We are Shaw Trust

We believe in fairness, equality and opportunity

At Shaw Trust we believe everyone has the right to live a decent and dignified life and an opportunity for rewarding work. We are a charity challenging inequality and breaking down barriers to help people achieve their full potential.

Having grown from humble beginnings in 1982 in the village of Shaw in Wiltshire, finding jobs for disabled people, today we are a complex and diverse charity committed to employment as the core pathway to a better life.  For us being part of the solution is about creating the conditions for this to happen, advocating and delivering services that make a real difference. Working in partnership not competition, we are part of an eco-system of purpose-led organisations, striving for a fairer, more equal society centred on opportunity for all. Shaw Trust was founded on these principles over 40 years ago, and for our 3,000 employees and 387 volunteers across the UK, they remain true.

An Image of a man smiling, he wears a striped jumper and has short hair
An image of a woman with shoulder length hair smiling wearing a floral print dress

We have grown through a combination of organic growth, mergers and acquisitions to be the UK’s largest charity in the employment sector. We put people at the centre, knowing the right support at the right time can make a huge difference to an individual’s life. We empower people through our services embracing employability, education, learning and skills, children’s services and community health and wellbeing support.

Our co-created services include large scale employability programmes, specialist services for communities, residential care for children, targeted support for young people, on-the-job learning and training and individual guidance and support. Our work is commissioned by government departments, regional and local authorities, the NHS and employers and is delivered through a people centred approach.

We believe in sharing our expertise to create sustainable community legacies and work with more than 200 like-minded organisations growing networks of talent, experience and potential.

Our vision, mission 
and commitment

At Shaw Trust, we pride ourselves on our charitable heart with a business brain. Our approach is to maximise the social value for the individuals and communities we support.


A future where good, meaningful, rewarding, purposeful and dignified employment is accessible to all in society irrespective of life circumstances.


To help individuals facing barriers to work and social inclusion to achieve their full potential. To multiply our social impact by delivering innovative system-change partnerships and programmes.


To co-create and deliver high quality employability programmes and complementary services for people with complex needs, challenging life circumstances or other barriers that impact on access to work.

Our values

We care about people

We support our staff, our volunteers and the people we work with to realise their potential.

We make a difference

Making a lasting positive impact for the people we support is the reason we exist. We deliver high performance across our services, helping people to improve their lives.

We are inclusive

We value the ideas, views and strengths of everyone we work with and support. Everybody is different and everybody is equal.

We are collaborative

Working together is more effective and efficient. We believe that by working together with those we support and our partners we create better services and solutions.

We are honest

We are authentic, accountable and transparent in all we do.

Our people

Our people, both staff and volunteers, are our greatest strength. Each person at Shaw Trust helps us achieve our purpose, define our culture, defend our values and deliver high-quality programmes. Our people link us to those we support and keep us true.

Empowering people to achieve their full potential we support, value and progress our workforce. Trusting our colleagues to enable young people and adults towards, and into, sustainable, rewarding and meaningful employment. Our colleagues share our vision providing advice, guidance and support to move families out of poverty.

Board of Trustees

Senior leadership

Olly Benzecry
Chair of Trustees

Olly became our Chair of Trustees in February 2023. He is passionate about helping those with disadvantages to achieve their potential in employment.

In addition to being the Chair of Shaw Trust, Olly is a Trustee of Movement to Work and advises WithYouWithMe, an international provider of skills-based talent management solutions. He is Chair of the Corporate Development Board of the Natural History Museum (NHM) and a member of the Corporate Partnership Board of Cancer Research UK. Olly advises Faculty, a world leading AI provider, as well as being a CEO advisor more broadly.

Previously, Olly was Chair and CEO of Accenture, UK & Ireland

Paul Baldwin

After two decades working in the banking and finance industry, in 2009 Paul decided he would rather spend his time working on the causes that he is passionate about.

