The day-to-day and operational management is led by our 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.
Meet the Trustees
Chair of Trustees
Chair of TrusteesQuentin has been an independent mediator (http://www.quentinsmith.co.uk) for over 10 years. He handles a wide range of disputes and has been ranked in the top bracket, by the two principal legal guides, for over 11 years.
He started undertaking mediations whilst in private practice as a solicitor where he worked for over 22 years. His second/last firm was Addleshaw Goddard where he headed a litigation team and chaired a large Sport Business Group. Prior to a legal career, Quentin managed social work projects with socially disadvantaged / unemployed young people.
He was Chairman of Sale Sharks for 10 years before being elected, and then re-appointed, as the first and only 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 he was also a Director of the England Rugby 2015 Limited, the company which delivered the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
He chairs the “Exceptions Panel” for The FA, Premier League and Football League which determines applications for work permits from Managers, Directors of Football and Players, with a delegated authority from the Home Office.
PresidentAs 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!
TrusteeJo 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.
TrusteeJohn trained as a Quantity Surveyor and is a Partner of Firmingers LLP Chartered Surveyors based in Worcester. The practice is a market leader in the retail sector and operates in many other sectors including heritage schemes.
John is a founder member of Wooden Spoon Worcestershire and has been Chair of the region for 15 years. He was Chair of the Board of Trustees from March 2013 until March 2018. John is also a member of the Community Board at Worcester Warriors, a member of Worcester Vigornia Rotary Club and supports many other local charities.
John has been living in Worcestershire for 50 years. He is married to Anne and has two children who now live away.
Outside work John enjoys watching Worcester Warriors and playing golf when time permits.
TrusteeAlison has worked with Voluntary Organisations for 25 years. She is currently the Chief Executive of Touchstone, a Mental Health Charity in Leeds, and wider West Yorkshire. Touchstone work with, and for, people that are affected by mental health problems and they specialise in working with people from different cultural backgrounds. Touchstone have received multiple awards for their work in equality and diversity, including the number 1 spot in the 2016 UK Top 50 Most Inclusive Employers Award. They are a Stonewall Top 100 LGBT-Friendly Employer for the 4th year running and are a Sunday Times 3 Star, Extraordinary Company to work for 2017, being placed 8th nationally and first for social conscience.
Before Alison started working with Touchstone she was a senior manager with Foundation Housing, a charity that supports people that have just come out of prison or are on bail to find housing.
Alison has been involved in local government for 27 years and is a councillor with the Labour Party in Armley, where she lived for 15 years. Alison is now the Chair of the Police and Crime Panel, the body that scrutinises the performance of the Police and Crime Commissioner and represents the interests of all the 2.2 million people across West Yorkshire. Alison also sits on Safer Leeds, the Community Safety Partnership for the city. Alison is the Chair of the Labour Group in Leeds and was the Deputy Lord Mayor in 2003-4.
Alison is involved with several local housing residents and tenants groups, chairs PAFRAS (Positive Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) and Leeds Survivor-led Crisis Service.
Over the years, Alison has been a well known campaigner on equal rights and is the chair of the Leeds Domestic Violence Forum that raises awareness of domestic violence against women and children by known men.
Alison Lowe holds an MA in Medieval Studies from Leeds University and a BA in History. She has 2 grown up children, Adam and Rosy.
TrusteeMark is an adviser to CVC Capital Partners, non-executive director of Redde Northgate plc and Chair of Warwickshire County Cricket Ltd.
He has extensive experience in professional sports and consumer brand businesses having been Chief Executive of Premiership Rugby for 14 years until July 2019 and before that holding senior management positions as CEO of Avis Europe plc and Managing Director of Thomas Cook Group.
Mark graduated from the University of Hull in 1981 with a BA (Joint Hons) in French and German, having also attended the University of Freiburg. He started his executive career in international banking before moving on to consumer brands and sport. Under his leadership at Premiership Rugby, the league built up a series of award-winning community and charity programmes which reinforced the power of sport to create positive change to the lives of those less fortunate.
TrusteeJane trained as a Scientist, with a BSc and MSc and completed 2 years of her PHD before moving out of academia to start her career working as an internal consultant for the Metropolitan Police.
Her career has spanned over 30 years working in senior strategic and business planning roles for the Met and Surrey Police; Centrex, before moving to the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.
No stranger to voluntary roles, Jane is also Vice Chair at Missing People, she is part of the Surrey local resilience forum leading the welfare and vulnerability response to COVID-19 and is soon due to start a role as a Non Executive Director at the 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. I am keen to be involved in a charity in a non-executive role. I love rugby, my husband and son play rugby and it has filled my weekends for a number of years.
“The trustee role at Wooden Spoon pulls a lot of my interests together – rugby is a sport I love and enjoy and I am helping a charity supporting children and young adults with disabilities and facing disadvantage.
“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. I also bring strong skills in policy, research and safeguarding with a real passion for wanting to help people.”
TrusteeCallum has been working in sport development and administration for over 10 years. He is currently working at the forefront of British Olympic and Paralympic sport where he drives and influences the highest standards of professional, organisational and ethical conduct across the high-performance system.
Callum has held various roles in schools, colleges and charities managing large development projects specialising in community development, capacity building and engaging underrepresented groups using sport as tool to transform and address inequalities.
In 2016 Callum moved into a role at London Sport where he instigated, developed and leveraged relationships to help increase physical activity levels and improve public health outcomes across the Capital.
Callum is a Trustee of the True Athlete Project – a charity that aims to re-imagine sport as a training ground for compassion, mindfulness and mental wellbeing and provides strategic oversight to the charities Board and CEO.
Talking about what attracted him to the trustee role at Wooden Spoon, Callum said: “My rugby and professional background had enabled me to see first-hand the work of Wooden Spoon. When the trustee role came up I thought, yes, this is for me and applied.
“I am hoping to bring new ideas, innovation and creativity to the role. I would like to use my experience to appeal to more groups and build on the excellent success that the Wooden Spoon team has already achieved.”
TrusteeA 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.”
TrusteeBrett 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.”
TrusteeGraham has been a supporter of Wooden Spoon Scotland for the last five years and has recently joined the charity’s Bristol and Bath committee.
He has enjoyed a varied career that started in a range of Business Improvement roles in medicine and has set up and run a range of businesses from coffee houses, to wine bars to travel agents. He is currently the founder and Chair of defence company Subsea Craft and owner of a commercials forestry business LAM Ltd. He was also served as an officer in the Territorial Army.
No stranger to sport, Graham has been involved in rugby most his adult life both as a player and then as a referee officiating at Pro games, the IRB 7s and the Glasgow Commonwealth games. He has represented the UK in pentathlons across the world and was also an integral part of the world record breaking Everest and Longest Game Wooden Spoon rugby teams in 2019, as a referee.
"I had a brother with learning difficulties, who sadly died last year and I know the kind of projects Wooden Spoon fund would have made such a difference to his life when he was younger. Wooden Spoon combines my love of sport and helping vulnerable children."
“I am hoping to bring my skills from running and setting up successful businesses together with a sports perspective to give strategic guidance to the charity."
Life PresidentPeter 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.