I am delighted to have been appointed the new chair of Clinks and I am privileged to be taking over from Dame Anne Owers who has done such a sterling job for so many years. I have known Clinks since the beginning, both as a supporter and colleague, and have watched it go from strength to strength.
I have been involved in the criminal justice system since 1992 when, as a volunteer, I helped set up the first UK radio station in a prison—Feltham Young Offenders. I then went on to become their first voluntary sector co-ordinator and worked closely with Clinks during this time to strengthen the role of the sector within the prison. As well as sitting on the senior management team representing the voluntary sector, I became deputy chair of the Foundation Training Company, chair of Trailblazers and ran Friends of Feltham, the charity based in the prison.
Undoubtedly one of the big drivers behind joining the Clinks Board as their Chair is my own personal commitment to the work of our voluntary sector, together with a deep-seated knowledge of the sector and the political arena surrounding it. My background in chairing a wide range of organisations, both working in prisons and the community, has given me a deep insight into the skills and experience needed to provide the best possible support to the Board and the CEO so that organisations can flourish.
I want to re-iterate my commitment to the work of Clinks and its team. I believe in its ability to flourish, to take on the challenges the sector is facing and truly make an impact.