Since then he has pursued a portfolio career working with a select number of charitable organisations across a range of different sectors. His most significant areas of interest include, disability, education and skills, conservation and the environment, and animal protection, including as chair of Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. Paul first became aware of Shaw Trust while he was Chair of the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) and was looking for a suitable merger partner to secure DLF’s long-term future. An immediate meeting of minds led to a successful merger in 2014, and Paul joined the Shaw Trust board in 2016. Other than working as a charity trustee, Paul is happiest when in the mountains: hiking, ultra-running, skiing, or teaching adaptive snow sports to people with a range of different disabilities.

Diane Côté

Diane holds a number of board roles including at Societe Generale SA and X-Forces Enterprise.

She supports other charitable organisations and is a member of several associations and forums that promote Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace including the Women Network Forum.

Diane had a successful executive career in the UK and in Canada in the financial industry. She has featured in the ‘100 Most Influential Women in European Finance’ for the last six years.

In her last executive role as CRO at London Stock Exchange Group, she chaired the LSEG Foundation was an Executive Committee member and she also launched and championed the gender diversity agenda through the Women Inspired Network and lately the Inclusion Network.

Diane has a passion for helping young people from all backgrounds to be given equal opportunities to build their future, fulfil their potential and to support gender equality and minority representation at senior level in the workplace. Having been part of a minority group at senior level throughout her entire career, she understands the importance of embracing an all-inclusive culture.

Audrey Coutinho

Audrey joins as a Trustee in June 2021. Shaw Trust’s inspiring vision for a future where good, rewarding and dignified employment is accessible to all and the values of the Trust were the primary attractions for wanting to be a Trustee at the organisation.

The Trust’s focus on education and training one of the core enablers for an individual’s success in their lives aligns closely with Audrey’s beliefs, so when the opportunity to be involved in supporting this mission was available it was an easy decision to make.

Audrey has always admired and appreciated the commitment and ethos of the third sector and the critical role it plays in civil society with social justice at the heart of it. Having spent over two decades in the corporate world this as the right time to commit and support the sector and use her skills and experience.

Audrey is an accomplished senior executive with broad experience in designing strategy, delivering digital transformations and complex global programmes that support and serve employees and customers. She brings with her diverse experience in general management, audit and risk management and more recently as Chief Data Officer. She has a Masters’ degree in Business Administration.

Deborah Dorman

Deborah is a highly experienced strategic leader, with a passion for engagement and representation; ensuring everyone has a voice and that they can fulfil their potential.

Deborah is currently the Director of Group HR for Sainsbury’s, with extensive HR experience including strategy, organisational change, talent, learning, reward, inclusion, recruitment and engagement.
Deborah’s recent achievements include leading the design of customer-centric cultural transformation marrying humanity with performance edge, and spearheading the creation of a new inclusion strategy, which improved senior female representation within Sainsbury’s. Deborah has previously been an Advisory Board Member with Business in the Community Race Equality where she led the creation of the Youth Advisory Panel, to give young people a greater voice in improving employment and progression for ethnic minorities. Deborah has a passionate and open style with a focus on inspiring people to create strong relationships and deliver excellent results, whilst maintaining an environment based on professional integrity, transparency, and honesty. Deborah is looking forward to contributing to the important work of Shaw Trust, to support people to live decent and dignified lives. Deborah believes that everyone should have the chance to fulfil their potential and that access to education and employment are vital.

Annamarie Hassall MBE

Annemarie was appointed to the Board as a trustee in autumn 2019. An expert in her field, she was appointed MBE for services to children and families in 2011.

At Shaw Trust Annamarie draws on all of her sector experience of working with charity, private sector, local authority and central government to support our work by ensuring we are on the right track, doing what we have agreed, delivering on commitments and doing it well.

Volunteering her time as a trustee it was the values of Shaw Trust that most attracted Annamarie. The belief people should be at the heart of change; employment as a goal for everyone and the focus on skills; valuing education, training and skills for life.

To find out more about Annamarie connect on LinkedIn.

