Boards of Trustees

The Reader is a charitable social enterprise and has a dedicated Board of Trustees who oversee operations and work in the interest of the charity and our beneficiaries.

In 2014, The Reader also registered Calderstones Community Interest Company (Calderstones CIC) to manage the business interests of social enterprises established at Calderstones Mansion House.

The Reader’s Board of Trustees


The Board meets four times a year and is comprised of individuals from the fields of academia, health, policy, community, business and arts organisations from across the country, demonstrating our nationwide reach.

Kathy Anstey, Chair

Kathy, a Liverpool English graduate, has worked for over 30 years in the public sector, as a civil servant and as an NHS manager. Prior to taking up post as Chief Executive of the cluster she was Chief Executive of Wirral PCT, Chief Executive of Birkenhead and Wallasey PCT and Head of Primary Care at the Department of Health. She also worked at the former Wirral Health Authority and Wirral Community Trust.

Simon Barber

After graduating from Durham University, Simon qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in Manchester. The majority of his career has been spent in the commercial sector working at Board level as Finance Director, Commercial Director or Turnaround Director in various different industries (Health, Utility supply, Advertising, Telecommunications and Manufacturing). He came to the NHS in 2006 to use his skills within the public sector and was appointed as Chief Executive at North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust in 2007. He is a qualified Executive and Business Coach.

He became a Trustee of The Reader in December 2013 and leads a weekly Shared Reading group within the North West Boroughs NHS Foundation Trust.

Hugh Biddell

Hugh Biddell is Head of Charities and Not for Profit at The Royal Bank of Scotland, leading the strategy for the sector across all RBS brands, working to support all charity and not for profit customers and maintaining relationships between large charities, local authorities, NHS and foundation trusts and government bodies. His previous roles at RBS have included establishing and growing the bank’s UK market leading businesses in private healthcare, professional practices and education.

Having previously been a trustee for the homelessness charity Crisis, Hugh joined The Reader Board of Trustees in October 2015.

Giles Brand

Giles Brand is a Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer, and Managing Partner at EPIC Private Equity LLP, and Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer at EPIC Investment Partners. He focuses on general turnaround investments, retail, consumer, financial services, support services, advisory, and healthcare. He founded EPIC Private Equity LLP in 2002 as part of EPIC Investment Partners, leading the MBO of EPE from EPIC Investment Partners in 2005. He is a Non-Executive Director of a number of portfolio companies like Pinnacle-psg, Ryness Electrical, Nexus Industries, Pharmacy2U, Whittard of Chelsea, and Palatinate Schools. He read History at Bristol University.

Giles joined the Board of Trustees at The Reader in October 2013.

John Flamson

John is retired having been one of the directors of the University of Liverpool, a Senior Civil Servant with Government Office for the North West and leader of a number of regeneration initiatives in the Liverpool City Region and North West. His professional background in town planning, economic and public policy developed his understanding of and extensive networks in the public, private and third sectors.

Rosemary Hawley

Rosemary Hawley MBE JP DL is Chair of NHS Knowsley. She has previously served as Chair of North Mersey Community Trust and the Liverpool Family Health Services Authority, and as Non-Executive Director of the Regional Health Authority. During her prolific career working in various health and community organisations, Rosemary has also been a board member of Guy’s Hospital, the Merseyside Regional Health Authority and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. In 1997, Rosemary was one of the first recipients of the Duncan Society’s Duncan Medal, which is awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the public health and well-being of the community. Rosemary served as High Sheriff of Merseyside between 2005 and 2006, was awarded an MBE for services to healthcare in Merseyside in 2007, and has also worked as a magistrate.

David Levin

David Levin is General Counsel at Nekton Group, a private merchant company working across the energy continuum. He specialises in international corporate and business law with sector specialisms in Energy & Natural Resources and Financial Services, previously occupying the position of Partner in Mayer Brown, Chadbourne & Parke LLP, Eversheds and Hogan Lovells. He has been recognised as a ‘Notable Practitioner’ in Chambers Global 2013 and a Leading Corporate Energy Partner by Legal Business.

Previously the Chair of the Governance Committee and a member of the Finance Committee at Dyslexia Action, David joined The Reader’s Board of Trustees in October 2015.

