Board of Trustees

Meet Voice4Change England Board Of Trustees

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Neena Samota
Independent Chair

Neena teaches Criminology at St. Mary’s University where she is the Programme Director for the BSc in Criminology and Sociology and the MA in Human Trafficking, Migration and Organised Crime. Her teaching and research interests include human rights, justice, punishment, race, gender, hate crime and youth justice. Neena maintains extensive engagement with the voluntary sector through research, governance and campaigning work. She is a trustee of StopWatch, since it was formed in 2010, which campaigns for effective, accountable and fair policing.

Ila Chandavarkar

Ila is a consultant and trainer on income generation, equalities and organisational development. She has substantial management and work experience in the voluntary and public sectors. Her previous employment roles included Head of Policy at the national Women’s Resource Centre, Chief Officer at MENTER, an East of England race equality network, and Voluntary Sector Support Manager at Cambridge City Council. She was a board member of the Cambridge Cooperative Development Agency for over 10 years, providing advice and support services for cooperatives and social enterprise. Examples of training she has run are cultural awareness for social workers and similar professionals, equality impact assessments and a series of workshops for the University of Cambridge, after the EU referendum, on identity, empathy and resilience. Her current projects are race equality with Cambridge Ethnic Community Forum and Peterborough Asylum and Refugees Community Association and gender equality with Cambridge Women’s Resources Centre.

Karl Oxford

Karl has significant experience of working at a strategic level of public policy shaping, community development & enterprise for over 27 years. This includes operating in non-executive and executive roles and at a local, regional, national and international level. His background covers experience of working across the spectrum of public, private and voluntary/charity sectors. Karl is director of African and Caribbean Business Ventures, he is a member of Rotary International, also The Institute of Directors and has recently been appointed to the ‘Inclusive Growth and Public Policy Panel’ advisory committee to the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

Kirit Mistry

Kirit is the Chair and Founder of South Asian Health Action Charity, Regional Director Hindu Council UK, Midlands NHS Organ Donation Ambassador, Chair / Founder of Leicestershire South Asian Diabetes Support Group, Community Ambassador for The Patients Association and NHSBME Network. He is currently Service Manager for the Adhar BAME mental Health Charity and passionate to promote Organ, Blood and Stem Cell awareness with BAME, Faith and Diverse Communities. He is also fellowship member of RSA,  Grants assessor and Steering group member Of Ubele Phoenix fund and recently recruited on the Centre for Engagement and dissemination advisory group. 

Sado Jirde

Born to parents of Somali origin, Sado Jirde moved to the UK in 1999. After obtaining a BA in financial management and business information technology at Gloucestershire University, Sado started working at BSWN in 2007. Just five years later, Sado took over as the Director of the organisation and has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of racial inequality at strategic and policy levels regionally and nationally, as well locally in Bristol. Sado has over 10 experience working in the Civil Society sector in the UK & Internal. She was awarded The African Achievers Award in 2015. Sado has also been leading on the discussion around inclusive growth and the role social investment could play in addressing economic inequality in Bristol. Sado sits on a number of Boards of local and national charitable organisations. She is also a member of a number of partnerships/networks; member of Coalition of Race Equality Organisations (CORE) .

Gilles Cabon

Gilles has been active in community development and engagement for more than 30 years. The early years were spent in community action in London and the South East, for both statutory and voluntary sector agencies. In October 2015, Gilles was appointed to be the Chief Executive Officer of Greenwich Inclusion Project (GrIP). This organisation exists to challenge race and faith related inequality and victimisation in Royal Greenwich – through support for victims of harassment and hate crime and by giving voice to the concerns of minority communities in the development of public sector strategies and policies.