Mike Nussbaum

Mike joined Shaw Trust in February 2016. Mike sits on the boards of RNIB, Guide Dogs, Vision UK, the Equality and Diversity Forum and supports numerous other charitable organisations.

Mike’s passion for social justice started young when he was involved in a wide range of social action programmes including chairing national youth organisations. Now, following more than 50 years of public service, Mike brings his blind lived experience to Shaw Trust. An active and committed volunteer Mike previously sat on the boards of RNIB, Vision UK, and the Equality and Diversity Forum. Mike is still an active member of the board for Guide Dogs and continues to support numerous other charitable organisations.

Mike is passionate about the added value which volunteers can bring to an organisation as well as the personal benefits of volunteering. Supporting Shaw Trust’s 1,000 person strong volunteer programme, Mike received a national ‘Year of the Volunteer’ Award for services to volunteering in 2005, and in 2008 The Open University awarded him an Honorary Doctorate.

Lara Oyesanya

Lara joined Shaw Trust in April 2021. Lara is a trustee of Plan International UK and a co-opted Member, Committee on Benefactions, External and Legal Affairs, the University of Cambridge advising the Vice-Chancellor.

The vision of Shaw Trust of a future where good employment is accessible to all in society irrespective of life circumstances resonates with Lara. Growing up in Nigeria, Lara was raised with strong values that included a great sense of social justice, responsibility, accountability, respect, and care for everyone in the community. Shaw Trust’s outlined outcomes for education and skills, children and young people’s services, and health and well-being are areas that Lara believes are essential for a fair and equitable society. This vision is a big draw for Lara as a Shaw Trust trustee and she hopes that the work of Shaw Trust will continue to promote social justice and mobility to address the causes and consequences of poverty in society.

Lara is a solicitor and general counsel in the financial services – digital payments sector, currently General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer at Contis, a contributing editor, LexisNexis Encyclopaedia of Banking Law, and a Consulting Editorial board member LexisPSL©. She is a Fellow of The RSA and ‘Business Woman of the Year’, 2018 FL National Awards. Ranked in The Lawyer Hot 100 2021 and the 50 Must-Follow Black Female Leaders 2020. Formerly, legal director at Klarna, senior legal counsel at Barclays and BAE Systems, a divisional counsel at RAC, a legal director at HBOS, and Group Head of Legal at Lex Autolease. She is a law graduate (LL.B Hons) from the University of Lagos with an LL.M in Comparative Company Law.

Kalm Paul-Christian

Kalm is an investment banker working in the Financial Institutions Advisory Team at NatWest Markets. There he advises executive management teams to execute strategic and corporate finance decisions for sustainable growth.

He began his career with Rothschild & Co in the Global Financial Advisory division before joining The Social Investment Consultancy where he advised charities, social enterprises, corporates and investment funds on revenue diversification, social business models and impact evaluation.

As an advocate for Social Mobility, Financial Inclusion and Disability Rights, Kalm has been working in the field of accessibility since 2013, delivering projects from DFID, the Commonwealth Youth Council and National Lottery Community Fund.

He is a graduate of the University of Oxford, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and a member of the Worshipful Company of International Bankers. He is also trustee of the Turn2Us and Switchback, a former school governor, and a junior adviser to Chatham House.

Stephen Pegge

Stephen is a career banker and has also been a board director of several institutions with a public interest including the National Centre for Work Experience, the Institute of Small Business Affairs and is a former chair of a charity founded by HRH the Prince of Wales supporting older people into economic activity.

He is part of the senior executive team of UK Finance, the leading financial trade association and leads on commercial finance, sustainability, dispute resolution and international trade. He chairs an advisory group for the UK government on creative industries and is part of a minister led boards on business finance and promoting female and black and ethnic minority entrepreneurship. Stephen is a director of the UK Business Angels Association, the trade association dedicated to promoting angel investing and supporting early-stage investment in the UK. He is also a director of the Business Banking Resolution Service, a voluntary ombudsman scheme for larger SMEs.

