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 nearly 40 years in the public sector, as a civil servant and an NHS manager and more recently in a number of Non-Executive Director positions. Her current portfolio includes Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Your Housing Group. Prior to 2013 she was Chief Executive of Wirral PCT (incorporating Cheshire and Warrington for 2 years), 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.

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 is the founder and Managing Partner of EPIC private Equity LLP. He has extensive public markets experience gained as a corporate finance advisor at Baring Brothers International and at EPE. Giles is an experienced non-executive chairman and director, having served on the boards of multiple private companies including Pinnacle Regeneration Group, a social housing operator; Palatinate Schools, a private schools operator; and Ryness Electrical, retailer of wiring accessories and related goods. He is currently Non-executive Chairman of Whittard of Chelsea and Luceco plc, as well as his role of Trustee The Reader. Giles read History at Bristol University.

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. His other non-executive roles include being a member of Liverpool City Region’s Investment Panel, a Lay Fellow of the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute of Public Policy & Practice, board director of Merseyside Buildings Preservation Trust and a member of the Everyman & Playhouse advisory group.

Rosemary Hawley

Rosemary Hawley MBE JP DL is the former 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.

Geetha Rabindrakumar

Geetha is Head of Engagement at Big Society Capital and oversees their external engagement with charities, social enterprises and investors, aiming to increase understanding and use of social investment as a tool for sustainability, growth and innovation. She joined BSC following a career in voluntary sector finance roles, including the disability charity Scope, where she was Finance Director. Her broader involvement in the charity sector has included a number of volunteering and trustee roles at smaller charities. She is currently also a trustee of homelessness charity Crisis.

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: Jenny Martin

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Calderstones CIC’s Board of Directors


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 Directors 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)

As Director, Jane’s job is to represent The Reader in public, spreading the word about the power of Shared Reading. She is an engaging and moving speaker and enjoys meeting people at festivals, conferences and events. She enjoys reading, through our masterclass programme, with members of our Shared Reading community. Jane also develops new partnerships and projects and is the vision lead for our project at Calderstones Mansion House.

In November 2013, Jane was launched as an Ashoka UK Fellow. Read her personal Story of Change on Ashoka UK’s website.

In March 2014, Jane was appointed by Liverpool Learning Partnership to run the Liverpool City of Readers campaign. City of Readers aims to raise the profile of reading in the city and develop a new generation of readers, as the importance of reading for pleasure has been recognised as influencing social mobility and development.

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. His other non-executive roles include being a member of Liverpool City Region’s Investment Panel, a Lay Fellow of the University of Liverpool’s Heseltine Institute of Public Policy & Practice, board director of Merseyside Buildings Preservation Trust and a member of the Everyman & Playhouse advisory group.

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 spent most of his business career with global Audit and Consulting firm Grant Thornton, specialising in strategic planning and corporate structure before becoming Chairman of the UK Board and Chairman of the Board for Europe, Middle East and Africa. In 2001 David was appointed Global CEO of the worldwide organisation. Retiring in 2009, David continued with a number of Non-Executive Chairmanships and Directorships, on a local and national level. Although his career brought him to London and on frequent spells overseas, Liverpool has always been David’s home. He was an early enthusiastic supporter and champion of the regeneration of the city and has worked closely with various regional organisations including as the Chairman of Merseyside Society for Deaf People, Chairman of the National Museums Liverpool (1995-2005), President of the Council of the University of Liverpool (2007-2014). In 2009 David was appointed High Sheriff of Merseyside and in 2010, as Vice Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, a position he still holds. In 2005 David was awarded a CBE for services to the cultural life of the region and country.
Pranav Sood 
Pranav is the Director of Business Operations & Strategy at GoCardless, a UK-based FinTech business, where he leads both Strategy and International Expansion. Pranav started his career at Bain & Company and has extensive experience of strategy, financial planning and programme management, gained across sectors both in the UK and internationally. Pranav has also worked extensively in social enterprise, having led the Bain & Company Social Business Incubator and worked closely with UnLtd, the UK’s leading fund for social entrepreneurs. He is also currently a Governor of Robert Blair Primary School in Islington. Pranav read Classics at Cambridge University and was a Sir Charles and Lady Julia Henry Fellow at Harvard University.

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