Our trustees

Sense is governed by the board of trustees which upholds Sense’s vision, agrees and monitors our strategy, protects our assets and funds, and ensures that we comply with legislation and regulation. On a day-to-day basis, Sense is managed by an executive team.

Dr Justin Molloy, chairman of Sense

Justin is a senior group leader at the Francis Crick Institute in London. Over the past 30 years he has worked across diverse areas of biomedical research, including a study exploring how our ears convert sound energy into signals for our brains to understand.

Justin is best known for his work using laser-based optical methods to study single biological molecules. He also serves on national and international scientific review bodies, granting agencies and learned societies.

Gillian Wood, vice chair

Gillian has been a trustee of Sense since 1996, with breaks in 2005 and 2013.  A parent of a young man who is deafblind, Gillian has an in-depth knowledge of deafblindness. She is a passionate advocate when talking to politicians, business people, service providers and the public, influencing and motivating political, financial and practical support for Sense.

Gillian previously held management roles in sales and customer services, supported students with disabilities and worked as project manager for a design company. She is now working for NatCen (National Centre for Social Research) on the Office of National Statistics Covid-19 Infection Survey.

Andrew Pearson, honorary treasurer and chair of the finance committee

headshot of andrew pearson looking at the camera smiling

Andy had a 25-year long career with accountants KPMG in the Midlands, before he left to focus on turning around underperforming businesses.

He was an external member on the finance and audit sub-committee for 18 months, before becoming a trustee.

Saeed Ahmed

headshot of saeed looking at the camera smiling

Saeed is the father of a 21-year-old with complex learning disabilities, autism and epilepsy who attends the TouchBase Pears day centre in Birmingham. He has a passion for educating others about autism as well as being involved in numerous Sense campaigns.

Saeed is an IT consultant specialising in change management associated with large IT projects. He’s worked in the utility sector for over 20 years. 

Ashling Barvé

headshot of ashling barve looking at the camera smiling

Ashling has a daughter who is deafblind, and has been involved with Sense for over 10 years. She was co-chair of a joint commissioning group in London for two years and was involved in the implementation of SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) reforms within the local authority.

Ashling has also been an Independent Supporter, providing advice, information and support to parents and helping them to gain a better understanding of their rights and entitlements under the Children and Families Act.

Graham Callister

headshot of graham callister looking at the camera

Graham is director of creative programmes at the Birmingham Hippodrome, which is an independent, not-for-profit registered charity, and one of the UK’s busiest theatres. Graham oversees all Hippodrome creative activity, from major city festivals and unique events, to work with local schools and vulnerable children and young people.

Graham has worked in the UK cultural sector on a diverse range of national and international projects, including the delivery of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, heritage regeneration, tourism and creative industries initiatives. Graham brings over 20 years of experience to the board, which is committed to the Sense Arts and Wellbeing programme.

Mark Cammies

Mark has over 35 years’ experience in all aspects of the property development and portfolio management arenas and has held senior and executive positions with a number of major retailers in the UK and internationally, in China and Russia.

In 2007, Mark became an executive director of Circle Health and helped build the largest partnership of healthcare professionals in Europe. He also led the development and construction of three new award-winning hospitals and now advises NHS trust boards on large-scale development plans.

Mark has also been a member of NHS acute hospital trust boards. Since 2014, he has been a governor and board member of the University of West London and is also chair of their finance committee.

Mark was also a commissioned officer in the armed forces for over 10 years, primarily in infantry roles.

Ben Cooper

Ben is a senior researcher at a think tank, working on areas relating to disability, early years and education, and culture policy amongst others.

Ben previously worked for a Member of Parliament, and served as a town councillor between 2015 and 2019.

As a young disabled person, Ben is passionate about removing the barriers faced by disabled people and ensuring their voices are heard when decisions are being made.