Stephen believes Shaw Trust makes a vital contribution and has an even bigger potential role to play in employability, education and support for people to realise their potential whatever their backgrounds over the next few years. He is looking forward to playing his part in supporting it and our clients and hopes his experience and connections can be useful to colleagues and the wider network involved in this vital work.

Steve Shaw

Steve is passionate about using his extensive HR Leadership experience to make a positive difference to the lives of others. Throughout a career spent at the helm of global matrix organisations devising and implementing expansive change initiatives, Steve has utilised extensive HR experience to deliver substantial revenue, growth, and organisational development.

Steve has represented HR in Board positions for more 15 years, most recently as Chief HR Officer for the Apogee Corporation, leading on HR, real-estate, and environmental strategies.

Steve brings experience of working within the charity sector, having in the past managed and held leadership roles within National Citizens Advice Bureau for 6 years and performed non-executive director roles for Presentation Housing Association for four years, with a focus on the vulnerable and disadvantaged. Steve believes that the seamless blend and contribution of paid employees and volunteers providing valued and sought-after services can bring unique challenges to the workplace along with passion and devotion to the delivery of quality. This generates a unique culture, with people that have insights, motivation and experiences that utilised well, make an incredible difference to society. Steve believes in the importance of rigour and best use of available funds to maximise an organisation’s ability to facilitate this. Steve’s expertise in organisational consolidation following acquisitions, business transformation, continuous improvement and career pathing for employees will all support the delivery of Shaw Trust’s Vision 2030: Strategic Directive.

James Stewart OBE

James became a Trustee in 2021 after a 30 year career spanning the public and private sectors. He started in the banking sector, led Partnerships UK and Infrastructure UK, and then spent ten years at KPMG finishing as a Vice Chair and member of the UK Board.

Much of James’ career has been spent in the pursuit of improving public services and he has been involved in the development of many of the leading UK infrastructure projects and programmes including Crossrail and HS2. James believes that skills are a key enabler to the regeneration and growth of the UK economy and helping young people to have the opportunity to acquire skills and have the best chance of employment is his motivation for joining Shaw Trust. He is attracted by the Shaw Trust operating model and believes that social enterprises can have a greater role in delivering public services in the future.

Chris Luck CB MBE DL
Group CEO, Shaw Trust

Chris joined the Trust in May 2019, after a distinguished career in the armed forces.

Chris had not planned to move into the voluntary sector, however, his life experiences, personal values and strong sense of purpose made him the perfect fit to lead Shaw Trust. Ensuring those we support are at the heart of everything we do, Chris has implemented a new organisational structure, reviewed our strategic direction and championed new initiatives, including the Shaw Trust Foundation and Shaw Trust Policy Institute supporting and advocating for social mobility through opportunity.

To find out more about Chris follow him on X or connect on LinkedIn. 

Richard Clifton
Managing Director Employability

Richard has worked in the employment services sector since 1993, bidding for and delivering every major contract from New Deal through to Work and Health Programme, alongside local government contracts. He has a broad range of knowledge and experience from leading both business development and operational functions for Shaw Trust and other organisations. More recently, he gained experience of local government commissioning as an elected County Councillor and Cabinet Member. Richard is also a Director of the Employment Related Services Association Board.

Richard believes well designed programmes co-created with those they aim to support can make a genuine difference to people’s lives.

Jenny Dillon
MD for Specialist Employment Services

Jenny Dillon joined Shaw Trust in September 2020 as the Head of Work and Health Programme. Since joining Jenny has led the CPA 1 and 5 delivery teams in both the Head of Programme and Contract Director role. Jenny began her career in welfare to work more than a decade ago and has gone onto to work in various employability programmes including Employment Zone, FND, Work Programme and Access to Work Mental Health Support Service, in various roles.

