helps support children and young people with disabilities and facing disadvantage in their lives.

“I hope to bring expertise in running organisations, good networking skills and experience of being a trustee. In my role as a trustee, I know how important it is to get the balance of not doing the job but also challenging and supporting the Executive Team. 

Mark McCafferty

Trustee

Mark McCafferty

Trustee
As well as being a Trustee, Mark is an adviser to CVC Capital Partners, a non-executive director of Redde Northgate plc and Chair of Warwickshire County Cricket Club Ltd. He’s a graduate from the University of Hull having studied French and German and also attended the University of Freiburg.

He’s had extensive experience in professional sports and consumer brand businesses having been Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby for 14 years until 2019 and before that CEO of Avis Europe plc and Managing Director of Thomas Cook Group.
Under his leadership at Premiership Rugby, the league built up a series of award-winning community and charity programmes.

Rugby facilitates the privilege of many wonderful moments and even more wonderful lifelong friendships. And with three sons who’ve all also played and enjoyed those special friendships within the rugby family, Mark loves Wooden Spoon’s brilliant ability to create new opportunities for children and young people who have had a tough start in life and to use rugby’s network to give them facilities and experiences which can be life-changing.
Victoria Sparkes Wooden Spoon Trustee

Victoria Sparkes

Trustee

Victoria Sparkes

Trustee
Victoria is passionate about Wooden Spoon as a charity over others owing to the commitment to improving lives for disabled and underprivileged children which is a great match for her professional background as a Registered Learning Disability Nurse.

Victoria has worked in Learning Disability and Mental Health care for over 20 years and looks forward to bringing her skills and knowledge to the Board of Trustees with a particular interest in keeping the beneficiaries at the forefront of all planning and decision making.

Presently a Clinical Director in the independent sector. Victoria has also worked in advisory capacities on NICE guidance and with the Royal College of Psychiatry on their Quality Network. Previous volunteer roles include being a local Councillor even a year as Town Mayor, school governor, rugby coach, team manager and Chair of club social media and communications.

A committed rugby player, wife and Mum of 2 boys Victoria is proud to have a family of forwards and is often found of a weekend on the sidelines supporting her husband, son or the mighty Sarries or on the pitch for the Letchworth legends. Victoria is the current regional Captain for Herts, Eastern Counties, Beds and Bucks Wooden Spoon Women's Vets squad.

Victoria said "I became involved with Wooden Spoon almost 5 years ago after supporting a fundraising drive with a large Women and Girls event. I have stayed active ever since being introduced to Wooden Spoon as I feel a real synergy with playing a sport I love and raising much needed funds for resources that can really benefit disadvantaged children".
Sarah Wight Wooden Spoon Trustee

Sarah Wight

Trustee

Sarah Wight

Trustee
Sarah Wight has more than 25 years of senior leadership experience within the charitable and social care sectors, both in the US and UK.

She is passionate about expanding opportunities and delivering impact to improve quality of life for people with learning disabilities and autistic people. Sarah currently works with a national support provider and oversees the Development and Innovation team, focusing on growth, communications and digital, and the development and implementation of new services and models.

When Sarah is not dreaming of new opportunities and making exciting things happen, you can find her on a yoga mat, walking her two rescue dogs with her partner, or standing on muddy pitches watching her grown boys play rugby.