Vivienne Hoskins

headshot vivienne hoskins looking at the camera smiling

Vivienne has over 20 years of senior leadership experience in the not-for-profit sector working with a number of charities and local authorities.  Throughout her career she has focused on performance improvement, change and building positive organisational culture.  Her roles have included leading the development of services for disabled children, young people and their families and more recently roles in technology, leading digital transformation strategies including initiatives that enable services to reach more people and new audiences.

Vivienne is also a parent of two disabled young people which has given her first-hand experience of negotiating the complexities of education, health and support services as well as the transition to adult services.

headshot of simon jones looking at the camera smiling

Simon Jones

Simon joined Myton Hospices in Warwickshire as Director of Finance & Commercial in April 2022, having worked in the independent schools’ charity sector for the previous 20 years, most notably for 10 years as Foundation Secretary of the Warwick Independent Schools Foundation, one of the largest in the sector.

Before this Simon has pursued a financial career, working in companies ranging from a plc to large and medium sized family-owned businesses. He has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) since 2005. Simon had previously worked in the construction industry, initially in junior engineering and administrative roles, before managing small (up to £1m) building projects, primarily for the retail sector.

His most recent career move was directly as a result of becoming a trustee of Sense, where his work has prompted an increased personal social conscience and a strong desire to give something back to society, both as an employee in the care sector and trustee of Sense.

Mythily Katsaris

headshot of mythily katsaris looking at the camera smiling

Mythily is a solicitor, and a partner at Fladgate in London, one of the UK’s top 100 law firms.

Mythily was first introduced to the work of Sense International in India in 2008 and has been involved ever since. She has organised several awareness and fundraising events in India and has developed a keen awareness of Sense’s work and the people we support. 

Benedict Leigh

Benedict is deputy director for joint commissioning for Oxfordshire County Council, where he is responsible for commissioning social care. He works with partners, such as the NHS, private, community and voluntary sector service providers, to offer the best possible services.

Benedict worked for Sense as head of campaigns and public policy from 2000 to 2002 and has continued his association, working as a volunteer leader on Sense Holidays for more than 15 years. Benedict is passionate about ensuring the voice of disabled people is heard and ensuring a strong voluntary sector role in providing services for people living with complex disabilities.

Brian Symington

headshot of bryan symington looking at the camera smiling

Brian has worked with children and adults who are deaf, blind, visually impaired and deafblind in Northern Ireland for over forty years.  He has been principal social worker for sensory impaired services and from 1991 to 2011 was director of RNID NI (Royal National Institute for Deaf People Northern Ireland).

He has worked as a consultant and has served on a number of Boards and Committees, including being chair of the Ulster Institute for the deaf and honorary secretary of the European Society on Mental Health and Deafness. He has also been a member of the Northern Ireland Civic Forum.  He was president of the world congress on Mental Health and Deafness in Belfast in 2014.  Brian is currently a member of the board of Habinteg housing association, chair of Northern Ireland Sense council and a member of NDCS l(NI) advisory committee.

He became an MBE in 2001 and holds a number of other awards.

Nathan Taylor

Nathan is a parent of a teenage boy with a genetic condition and associated learning disabilities. He has 25 years of experience working in special schools across England, working with children and young people with severe, profound and multiple learning disabilities, including children with multi-sensory impairments. 

 Nathan is also a part-time doctoral student, exploring the lived experiences of children with profound and multiple learning disabilities, specifically the pedagogical relationship between the learner and the teacher in the process of assessment. 

Mark Westwell

Mark enjoyed a 40-year career in financial services, with leadership roles at four international banking organisations and served as a board director in several regulated banking businesses, in the UK and South Africa. His primary responsibilities focused on strategic client management, covering all aspects of commercial and service criteria for Institutional clients.

Mark has been a strong supporter of charitable causes for over 25 years and chaired the UK Philanthropy Committee of a major bank for 6 years, allocating grants to local charities in London and Edinburgh. He is currently a non-executive director & chair for a real estate finance business in London and a national card payments business based in North Lincolnshire.