Jenny brings a wealth of knowledge, skills, and experience to her role at Shaw Trust. Jenny couples this experience with her strong belief in supporting and helping others. She possesses an understanding and experience of how the work we do genuinely changes the lives of individuals and their wider family. It is this knowledge that gives Jenny her sense of purpose for the role and enables her to lead her teams to deliver the best results for the contract, the business but more importantly, the participants.

Mark Earl
Chief People Officer

Mark joined the Trust in 2008 and leads our Human Resources, Learning and Development, Estate and Environmental Management functions. Mark has extensive experience of working in the charity sector, leading of complex Human Resources and Estate management matters including workforce planning, job design, compensation and benefits, harmonisation and change management, legal issues, performance appraisal, colleague and leadership development, diversity and inclusion, property acquisition, fit out and closure. Mark is a result’s driven, considered and pragmatic leader with a people centred approach. Mark has implemented a range of new initiatives, which include our Future Leaders Programme, executive shadow boards, connectivity hubs, terms and conditions harmonisation and the successful National Equality Standard accreditation.

Renata Graver
Special Advisor to the Senior Leadership Team

Renata joined Shaw Trust in 2013 as a Team Leader on the Work Programme, attracted by the far-reaching and holistic approach afforded to our service users across Shaw Trust. Renata was promoted to Business Manager in 2015 and took on the role of Area Manager for Essex on the Work & Health Programme in 2018. With people at the heart of everything Renata does, her tenacity, persistence and resilience are demonstrable in all of her personal and work-based achievements.

Aligned with Renata’s person-centred approach she has just been appointed as Employee Voice Chair, tasked with representing the interests of colleagues working across the Shaw Trust Group.

Scott Miller
Chief Corporate Officer

Scott Miller joined Shaw Trust in October 2021 after 35 years in the military, in which he served in a wide variety of roles around the world and in central government. His outlook has always been to make a difference and to improve the lives of others, so he closely identifies with the Trust’s mission and values. His role of ensuring the Trust is operating effectively, efficiently, and economically draws on his extensive previous experience of leading in high-paced and complex operational situations, managing strategy through to task delivery, and transforming organisations.

James Robertson
Chief Finance Office

James joined Shaw Trust in 2020 following obtaining his charterships at PwC and a successful career in private equity. He has always been interested in supporting the charity sector, having worked with Impetus-PEF, IntoUniversity, Prison Radio, and a range of other organisations through pro bono advice and volunteering. He is currently Finance Chair and Trustee of Aurora Nexus, a supported living charity, operating in south London. James puts mission at the heart of delivery and has demonstrated his passion for our purpose since joining as the Finance Director.

Shelley Southon
Managing Director Community Health and Well-Being

Shelley joined Shaw Trust in 2001 and has held a variety of roles across several teams in that time. She first started as a Management Accountant working in the finance team but moved later into operational management where she was able to utilise her financial skills alongside her passion for people and their development. In that time, Shelley has overseen and developed social enterprises, learning and skills services, employability programmes, consulted in Romania to set up of 8 social enterprises and most recently led the Health and Wellbeing division expansion and development. Her passion for people and the values we have as an organisation drives Shelley each day to push the boundaries of what we do, challenge the status quo, to grow people and services. Shelley is proud to work for an organisation that puts people first and to be a part of teams where the passion and hard work of each person can be seen every day.

Jenny Woodrow
Managing Director for Employment and Skills Service

Jen has over 20 years’ experience working in contract delivery across a variety of sectors including Retail, Employability, and Youth programmes, most recently as the Contract Director responsible for Shaw Trust’s JETS, Restart and IPES programmes. Throughout this time she has undertaken a number of roles overseeing Operations, Supply Chain Management and Contract Mobilisation. The common thread across her career has been to make a difference to society by driving performance through collaboration and innovation. Passionate about leading teams to empower them to make a difference, she is driven to deliver programmes that can make this country a better place and reinvent the ways in which we live. Jen is proud to work for Shaw Trust, an organisation whose values align closely with her own, and with the dedicated, passionate teams she works with.