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Meet the Trustees

St. Francis' Children's Society is a registered charity (Charity No.211670) and is governed by a Council of Trustees. The Trustees are responsible for the overall governance and strategic direction of the charity, developing the organisation's aims, objectives and goals in accordance with the governing document, legal and regulatory guidelines.

We are pleased to introduce you to our current Council of Trustees.

Post-adoption BME mother walking with son in park

Safia Boot - Chair of Trustees

Safia has a MSc in Personnel Management from Portsmouth University and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development (CIPD), holder of an Advanced Certificate in employment law.

She is a serving Employment Tribunal Panel Member, Independent Investigator/Mediator and a Founder of Respect at Work Ltd with various portfolio roles, including Chair of CIPD - Milton Keyes Group (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) and Ambassador for MKIAC (Milton Keynes Islamic, Arts & Culture).

She has 30 year+ background as a HR Executive in the public (NHS) and private sector (IT). She is an adoptive parent of two (now grown up) children and a previously approved foster carer.

 

Little sister kissing big sister on cheek

Claire Dickinson 

Claire is a chartered accountant, with 15 years’ experience working with a wide variety of companies and industries. She trained and worked for a ‘big 4’ accounting firm for 11 years which included living and working in Australia for four years and working closely with teams across Europe, Asia and the US. She currently works at a FTSE 100 company specialising in technical accounting and reporting.

Post-adoption BME mother walking with son in park

Sheena Marsh

Sheena has a BSc Degree in Social Psychology with Social Administration from Loughborough University and a Diploma in Social Work from Buckinghamshire New University. She has almost 40 years’ experience of working in the public and voluntary sectors and has been a qualified social worker for over 20 years, working exclusively in children’s social care. She has experience in family support, child protection, care proceedings, fostering and adoption and has worked as both a senior practitioner and manager.

For the past 12 years Sheena has specialised in adoption social work and is currently a practising social worker in a Local Authority Adoption Support Team. She is also an independent Adoption Panel member for SFCS and has experienced first hand the positive life changing impact that adoption brings to the lives of vulnerable children.

 

Little sister kissing big sister on cheek

Kim Opszala 

Kim is a multi award-winning solicitor specialising in corporate law and has extensive experience advising on mergers and acquisitions as well as all areas of commercial law.  Kim is also the Managing Director of KoMo Properties, a property investment company specialising in acquiring and managing all types of properties.

Kim is St. Francis’ Children’s Society’s company secretary and has been a trustee since 2016.  Kim is passionate about ensuring vulnerable children who are likely to stay in the care system the longest, are given a second chance in life where possible.

Post-adoption BME mother walking with son in park

Tom Perry

Tom comes from a construction background, with experience of directing teams of contractors working on prestigious projects such as the Canary Wharf Estate, Heathrow Terminal 5 and Wembley Stadium. He moved into the charitable sector and ran a property portfolio for a national charitable housing association, programming cyclical maintenance, capital works and an aggressive expansion programme. Tom has an honours degree from the university of Leeds and became a member of the Chartered Institute of Builders in 2014.

As a child, Tom was adopted and he is passionate about our Building Connections work. He is constantly striving for those who decide to revisit their past to be able to access the best support available, not only for themselves, but the other members of their birth families who are part of the journey.

 

St. Francis' Children's Society is first and foremost committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and expects all staff and volunteers working with children to share this commitment. We apply recruitment and selection procedures which seek to ensure that no employee, trustee or volunteer is appointed who may pose a risk to children or is otherwise unsuitable to work with them.