Sunflower's Trustees

David Wheatley, MA Cantab, Chartered FCIPD

CHAIRMAN

David was a Senior HR Director with Shell International following which he spent 20 years on a self-employed basis running inter-cultural training programmes before retiring in 2007. He was a Magistrate for 24 years, spent 6 years on a voluntary basis as a Non-Executive Director to the Governor at Brixton Prison advising him on HR issues and more recently spent a similar period as Lay Adviser for Surrey to MAPPA. He was also Chairman of the Standards Committee of Waverley Borough Council for several years and until recently has been a Governor at Godalming Sixth Form College where he is Chair of the Human Resources Committee. He is also Chairman of the Dan Eley Foundation, a Charity established by his stepson, who is quadriplegic following a near fatal spinal injury accident in Colombia.

I enjoy giving my time and experience to ensuring that this very special children’s charity fulfils its mission, aims and objectives.
David Wheatley
David Wheatley
Having worked in education for many years, I take great pleasure in being able to help families, young people and children with the challenges they face.
Val Barnes
Val Barnes

Val Barnes BA (Hons), PGCE, MEd, MBA, FRSA

VICE CHAIRMAN & LEAD TRUSTEE – EDUCATION

Val holds an honours degree in modern foreign languages and has held several senior posts in education. Her background in education is further supported by a Masters in modern foreign languages and comparative education. She has additional experience in inspection, business and marketing and is a professional writer.

She is Founder and CEO of Quality Guardianship UK Ltd, a validating body which supports UK-based guardianship organisations and educational establishments in the safe and effective delivery of educational guardianship to international students in their care. Val has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts since 2003.

Sharon Ward

LEAD TRUSTEE – FINANCE

Sharon started her career at KPMG, working in Surrey, London and the South-East region before joining Roffe Swayne in 1997, becoming Managing Partner in 2007. Sharon’s focus is on service and relationship excellence and for delivering the firm’s strategy.

Her client portfolio includes businesses from the manufacturing, recruitment, education, software and technology sectors, all of who recognise Sharon’s experience and commitment to their success.Sharon has been a trustee to several charities in the past including being a Governor of Godalming College.

Being a trustee of Sunflower means I can share my knowledge and expertise to help change a child’s life.
Sharon Ward
Sharon Ward
I am honoured to be a part of Sunflower. Its compliance, safeguarding and data protection is exemplary.
Lynne Mathews
Lynne Mathews

Lynne Matthews

LEAD TRUSTEE – SAFEGUARDING & DATA PROTECTION

For the past 24 years, Lynne has owned and run day nurseries in Petersfield. She currently looks after 260 children between the ages of 0-5. She is passionate about outdoor learning and follows the “forest school” ethos believing that fresh air, exercise and nutrition are intrinsic to a child's early development.The nurseries are known for delivering outstanding practice and in recent years she has worked with healthcare professionals to set up a bursary fund to take vulnerable children. In addition, the new SEN Code of Practice has allowed the nursery to instigate earlier intervention at 2 years and supports many children with a diverse range of special needs.

John Hubbell, MA

John Hubbell’s career has been long and varied and these experiences have given him a pre-eminent expertise in three different professions, sport, business and education. John’s competitive highlight was representing Canada internationally at the Olympics, World and North American championships in ice hockey. He has also been a professional coach in figure skating and ice hockey and has been a children’s sports coach for 40 years. Paralleling his sporting career, John has been self-employed in entrepreneurial ventures since 1973, starting with a manufacturing business while still at university which grew into a financial intermediary company specialising in human and venture capital management. John moved into teaching and education in 2000, gravitating to the social, emotional, behavioural, and difficult students in the mainstream school where he first taught. He decided to fully immerse himself in special needs teaching and moved from mainstream to a special needs school and he has been involved in active learning programmes. He studied for a Masters in Education at Kingston University specialising in the provision of special needs. John has consulted with a venture capital firm in an acquisition of seven special educational needs schools where the capital raised was over £100m. John is currently a Director of Active Surrey and is involved with UK Sport.

Through all my walks of life, I have seen how children struggle in today’s world. Sunflower is ahead of its time and I feel we all ought to adopt the Sunflower ethos when it comes to health and wellbeing.
John Hubbell
John Hubbell
I am delighted to be a Trustee of Sunflower as its intentions are very much in line with mine as a teacher in helping children get in touch with their own innate genius.
Lies Goodchild
Lies Goodchild

Lies Goodchild, BSc

Lies read Banking & International Finance at City University, London where she gained a BSc (Hons) in 1986. She joined Merton’s Home-from-Home scheme as a volunteer moving on to Homestart Merton where she supported families with children under 5, later becoming a trustee from 2010-2013.When her daughter was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, she decided to complete a dyslexia training course and in 1999 gained – with Merit – her Diploma in SpLD. Surbiton High School appointed her as Head of Learning Support in September 1999 to set up, develop and manage their learning support unit as well as providing pupils with one-to-one lessons.

In 2002, she moved to King’s College School in Wimbledon, where she started the same process all over again. After 13 years, the King’s has awell-integrated learning support unit providing support to many students, covering an extraordinary variety of learning, medical and emotional needs. It wasawarded Sunday Times Independent Secondary School of the Year 2014.

Thea Robson MA

Thea has a Masters degree in Strategic Management and is an experienced transformation and operations leader, focussing on customer operations, service and change management. Her career has been split between senior roles in industry and consulting and this blend has given her real insight into how organisations really operate. She has worked primarily in regulated industries such as energy and utilities but also retail and the public Sector. Thea’s skillset lies in having a pragmatic and simple approach to change that engages all levels of an organisation as well as excellent influencing and stakeholder management skills. She started her career with Unilever as a member of the research and development team, spent six years with Ernst & Young as a Senior Manager in their Performance Improvement Advisory Practice specialising in operational transformation, five years with BOC in a high profile Emergency Contact programme for the UK government and more recently as a Consultant at Russell Reynolds, theglobal leader in assessment, recruitment and succession planning for boards of directors, chief executive officers and key roles.

As Sunflower is going through a period of change, being able to offer my strategic management skills means a lot to me if I can help the Trust achieve their goals quicker.
Thea Robson
Thea Robson
I thoroughly enjoy being a trustee as the skills taught to the children are so similar to those I need being an actress.
Kristin Corbet-Milward
Kristin Corbet-Milward

Kristin Corbet-Milward, BA

Following university, Kristin went to RADA for 3 years before working in rep, as everyone did in those days - Manchester, Birmingham, Leicester, Coventry, Sheffield. After that, she came to London - the RSC and the National - and lots of fringe venues, as well other small but established theatres in and around London.

She has played abroad and has had major roles: Portia in The Merchant of Venice, Hedda in Hedda Gabler, Petra in The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Helena in Uncle Vanya, etc. Kristin has recorded a lot of radio plays, appeared in a number of films as well as being on television but she says nothing beats live theatre...

Do these Sunflower stories resonate with you?

Here are just a handful of stories to give you a flavour of how we have helped children, young people and their families. Helping children be the best they can be is what Sunflower is good at.

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Discover how Sunflower can help your child, enquire about the Sunflower Programme today

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