Dr Shyamal Mukherjee

Dr Mukherjee has been a practicing General Practitioner for 31 years in Wallasey. He has also been Medical Director for nine years. He has led on a number of key areas of service design including alcohol, urgent care, mental health and cancer. He has been deeply committed to improving The End of Life Pathway on the Wirral and has worked very closely with key services to make this a success. Currently he is the Joint Medical Director of Cheshire, Warrington and Wirral Cluster. In this role he is working to support his CEO to implement smooth transition and is involved with overseeing governance, performance and quality of contracts.

Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker

Jacqueline Tammenoms Bakker is Non-executive Director of CNH Industrial and a member of the Supervisory Board of TomTom and Unibail-Rodamco. After receiving a BA in History and French at Oxford University in 1975, Jacqueline completed an MA in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies in 1977. From 1977 to 1998 she worked for Shell, McKinsey and Unilever. She then moved to the public sector as director of GigaPort, an initiative to accelerate the introduction of broadband internet in The Netherlands. She served as director general at the Dutch Ministry of Transport from 2001 to 2007 and was responsible for Civil Aviation and Freight Transport. From 2006 to 2007, she was chairman of the High Level Group for the future of aviation regulation in Europe, reporting to the EU Commissioner for Transport.

Jacqueline joined The Reader’s Board of Trustees in May 2015.

Secretary: Helen Wilson

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Calderstones CIC’s Board of Trustees


The Calderstones  Mansion House Community Interest Company oversees the operation of any non-primary purpose activity – namely the social enterprises established at Calderstones such as The Reader Ice Cream Parlour and The Reader Café. These, and future social enterprises at Calderstones, will help to build a community around the park, create jobs and support The Reader’s primary purpose activity as all profits are gifted back to the charity.

The Board of Trustees for Calderstones CIC meet four times a year and has initially been formed by members of The Reader’s staff and trustees.

Dr Jane Davis MBE (Founder and Director of The Reader)

Dr Jane Davis MBE 
Jane founded The Reader in 1997, when as a teacher at University of Liverpool,  she launched The Reader magazine. Jane created the Shared Reading model and in 2002 secured her first large scale grant in order to spread the practice (Paul Hamylin Foundation, £89,000). The organisation grew under her leadership and in 2008 was registered as an independent company and charity, the first Arts spin-out company from the University. Since then The Reader has grown to be a national charity, reaching thousands of people each week. Jane was awarded MBE for services to literature in 2011. In November 2013, Jane was elected as the twentieth UK Ashoka Fellow. Jane led the bid for Calderstones Mansion House and her vision has inspired its development as a community based on Shared Reading.

Sarah Fletcher (Deputy Director of The Reader)

Sarah joined The Reader in January 2016 as Chief Operating Officer. She is responsible for implementing and strengthening the organisational processes that will allow Shared Reading to grow and fulfil its ambition across the UK. In her role, Sarah develops and delivers The Reader’s financial strategy, oversees Shared Reading delivery and development and manages our Head Office at Calderstones, Liverpool.

Sarah started her career with PwC in August 2000 where she trained to be a chartered accountant. Following this she moved to another top ten accountancy firm RSM (formerly known as Baker Tilly) where she worked as a manager overseeing a team delivering internal audit, technology and risk assurance services.

John Flamson (The Reader Trustee and Director)

John is retired having been one of the directors of the University of Liverpool, a Senior Civil Servant with Government Office for the North West and leader of a number of regeneration initiatives in the Liverpool City Region and North West. His professional background in town planning, economic and public policy developed his understanding of and extensive networks in the public, private and third sectors.

Kathy Anstey (The Reader Trustee and Director)

Kathy, a Liverpool English graduate, has worked for over 30 years in the public sector, as a civil servant and as an NHS manager. Prior to taking up post as Chief Executive of the cluster she was Chief Executive of Wirral PCT, Chief Executive of Birkenhead and Wallasey PCT and Head of Primary Care at the Department of Health. She also worked at the former Wirral Health Authority and Wirral Community Trust.

David McDonnell (Calderstones CIC Trustee and Director)

David worked for Grant Thornton for over forty years, acting as Global Chief Executive between 2001-2009. David is currently Vice Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, President of Council for The University of Liverpool and Chairman for the Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool Ltd. David has previously served as the High Sheriff of Merseyside and Chaired the Board of Trustees for a variety of charitable organisations and bodies. He received a CBE for services to the cultural life of the region and country in 2005.

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