Community Links

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Our Board of Trustees

We are  proud to have an excellent Board of Trustees, bringing a diversity of skills and experience to benefit Community Links.

We are currently seeking to recruit some new trustees, please see here for more information.

Michael Smyth CBE, QC (Hon) (Chairman)
Michael Smyth is an independent consultant and was for more than twenty years a partner in Clifford Chance, the leading city law firm that has been a major supporter of Community Links.  He is author of "Business and the Human Rights Act", chair of Law for Life: the Foundation for Public Legal Education, and a visiting Professor at Queen Mary College, University of London. 

Althea Baker
With over 20 years experience as a Civil Servant, Althea worked in the Department for Children, Schools and Families until 2010, when she moved to work closer to the community in a local secondary school. Althea lives in Newham, and is also an experienced school governor.

Radhika Bynon
Radhika is a Community Worker currently working for the Young Foundation as Director of "The U" a citizens university. Radhika worked with Community Links in 2008, supporting the last Government’s Council for Social Action. Radhika is involved in a number of local community activities including Forest Gate Festival and Newham Make Poverty History and is a founder trustee for the Asha Trust (Sri Lanka).

Jeff Jacobs
Born and bred in East London, Jeff is Head of Paid Service at the Greater London Authority and is also responsible for overseeing policy and implementation on a range of Mayoral strategies which include economic and business policy, community safety, health, culture, sport, and social policy. Previously, Jeff worked in central government in roles at the DCMS and DETR, was Principal Private Secretary to John Prescott, and led the government team which helped win London the 2012 Olympic bid.

Peter Kane
Peter has a senior policy, operational and financial track record in both central and local government. Currently Chamberlain at the City of London Corporation, his former roles include Head of Public Services Reform at the Cabinet Office, overseeing HM Treasury relationships with local government and leading Economic Development in Inner London boroughs both as a senior officer and an elected member.

Maria King
Maria is Director HR and Development at Unite the Union. Previously she was the Director of Human Resources at Islington Council, where she worked for eight years, and before that worked at Newham Council as acting Head of Strategic HR where she was involved in the Plaistow Community Forum. She first came across Community Links through a Common Purpose course.

Pascale Nicholls
Pascale is a Chartered Accountant. She began her career with Deloitte twelve years ago and as a senior manager led a wide range of work for government, charities and multi-national listed corporations. She was actively involved in Deloitte’s community investment programme and in early 2009 made a permanent move into the charity sector. She is now Head of International Accounting at the Secretariat of Amnesty International. Pascale was a co-opted member of Community Links' Finance and Audit Committee before becoming a Trustee in 2010.

Fiona Rawes MBE
Fiona is the Director of Community Impact at Teach First. She started her career as a Solicitor in the City before moving into for the not-for-profit sector. Fiona has been a long term supporter of Community Links work and a Trustee since 2008 bringing to the board her expertise from her former roles as Chief Executive at Heart of the City and Director of Education Campaigns at Business in the Community.

Fiona Riley
An accredited business coach, facilitator and consultant, Fiona has extensive experience working in public relations businesses both in the UK and internationally. She has a strong track record in delivering both strategic and practical HR consultancy solutions with clients from many differing sectors.

Lianne Smith
Lianne is Senior Legal Advisor, in the Treasury Solicitors office where she advises Ministers, Project Boards and other policy stakeholders on legal and governance issues, including the identification and management of risk. Her extensive experience in advising on procurement and commercial matters has been gained both in the public and private sectors and includes experience within UK local authorities outside London.

David Walter
David's career has been in Finance. He cut his commerical teeth as a Financial Controller at British Gas/Centrica during the introduction of both gas and electricity competition. Since 1999, David has specialised in financial management in the public and voluntary sector, with Finance Director roles at a University, Housing Associations, NCVO, and both grant-giving and service-delivery charities. David came to Community Links as interim Finance Director, and has stayed on as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Our Board of Trustees provide governance  for the organisation and support our Senior Management Team; they also work with our Business Leaders Group who extend our network of supporters and givers.